Now in its Second Edition, The School Superintendent: Theory, Practice, and Cases provides reflective summaries, pertinent questions, and case studies at the end of each chapter to encourage the reader to engage in reflection by linking content with personal experiences. The text provides a comprehensive analysis of the evolution of the school district superintendent position and a blend of theory and practical knowledge pertaining to contemporary practice. 

Contemporary Challenges

Contemporary challenges

Key Facets of the Chapter

  • Heightened political action
  • Inadequate financial support for public education
  • Building mission and vision statements
  • Changing school district culture
  • Purported shortage of qualified superintendents
  • Underrepresentation of women and people of color

Being the chief executive officer of any organization is a difficult assignment and being a school superintendent is no exception. Social, political, economic, and legal problems penetrate the schoolhouse, and when they do, administrators are expected to deal with them. Reflecting on the superintendent's responsibility to manage tensions surrounding these problems, Cuban (1985) aptly noted that conflict had become the DNA of this position.

Perceived and actual difficulties identified by practitioners reflect a mix of personal and contextual variables (Blumberg, 1985; Kowalski, 1995). Individual characteristics such as personality, health, ...

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