Tag Archives: urban school districts

Brookings study: Superintendents might not be as important to student outcomes as others in the school system

7 Sep

In Life expectancy of a superintendent: A lot of bullets and little glory, https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/16/life-expectancy-of-a-superintendent-a-lot-of-bullets-and-little-glory/ moi wrote: Just about anyone in education has a tough job these days, from the building staff to the superintendent. There is pressure to perform in an environment of declining resources. Lately, the job of superintendent of large urban school districts has been characterized by turnover. Thomas E. Glass in The History of the Urban Superintendent writes:

The twenty-first century finds one-third of America’s public school children attending one of ten large urban (large-city) school districts. By 2020 approximately one-half of public school enrollment will be clustered in twenty districts. The educational stewardship of a majority of the nations youth rests uncomfortably on the shoulders of a very few large-city school superintendents. Their success and the success of their districts may very well determine the future of American democracy.
Urban districts are typically considered to be those located in the inner core of metropolitan areas having enrollments of more than 25,000 students. The research and literature about large-city school districts portray conditions of poverty, chronic academic underachievement, dropouts, crime, unstable school boards, reform policy churn, and high superintendent turnover.
The typical tenure of a superintendent in the largest large-city districts is two to three years. This brief tenure makes it unlikely a superintendent can develop and implement reform programs that can result in higher academic achievement–let alone re-build crumbling schools buildings, secure private sector assistance, and build a working relationship with the city’s political structure.
The large-city superintendency is a position defined by high expectations, intense stress, inadequate resources, and often a highly unstable politicized board of education.
Read more: Superintendent of Large-City School Systems – History of the Urban Superintendent, The Profession, School Boards,
Characteristics of the Large-City Superintendent http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2470/Superintendent-Large-City-School-Systems.html#ixzz0p6HySmU0

See, District Administration’s article, Superintendent Staying Power http://www.districtadministration.com/article/superintendent-staying-power
NPR reported about a Brookings study which indicated that superintendents might not be as important to student outcomes as others in the school system.

Eric Westervelt of NPR reported in the story, The Myth Of The Superstar Superintendent?

“We just don’t see a whole lot of difference in student achievement that correlates with who the superintendent happens to be,” says Matthew Chingos, a senior fellow at the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution. He’s a co-author of what’s likely the first broad study to examine the link between superintendents and student achievement.
Chingos and his co-authors, Grover Whitehurst and Katharine Lindquist, analyzed student test score data from Florida and North Carolina over a 10-year period. His conclusion: Hiring a new superintendent made almost no difference in student success.
Chingos explains the findings this way: “What percentage of differences in student achievement is explained by superintendents? It’s very small, about 0.3 percent.”
The report also says that student achievement does not improve the longer a superintendent serves in a district.
The work of Chingos and his colleagues shows that the “seize the day” school superintendent is largely a fiction. Too often, he says, they’re indistinguishable.
“There are not many examples of people in the data who shot out the lights.”
Chingos argues that the wider school system — including governance, culture, community, the local school board — proves far more important than the individual sitting in the superintendent’s office. “When you see a district that’s doing really well with a visionary superintendent, it may also have a very proactive school board, a very involved community and a whole bunch of other things,” he says.
“We know that the principal and the teacher are so powerful. It’s not the administrator,” says education writer and author Dana Goldstein, who said she was surprised by the study’s results.
Historically, she says, too many superintendents have been paper-pushing administrative overlords wedded to traditionalist views and averse to change. That has changed and evolved, Goldstein says. But not fast enough….
http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/09/04/345503073/the-myth-of-the-superstar-superintendent

Here is the summary from Brookings:

Report | September 3, 2014
School Superintendents: Vital or Irrelevant?
By: Matthew M. Chingos, Grover J. “Russ” Whitehurst and Katharine M. Lindquist
In recent years, research has confirmed that teachers, principals, and school districts have meaningful effects on students’ academic achievement. But what about the highly visible person in charge of the school district? As the highest ranking official in a district, the superintendent receives a lot of credit when things go well, and just as much blame when they don’t. But there is almost no quantitative research that addresses the impact of superintendents on student learning outcomes. “School Superintendents: Vital or Irrelevant?” provides some of the first empirical evidence on the topic.

In this report, the authors examine the extent to which school district effects on student learning are due to the superintendent in charge, as compared to characteristics of districts that are independent of their leaders. Analyzing student-level data from the states of Florida and North Carolina for the school years 2000-01 to 2009-10, the authors find that:
1.School district superintendent is largely a short-term job. The typical superintendent has been in the job for three to four years.
2.Student achievement does not improve with longevity of superintendent service within their districts.
3.Hiring a new superintendent is not associated with higher student achievement.
4.Superintendents account for a very small fraction (0.3 percent) of student differences in achievement. This effect, while statistically significant, is orders of magnitude smaller than that associated with any other major component of the education system, including: measured and unmeasured student characteristics; teachers; schools; and districts.
5.Individual superintendents who have an exceptional impact on student achievement cannot be reliably identified.
Ultimately, the authors conclude that when district academic achievement improves or deteriorates, the superintendent is likely to be playing a part in an ensemble performance in which the superintendent’s role could be filled successfully by many others. In the end, it is the system that promotes or hinders student achievement. Superintendents are largely indistinguishable.
Download
http://www.brookings.edu/research/reports/2014/09/03-superintendents-chingos-whitehurst

Here are the comments from the National Association of School Boards:

NSBA Comments on Brookings Report on Superintendents’ Impact on Student Achievement
September 3, 2014
Alexandria, Va. (Sept. 3, 2014) – Whether school superintendents are “vital or irrelevant” is the focus of a newly issued report by the Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings. The premise of the report is that it fills the gap in the paucity of available data on the impact of superintendents on student achievement.
Extant research suggests that effective partnership between the school board and the superintendent is critical.
The report relies on a review of student-level administrative data from the states of Florida and North Carolina. The data shared reflect every student in grades 3-8 in North Carolina and 3-10 in Florida who participated in state assessments of reading and mathematics from 2000-01 to 2009-10.
Key findings of the report underscore the report conclusion that by and large, it is the system that promotes or hinders student achievement:
• A majority of superintendents have been on the job only a short time, on average three to four years;
• Longevity of superintendent service within districts does not improve student achievement;
• The simple act of hiring a new superintendent does not translate to higher student achievement;
• As compared to other major components of the education system, such as student characteristics, teachers, schools, and districts, superintendents account for only a small percent of student differences in achievement; and
• Individual superintendents who had an “exceptional impact” on student achievement could not be reliably identified.
The report raises the key question of whether district-level effects are attributable to district characteristics that include, but are not limited to, the make-up and reform orientation of the school board.
“What empowers student achievement is strategic partnership between the governing body, school boards, and the chief school administrator, the superintendent,” said National School Boards Association (NSBA) Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “What is left unsaid in the Brookings report is that such partnership is central toward effective collaboration with principals, teachers, and parents.”
NSBA’s Center for Public Education report “Eight characteristics of effective school boards” found that effective school boards lead as a united team with the superintendent, each from their respective roles, with strong collaboration and mutual trust. In successful districts, boards defined an initial vision for the district and sought a superintendent who matched this vision. In contrast, in stagnant districts, boards were slow to define a vision and often recruited a superintendent with his or her own ideas and platform, leading the board and superintendent to not be in alignment.
# # #
The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is the leading advocate for public education and supports equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership. NSBA represents state school board associations and their more than 90,000 local school board members throughout the U.S. Learn more at: http://www.nsba.org.
Brookings report http://www.brookings.edu/research/reports/2014/09/03-superintendents-chingos-whitehurst
Center for Public Education report http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/Main-Menu/Public-education/Eight-characteristics-of-effective-school-boards/Eight-characteristics-of-effective-school-boards.html
– See more at: NSBA Comments on Brookings Report on Superintendents’ Impact on Student Achievement | National School Boards Association

Strong leadership at the individual school level is essential for successful schools. Strong leadership requires not only accountability, but authority.

Related:

Study: Superintendents leave jobs in large school districts within three years http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/study-superintendents-leave-jobs-in-large-school-districts-within-three-years/

Are rules which limit choice hampering principal effectiveness?
https://drwilda.com/2012/04/08/are-rules-which-limit-choice-hampering-principal-effectiveness/

New research: School principal effectiveness
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/new-research-school-principal-effectiveness/

Are rules which limit choice hampering principal effectiveness?
https://drwilda.com/2012/04/08/are-rules-which-limit-choice-hampering-principal-effectiveness/

Study: There is lack of information about principal evaluation
https://drwilda.com/2013/02/06/study-there-is-lack-of-information-about-principal-evaluation/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

Education Week/Gallup Poll: How superintendents view their jobs

10 Jul

Moi wrote about school superintendents in Life expectancy of a superintendent: A lot of bullets and little glory:
Just about anyone in education has a tough job these days, from the building staff to the superintendent. There is pressure to perform in an environment of declining resources. Lately, the job of superintendent of large urban school districts has been characterized by turnover. Thomas E. Glass in The History of the Urban Superintendent writes:

The twenty-first century finds one-third of America’s public school children attending one of ten large urban (large-city) school districts. By 2020 approximately one-half of public school enrollment will be clustered in twenty districts. The educational stewardship of a majority of the nations youth rests uncomfortably on the shoulders of a very few large-city school superintendents. Their success and the success of their districts may very well determine the future of American democracy.
Urban districts are typically considered to be those located in the inner core of metropolitan areas having enrollments of more than 25,000 students. The research and literature about large-city school districts portray conditions of poverty, chronic academic underachievement, dropouts, crime, unstable school boards, reform policy churn, and high superintendent turnover.
The typical tenure of a superintendent in the largest large-city districts is two to three years. This brief tenure makes it unlikely a superintendent can develop and implement reform programs that can result in higher academic achievement–let alone re-build crumbling schools buildings, secure private sector assistance, and build a working relationship with the city’s political structure.
The large-city superintendency is a position defined by high expectations, intense stress, inadequate resources, and often a highly unstable politicized board of education.
Read more: Superintendent of Large-City School Systems – History of the Urban Superintendent, The Profession, School Boards,
Characteristics of the Large-City Superintendent http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2470/Superintendent-Large-City-School-Systems.html#ixzz0p6HySmU0

See, District Administration’s article, Superintendent Staying Power http://www.districtadministration.com/article/superintendent-staying-power
https://drwilda.com/2011/12/16/life-expectancy-of-a-superintendent-a-lot-of-bullets-and-little-glory/
The editors of Education Week have released the results of a survey about superintendent’s views in the article, Gallup-EdWeek Poll: What Superintendents Really Think:

While many of the nation’s superintendents are optimistic about the potential of the common-core standards and new technology to improve what goes on in classrooms, a healthy percentage are also skeptical about such developments, according to results from the first Gallup-Education Week Superintendents Panel survey.
The Washington-based Gallup organization teamed up with Education Week last year to develop what is envisioned as a four-times-a-year survey.

For this inaugural round, the Gallup pollsters conducted online surveys of more than 12,000 district superintendents around the country between March and April of this year. The 2,586 superintendents who responded are not a nationally representative mix; most lead districts serving between 200 and 500 students. (See Key Findings or Download Entire Survey)
The results show that more than half the respondents—58 percent—believe that the new Common Core State Standards adopted by most states will improve the quality of education in their communities; 75 percent say the shared standards will provide more consistency in educational quality from district to district and state to state.
But 30 percent predict the standards will have no effect on schooling.
And, though the standards were not developed through a federal initiative, many district leaders say more help is needed from the federal government to help with their implementation. Just 2 percent strongly agree that the federal level of support has been adequate.
In the area of technology, the superintendents are slightly more lukewarm. More than four in 10 (44 percent) say the use of technology in the classroom increases student engagement. Fewer—33 percent—strongly agree that “a good teacher who uses advanced technology to teach creates a better student learning environment than a good teacher who does not use advanced technology to teach.”
The superintendents also flag principals’ professional development as a problem area. Just 17 percent agree that their districts have effective, ongoing professional-development programs for principals.
In the full report, the superintendents weigh in on their districts’ teacher-evaluation practices, college-admissions testing, their students’ readiness for college and work, and the challenges their districts face in the coming school year.
The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 1.9 percentage points, according to Gallup….http://www.edweek.org/ew/section/infographics/gallup-edweek-superintendents-survey.html?cmp=clp-edweek&intc=es

See, Infograph:

District Superintendents Split on Common Core

School Principals have been surveyed as well.

Moi posted in Ya think? Met Life Teacher survey reports principals are very dissatisfied:
Liana Heiten reports in the Education Week article, Survey Finds Rising Job Frustration Among Principals:

The 29th annual MetLife Survey of the American Teacher, based on telephone interviews with 1,000 K-12 public school teachers and 500 principals, tells a story of enduring budget problems in schools and declining morale among both teachers and school leaders. (The MetLife Foundation provides funding to Education Week Teacher to support its capacity to engage teachers interactively in professional community.)
According to the survey, conducted for MetLife Inc. by Harris Interactive, the majority of principals say school leadership responsibilities have changed significantly over the last five years. Nearly half of principals surveyed indicated that they “feel under great stress several days a week.” And job satisfaction among principals has decreased notably, from 68 percent indicating they were “very satisfied” in 2008 to 59 percent saying so in this year’s survey.
While weighted to key demographic variables to reflect a national sample, the survey does not have an estimated sampling error.
When asked about the main obstacles they face, 83 percent of school leaders rate “addressing individual student needs” as “challenging” or “very challenging.” Seventy-eight percent rate managing the budget and resources as challenging or very challenging—an unsurprising figure given that more than half of principals also report their school’s budget decreased in the last year, and 35 percent say it remained flat.
“I’ve always said the worst time to be a principal is during a tight budget time, and this survey holds that up,” Mel Riddile, associate director of high school services for the National Association of Secondary School Principals, said during a MetLife-hosted webinar for reporters on Feb. 20.
Principals were also likely to point to parent engagement and implementing the Common Core State Standards as significant challenges. Evaluating teacher effectiveness ranked lower on the list, with 53 percent of principals indicating it is a challenge.
Lack of Control
The survey finds that many principals view key challenges facing their schools as being outside of their control. For example, only 22 percent of principals say they have “a great deal of control in making decisions about finances.”
Steven Tozer, coordinator of the urban education leadership program at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said in an interview that, given that “as much as 80 percent of a [district] budget is dedicated to personnel, there are precious little dollars known as discretionary. I’m actually surprised that figure is as high as it is.”
According the MetLife Survey, only 43 percent of principals say they have control when it comes to removing teachers, while 42 percent say they have control over curriculum and instruction. More than three-fourths of principals, however, do acknowledge having control over teacher hiring and schedules.
Even as they report a lack of control over key factors, principals report feeling a great sense of responsibility for day-to-day goings on in their buildings: Nine in 10 principals indicate that “the principal should be held accountable for everything that happens to the children in his or her school.”http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/02/21/22leaders.h32.html?tkn=OZOF%2FQlsgyUvU1qnrghHPbe7nzGWFJL%2FotmQ&cmp=clp-edweek

Citation:

MetLife Survey of the American Teacher Overview
The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher, conducted annually since 1984 by Harris Interactive, shares the voices of teachers and others close to the classroom with educators, policy makers and the public. The Survey findings also inform MetLife Foundation’s support for education.
New Survey
The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Challenges for School Leadership examines the views of teachers and principals on the responsibilities and challenges facing school leaders, including the changing roles of principals and teachers, budget and resources, professional satisfaction, and implementation of the Common Core State Standards for college and career readiness (2012).
Previous Surveys
The entire MetLife Survey of the American Teacher series is now available online at the ERIC (Education Resources Information Center) website: http://eric.ed.gov. ERIC document (ED)      https://www.metlife.com/metlife-foundation/what-we-do/student-achievement/survey-american-teacher.html?WT.mc_id=vu1101
Here are the major findings of the 2013 survey: https://www.metlife.com/assets/cao/foundation/MetLife-Teacher-Survey-2012.pdf

https://drwilda.com/2013/02/21/ya-think-met-life-teacher-survey-reports-principals-are-very-dissatisfied/
Strong leadership is essential for struggling schools. Strong leadership requires not only accountability, but authority.

Related:
Study: Superintendents leave jobs in large school districts within three years http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/study-superintendents-leave-jobs-in-large-school-districts-within-three-years/
Are rules which limit choice hampering principal effectiveness? https://drwilda.com/2012/04/08/are-rules-which-limit-choice-hampering-principal-effectiveness/

Where information leads to Hope. ©  Dr. Wilda.com
Dr. Wilda says this about that ©
Blogs by Dr. Wilda:
COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                         http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/
Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                       http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/
Dr. Wilda ©                                               https://drwilda.com/

Providence Rhode Island School District uses badges to teach ‘real world’ skills

18 Feb

Moi discussed the concept of badges or certificates as evidence of skill mastery in Do online badges give a more realistic appraisal than grades? https://drwilda.com/2012/10/21/do-online-badges-give-a-more-realistic-appraisal-than-grades/ In Borrowing from work: Schools teach career mapping, moi said:

One of the goals of education is to give the student sufficient basic skills to be able to leave school and be able to function at a job or correctly assess their training needs. One of the criticisms of the current education system is that it does not adequately prepare children for work or for a career. Caralee J. Adams has written the informative Education Week article, Career Mapping Eyed to Prepare Students for College.

Secondary schools are becoming more intentional about helping students discover their career interests and map out a plan to achieve them.

About half of all states mandate that schools help create individual or student learning plans, and most others have optional programs. Enabling students to make their own plans puts them in the driver’s seat and encourages a long-term look at their course selection so their choices match their career goals, experts say. Often, districts give students online accounts with passwords to track classes; create an electronic portfolio of grades, test scores, and work; research careers; and organize their college search.

The practice is picking up momentum with the increased emphasis on college completion, which research shows is more likely when students take rigorous courses and have a career goal.

But these career maps take an investment in technology and training. Finding time during the school day can be a challenge, and the job of overseeing the process often falls on already stretched counselors, according to researchers and program administrators. In some states, the plans have helped students understand the relevance of what they are learning, prompting higher enrollment in Advanced Placement courses and increased high school graduation rates. Others, meanwhile, have not yet experienced the same payback on their investment. As with many education programs, the rollout is left up to districts, creating a patchwork of approaches throughout the country. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/03/23/26career.h31.html?tkn=QMVF6DJ6PI1ypU%2BQAeBMIEDQiw8t7GPZUByG&intc=es

Career Mapping” has been a concept in human resources for awhile. https://drwilda.com/2012/03/24/borrowing-from-work-schools-teach-career-mapping/

Nora Flemming reports in the Education Week article, R.I. Students Gaining ‘Badges,’ Credits Outside School:

Many schools encourage students to get real-world experience outside school walls. But very few offer course credit and digital “badges”—virtual records of skills and achievements—for those experiences.

Now, the Providence, R.I., school district is in the middle of an initiative that appears to be breaking new ground in giving academic credit and recognizing skills and achievements out of school.

A collaborative project between a nonprofit organization, the Providence After School Alliance, or PASA, and the 23,500-student Providence district is allowing students to engage in for-credit, badge-earning learning experiences outside school. Examples range from developing and pitching business plans to local venture capital firms to learning how to make Android phone applications at Brown University.

While Providence’s approach—to encourage connections between in- and out-of-school learning and get students more engaged in school—is gaining steam both at the state and district levels throughout the country. The district stands out as one of the first to bridge the two goals by having students receive badges and academic credit for out-of-school experiences….

Providence Programs

A Providence, R.I., school district initiative offers students the opportunity to gain credits and digital badges for activities outside school in the following programs:

ART AND DESIGN LAB
Students create, collaborate, present, and study works of art at the Rhode Island Museum of Art.

CVS BIOTECHNOLOGY CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
Students participate in science internships in the community to enrich the study of biotechnology, supported by CVS Pharmacy.

ECO YOUTH-GREEN DRIVE
Students learn about environmental issues, challenges, and policies with the Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island.

ENGLISH-LANGUAGE LEARNERS
Students improve English skills participating in hands-on language-skill exercises with a local organization, Inspiring Minds.

JSEC DEBATE TEAM
Students work on public speaking and debate skills in a debate league, assisted by college mentors from Brown University.

JUSTICE TALKS
Students participate in a discussion group on civic engagement and service with Serve Rhode Island, a community-service organization.

MULTIMEDIA
Students create articles, photos, and videos about their community and schools, while working with Inspiring Minds.

PHOTOGRAPHY, VISUALS, PERFORMANCE, COMMUNICATIONS
Students learn video-editing, photography, and Google-sketch skills in an arts education program called AS220.

PRINCIPALS’ LEADERSHIP PROGRAM
Students receive training from Young Voices, a youth-advocacy organization, on leadership and communication skills.

PROGRAMMING FOR ANDROID PHONES
Students learn how to create Android phone applications in a computer science program at Brown University.

ProviDance
Students participate in a dance-technique class with a local dance company, Fusionworks, including potential rehearsals with local dance companies.

ROCK & REEL
Students learn video production and editing skills at the Rhode Island Film Collaborative.

YOUNG SOCIAL INNOVATORS
Students work with Social Venture Partners of Rhode Island to develop business plans and pitch ideas to investors for seed funding.

WING IT: EVERYTHING CAN FLY ONCE
Students learn engineering skills while designing projects related to flight, at Brown University.

SOURCE: Providence After School Alliance

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/02/06/20credits.h32.html?tkn=LQNF5Ecnw35uUSHGU4vgwANa1ZyVWhLXizfY&cmp=clp-edweek&intc=es

Here is what the Providence After School Alliance, or PASA says about the badges:

Tracking Middle School Passions Through High School 

By the time AfterZone participants reach 8th grade, they’ve taken programs that allow them to learn about and explore everything from environmental science, to sports, to video game design, and much, much more. Some AfterZone youth explore multiple interests or take part in leadership opportunities, but many repeatedly take the same types of programs—expressing an interest in a specific learning pathway!

When AfterZone youth graduate 8th grade, their badge history can “unlock” access to things like first choice for high school-level ELOs, paid internships through the Hub, and more. A young person’s badge history also allows PASA and the Hub to personalize their high school ELO experience, introducing 8th grade students to high school ELO program providers they might be interested in based on their collection of badges.

Digital Badges Form Portfolio of Real World Skills

Until recently, it’s often been difficult to get recognition for skills and achievements gained outside of school. Digital badges provide a way for young people to get recognition for the skills and experiences they gain in PASA’s after-school and expanded learning programs (think a digital version of a Girl Scout badge), but also allow PASA to better see emerging passions, interests, and skills. At the high school level, badges act as public signifiers of the skills each student has acquired outside of the classroom.

Potential employers, community members, and even college admissions staff can go to a student’s online profile to see their portfolio of badges—linked to the work and projects done to achieve the badges—to get a holistic understanding of the student that goes beyond the classroom and beyond grades.

Imagine graduating high school with a dynamic portfolio of passions, projects, and skills that stretches all the way back to 6th grade, that connect you to future opportunities personalized to your experiences and interests!

PASA’s digital badge system recognizes, motivates, validates, and connects learning interests and achievements of youth beginning in 6th grade, creating a seamless system of learning pathways that usher youth through middle school, high school, and onward to college, career and life.

PASA’s digital badge initiative is supported through HASTAC/Macarthur and supported by Mozilla Open Badge initiative.

To learn more and to see it in action, go to www.hubprov.com.

Schools have to prepare students to think critically and communicate clearly, the label for the skill set is less important than the fact that students must acquire relevant knowledge.

Related:

Poor people and school choice: The Cristo Rey work/school model https://drwilda.com/2013/01/22/poor-people-and-school-choice-the-cristo-rey-work-schoolmodel/

Study: What skills are needed for ’21st-century learning?’https://drwilda.com/2012/07/11/study-what-skills-are-needed-for-21st-century-learning/

Critical thinking is an essential trait of an educated personhttps://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/critical-thinking-is-an-essential-trait-of-an-educated-person/

Borrowing from work: Schools teach career mapping https://drwilda.com/2012/03/24/borrowing-from-work-schools-teach-career-mapping/

Where information leads to Hope. ©                 Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                         http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                                http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                        https://drwilda.com/

Study: Superintendents leave jobs in large school districts within three years

4 Dec

Moi wrote about school superintendents in Life expectancy of a superintendent: A lot of bullets and little glory:

Just about anyone in education has a tough job these days, from the building staff to the superintendent. There is pressure to perform in an environment of declining resources. Lately, the job of superintendent of large urban school districts has been characterized by turnover. Thomas E. Glass in The History of the Urban Superintendent writes:

The twenty-first century finds one-third of America’s public school children attending one of ten large urban (large-city) school districts. By 2020 approximately one-half of public school enrollment will be clustered in twenty districts. The educational stewardship of a majority of the nations youth rests uncomfortably on the shoulders of a very few large-city school superintendents. Their success and the success of their districts may very well determine the future of American democracy.

Urban districts are typically considered to be those located in the inner core of metropolitan areas having enrollments of more than 25,000 students. The research and literature about large-city school districts portray conditions of poverty, chronic academic underachievement, dropouts, crime, unstable school boards, reform policy churn, and high superintendent turnover.

The typical tenure of a superintendent in the largest large-city districts is two to three years. This brief tenure makes it unlikely a superintendent can develop and implement reform programs that can result in higher academic achievement–let alone re-build crumbling schools buildings, secure private sector assistance, and build a working relationship with the city’s political structure.

The large-city superintendency is a position defined by high expectations, intense stress, inadequate resources, and often a highly unstable politicized board of education.
Read more: Superintendent of Large-City School Systems – History of the Urban Superintendent, The Profession, School Boards,

Characteristics of the Large-City Superintendent http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2470/Superintendent-Large-City-School-Systems.html#ixzz0p6HySmU0

See, District Administration’s article, Superintendent Staying Power http://www.districtadministration.com/article/superintendent-staying-power

The National Council of Professors of Educational Administration has an excellent module, Factors Impacting Superintendent Turnover: Lessons from the Field

Superintendent and School Board Relationships

While instructional leadership is integral to the role of superintendent, the increasingly complex political aspects of the job must be handled as well (Education Writers Association, n.d.; Hoyle et al., 2005). Superintendent relationships with school boards were found to be a decisive element of superintendent tenure (Education Writers Association, n.d.). Often, conflict with the school board is cited as a common reason for superintendents leaving a district and hence their attrition (Rausch, 2001). Allen (1998) observed that superintendents listed the relationship with the board as a second reason for involuntary non-extension of a contract, while board members listed relationships with the superintendent as the major cause…

Superintendent Pressures on Multiple Fronts

Most superintendents agree that current issues schools face are similar to those confronted in years past, but not in size or complexity (Orr, 2002). In today’s American public schools, superintendents must guide challenging, dynamic education systems, while appropriately responding to social and political pressures (Rohland, 2002). In addition, Rohland speculated that the high standards and people-intensive nature of school districts are primary reasons the job of superintendent is so demanding. Similar to other professions, ascension on the career ladder in education is associated with increased exposure to criticism (Jazzar & Kimball, 2004). Fullan (1998) opined that due to the complex nature of executive leadership itself, there will always be dissatisfaction among constituents with respect to the leader’s performance. If the number of teachers were multiplied times the number of students, parents, and community members, the possibilities for conflict and outside pressures are endless (Parker, 1996). Success for the superintendent lies in gleaning wisdom from attacks and criticism, without being defeated in the process (Harvey, 2003).

Additional Factors Affecting the Superintendency

Time, one of the superintendent’s most valuable resources, can quickly be exhausted by special interest groups’ demands and community pressures (Glass et al., 2000; Harvey, 2003). According to the Colorado Association of School Executives, (CASE) (2003) the role of superintendent is labor intensive, often requiring 80 or more hours a week. Glass and colleagues (2000) found evidence to support the widely-held belief that the job of superintendent has become increasingly complex, with salary and benefits insufficient for the level of responsibility and accountability demanded. However, superintendents polled by Cooper and his colleagues (2000) have surmised that improved pay and benefits would possibly attract and retain more qualified individuals in the superintendent profession. In regard to superintendent self-perception of effectiveness, lack of fiscal resources was cited as a major reason for inhibiting superintendent effectiveness (CASE, 2003) and for explaining why superintendents are leaving the profession (Glass et al., 2000). In the AASA survey (Glass et al.), superintendents described efforts to obtain sufficient fiscal resources as a never-ending struggle. Too many insignificant demands from various stakeholders and compliance with increased state-mandated reforms was also provided by superintendents as a key factor in hindering superintendent effectiveness.Reports of low superintendent tenure, some as low as 2.5 years (Natkin et al., 2002), have contributed to negativity and a sense of crisis (Cooper et al., 2000) surrounding the superintendency. Nevertheless, existing research does not definitively identify specific factors contributing to superintendent tenure and turnover. The success or failure of various superintendents in the field is a subject that is unclear (Hoyle et al., 2005). Therefore, the purpose of this study is to determine factors or combination of factors contributing to length of tenure and rate of turnover among public school superintendents….http://cnx.org/content/m14507/latest/

https://drwilda.com/2011/12/16/life-expectancy-of-a-superintendent-a-lot-of-bullets-and-little-glory/

Education week has an article about a California study which examined superintendent turnover.

Sarah D. Sparks is reporting in the Education Week article, Study: More Churn at the Top in Large Districts:

Running one of the nation’s largest school districts typically comes with prestige and pay that draw would-be educational superstars, but also pressure and political complexity that cause them to burn out far faster than leaders of the majority of districts.

A study published in the December issue of the American Educational Research Journal finds in 90 percent of 100 California districts studied, 43 percent of superintendents left within three years—but 71 percent of superintendents left the largest 10 percent of districts, which include those of 29,000 or more students, during that time….

While superintendent turnover has not received as much focus from researchers or policymakers as teacher or principal turnover, stability at the central office has been linked to a greater likelihood of success for new education initiatives, which typically take five to seven years to mature.

One analysisRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader of more than 2,700 districts by the Denver-based Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning, or McREL, found that a one standard deviation improvement in the quality of a superintendent, as measured by researchers’ criteria, was associated with a 9.5 percentile-point gain on state tests for the average district, and that student achievement growth was linked to longer tenures of district leaders…

A dysfunctional school board topped the list of reasons superintendents moved, the California study found. While the researchers initially separated the board’s internal functioning from its relationship with the district’s chief executive, “it turns out the school boards who function well together … are also the ones who are working well with their superintendents,” Mr. Grissom said.

While the study did not find a link between low test-score growth and superintendent turnover, Mr. Domenech of the AASA said poor executive and school board relations can become a self-reinforcing cycle with turnover.

“A board will hire a superintendent, but then in a period of three to five years, that board turns over,” he said, “and that superintendent is not the one they hired and there isn’t the same loyalty.

“In districts where you see the superintendents come and go, in some cases every year, those are dysfunctional because there’s never the length and the tenure necessary to make changes that are sustainable,” said Mr. Domenech. A superintendent for nearly 30 years, he previously led districts in Fairfax County, Va., and Long Island, N.Y.

Hiring From Within

The power of continuity may help explain one hopeful finding in the study: Nearly three out of four leaders hired from within the district were still there three years later.

“The ones who are hired from within are not just a little more likely to stay; they’re a lot more likely to stay,” Mr. Grissom said. “That finding was pretty stark.”

That makes sense to Mr. Domenech, who said homegrown leaders often have local roots that keep them in place. And they are already familiar with a system that can take a year or more for a newcomer to learn, he said. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/12/05/13turnover_ep.h32.html?tkn=VRXFoE4GlUw8BQHXKO38gUmxP9%2FQJaCTOC6m&cmp=clp-edweek

Citation:

Why Superintendents Turn Over

  1. Jason A. Grissom and
  2. Stephanie Andersen

+ Author Affiliations

  1. Vanderbilt University
  2. Washington University in St. Louis
    Abstract

Although superintendent turnover can hinder district reform and improvement, research examining superintendent exits is scarce. This study identifies factors contributing to superintendent turnover in California by matching original superintendent and school board survey data with administrative data and information hand-collected from news sources on why superintendents left and where they went. Among 215 superintendents studied beginning in 2006, 45% exited within 3 years. Using a multinomial framework to separate retirements from other turnover, the authors find that factors such as how highly the school board rates its own functioning and the superintendent’s performance and whether the superintendent was hired internally strongly predict non-retirement exits 3 years later. Short-term district test score growth, however, is uncorrelated. Superintendents who move migrate away from rural districts toward larger, higher-paying districts in urban and suburban locations.

Published online before print October 10, 2012, doi: 10.3102/0002831212462622 Am Educ Res J December 2012 vol. 49 no. 6 1146-1180

  1. » AbstractFree

  2. Full Text

  3. Full Text (PDF)

No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings.

Peter Drucker

Resources:

Urban Superintendents, Characteristics and Tenure

Factors Impacting Superintendent Tenure

Superintendent Tenure

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