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ERIC Number: ED498845
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jun
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 8
Urban School Superintendents: Characteristics, Tenure, and Salary. Fifth Survey and Report. Urban Indicator v8 n1
Council of the Great City Schools
Urban school superintendents hold one of the most important and challenging jobs in America's education system. The Council of the Great City Schools (GCS) represents the majority of large urban school districts in the country. Though there are approximately 17 thousand school districts in the country, the Council's 65 districts serve approximately 7.4 million of America's 48.3 million K-12 students (15 percent), and some 30 percent of the nation's students of color, low-income, and English language learners. With vast numbers of students, including the nation's most vulnerable children, urban superintendents face a set of challenges that are systemically different from those in the rest of the nation's school districts. In this era of accountability and standards, superintendents are expected to make visible and rapid improvements in student achievement. As a result of the increased availability of achievement data to the public, superintendents are under more public scrutiny than ever: parents and teachers are able to closely monitor district progress. Urban district superintendents also face a variety of challenges that are often unrelated to teaching and learning: many report that political pressures and internal conflicts may be difficult to manage and detract from the time that could be spent working on improving student achievement. Superintendents are cognizant of being held uniquely accountable for meeting student achievement goals in their districts. Given this backdrop and the historically short tenures of most urban school superintendents, the Council of the Great City Schools has surveyed its member districts approximately every two years since 1997. This fifth report on urban superintendents, presents the results of the Council's 2006 survey. Results from past surveys are included for comparison. Several patterns, trends, and relationships relating to employment and demographics have emerged through the course of analysis. The demographics of urban superintendents have become more diverse. Tenure of CS superintendents has gradually increased: CS superintendents are staying in their districts for longer periods of time, although the length of tenure of the CS superintendents does not appear to be directly related to salary. Overall, salaries have been steadily rising since 1999. Superintendent salary does not appear to vary with tenure, but there does appear to be a relationship between superintendent salary and district enrollment: superintendents in larger districts tend to earn more money, suggesting that salary rewards for big-city superintendents vary according to the level of responsibility and magnitude of the job. (Contains 2 footnotes and 11 figures.) [For previous report, see ED441073.]
Council of the Great City Schools. 1301 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Suite 702, Washington, DC 20004. Tel: 202-393-2427; Fax: 202-393-2400; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council of the Great City Schools, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: United States