JACKSON, Mo. -- School board members from the region gathered Monday night for the Missouri School Board Association (MSBA) fall meeting taking place at Jackson Middle School.
The meeting gave board members and school administrators a chance to network and discuss current issues affecting public education.
Dr. Bob Fox, president of the Cape Girardeau school board, said he always comes away with a lot of helpful information from the MSBA meetings.
"These meetings allow us to interact with other school boards and see how they tackle the same problems we have," Fox said.
The evening's program, "Using Data As A Foundation For Governance Decisions," focused on the impact school boards have on student achievement and the importance of using data in the decision-making process.
MSBA representative Carter Ward spoke about the recently released MAP test scores and how schools should use test analysis in their decisions.
Ward also brought up issues like the new federal law -- No Child Left Behind -- enacted this year, and how it would affect local districts.
Around 77 board members in attendance were divided into several groups, then given a case study concerning high school drop-out rates and asked to apply it to their own districts.
In their discussions, many of the attendees discovered their districts were experiencing situations similar to those in other districts.
"I'm always surprised at how many things boards have in common," said Fox. "Just in talking with four or five other members, I've found they have the same concerns I do about things like MAP testing."
Dr. Martha Zlokovich, a member of the Cape Girardeau school board and MSBA delegate, said she finds the meetings helpful for two main reasons.
"As a delegate, these meetings give me more background information on issues I'll be voting on at some point," Zlokovich said. "And of course, it's also an opportunity to gain a new perspective by listening to board members from other districts."