Superintendents and Administrators
Is a Superintendent Like a CEO?
Despite the high salaries paid to superintendents, there are some
who actually defend these salaries, claiming that a superintendent's job
somehow resembles that of a CEO in private business.
- "Should a Superintendent Be Paid Like a CEO?"
by Dave Ziffer. A classic!!
"Superintendents do not do anything even remotely akin to the primary
function of a CEO. Superintendents do not operate in a competitive environment.
They do not establish new markets for anything. They have no competition and so
do not have to steal others' market share. They do not have to employ military strategy,
or in fact any strategy at all, to win or hold market share. Actually, superintendents'
'markets' are pretty much handed to them on a platter by the state..."
- For another interesting view on whether superintendents operate
in any sense like corporate CEOs, see
"What Are Education CEOs Up To?"
by Paul T. Hill. Excerpts:
"We now know a few things about CEOs. Their job is to make their organizations
look good, however troubled and ineffective they might be. ...
Education CEOs are no exception. ...
They put a bright face on negative circumstances out of fear that
creating a crisis may lower public confidence or discourage potential successors. ...
But when pressed they tell a different story. ...
Superintendents also know that pressing for fundamental changes in
public schools might cost them their jobs. ...
Doing what is needed would require reallocating money and personnel
and looking outside the system for new ideas and people."
Qualifications for Administrators?
Some common questions:
- Your local superintendent probably isn't a Ph.D. but may be called "doctor" -- just what is an "Ed.D." anyway?
- Who is actually running your local schools?
- Do you have to be really smart to lead a school district?
For some answers, read these excerpts
from Martin Gross' book, A Conspiracy of Ignorance!
Hiring an Administrator
- We love this ad placed by the school board in Flossmoor, Illinois,
back in 2002:
Suburban Chicago elementary school district seeks Superintendent cut
from a different cloth to continue a District commitment to building a
traditional, rigorous academic program based on a teacher-centered
The mission of the Flossmoor elementary school district is to challenge
every student, without exception, to acquire a core of academic
knowledge, master basic skills, and pursue excellence in education.
The District's program is grounded in reliable and valid empirical
research and the District has declared itself a "fad-free" zone. More
information regarding District 161's instructional philosophy may be
found at our web site:
Our district is a diverse community with a history of high academic
standards and generous financial support. If you aspire to manage a
district where the "bottom line" is what works, not what is trendy,
please submit your expression of interest to the Illinois Association
of School Boards.
Ridgeview Classical, a public charter school in Ft. Collins, Colorado, searched for a new principal in 2008.
From an ad they placed, here's an excerpt that makes us wish we could send our kids there:
Our school principal leads the intellectual and moral development of our 700+ students,
oversees curriculum development, and hires and develops our outstanding faculty.
The successful candidate will possess, at minimum, a Master's degree in the liberal arts
or sciences (not education), embrace the ideals of classical education and character development,
and demonstrate mastery in teaching. Certification in K-12 public education
is neither required nor preferred. However, demonstrated institutional leadership and management skills,
particularly in an educational setting, are imperative. Other desired characteristics include the
ability to serve as a spokesperson for educational reform and an understanding
of learning disabilities.
Who's Who in Education, Crain's Chicago Business: a guide to the honchos at the Chicago CPS, and area universities.
Salaries and Pensions