ERIC Number: ED317357
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: N/A
Reflections on the Shared Superintendency: The Iowa Experience.
Decker, Robert H.; Talbot, Adrian P.
In the face of declining enrollments, many Iowa rural school districts have begun sharing superintendents. In 1988-89, 88 districts shared 44 superintendents; 42 of these participated in structured interviews for this study. All participants were male. Interviewees indicated that most school boards had undertaken the new arrangement because the Iowa Department of Education offered generous financial incentives for sharing practices or because their districts were considering interdistrict whole-grade sharing or some form of reorganization. Most superintendents reported: (1) large increases in paperwork; (2) significant salary increases; (3) maintenance of a firm work schedule; (4) the need to redefine the superintendent's role (generally toward "manager" and away from"instructional leader"); (5) increased school autonomy as building principals took on the instructional leadership role and some managerial tasks; (6) disorientation and the feeling of leading "a double life" professionally; and (7) efforts to increase management efficiency through local advisory committees or administrative assistants. Participants emphasized that the success of the arrangement depended on: (1) the importance of district compatibility; (2) realistic expectations by both school boards; and (3) the superintendent's prior experience in one of the districts. The most successful arrangements were between districts with a history of shared activities or with plans for future sharing, while the least successful arrangements were those based only on financial motives. Appendices contain the interview questions. (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Policymakers; Practitioners
Sponsor: Northern Iowa Univ., Cedar Falls.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iowa