ERIC Number: ED477785
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Apr
Rethinking the Urban School Superintendency: Nontraditional Leaders and New Models of Leadership.
Usdan, Michael D.; Cronin, Joseph M.
This paper discusses the 21st century urban school superintendency, noting new challenges for urban superintendents. Currently, schools are much larger, media coverage is extensive, racial minorities settle most often in the city, and cities cope with vast social problems. School boards have an enormous effect on the success or failure of superintendents. The composition of school boards in many cities has changed significantly. In most urban districts, school boards are more diverse and representative of changed demographics. The old corporate paradigm of school board service is no longer operable in most urban school systems. One of the advantages of the earlier trusteeship boards was their interlocking political and economic connection with the city's power structure. Efforts were made to reconnect schools with the aforementioned power brokers with mixed success. A new politics of education preempted traditional school leadership, with business and political leaders increasingly pushing for standards and accountability measures. A new leadership model evolved with stronger mayoral involvement and employment of noneducators as superintendents. Urban school superintendents were held responsible for improving education. Cities are now rethinking the urban superintendency. Strategies used to improve urban school governance include increasing mayoral involvement; altering the selection and composition of school boards; appointing nontraditional superintendents; increasing involvement of business leaders; and creating new teaming arrangements. (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 21-25, 2003).