ERIC Number: ED422644
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
The School District Superintendent: "Attention Must Be Paid."
Berg, Judith H.; Barnett, Bruce G.
Viewing the school principal as the most important component in reform is reasonable, but it raises the question of why empirical research on the superintendent's role in education reform is relatively thin. An overview of why this gap in research exists and ways in which the school superintendent influences school reform are discussed in this paper. It begins with the premise that systemic change within a school system generally rests in the superintendent's domain. The focus throughout the paper is on why there is such a noticeable absence of reflection upon, and empirical examination of, the chief education officer's role. The text explores the superintendent's role and how the original intent of the position--to manage increasingly complicated school districts--is currently challenged by arguments to decentralize authority and devolve responsibility. The conditions of the superintendency are outlined, with particular attention given to the difficulties inherent in the job and the need for these education leaders to deal with politics and the education of children, public disillusionment, incivility, and decentralization. The paper offers implications for future research and provides suggestions on which aspect of the superintendency should be investigated first. (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Diego, CA, April 1998).