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ERIC Number: EJ842204
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0036-6439
Critical Elements of an Academic Culture
Sanders, W. L.; Williams, Jeff; Hatch, Roblyn
School Administrator, v66 n4 p26-29 Apr 2009
In fall of 2003, W. L. Sanders became superintendent in Farmington, Missouri, a 3,700-student district located 70 miles south of St. Louis, after eight years as a superintendent in Texas. Upon arrival, he discovered the Farmington School District had a solid foundation built on competent administration, talented teachers and a supportive board of education and community. However, due to looming, more strenuous state and federal accountability requirements and anticipated demands from the 21st-century job market, the Farmington school board asked the new superintendent to project extraordinary standards, especially for academic achievement, and to hold all parties to lofty expectations. To develop key elements of an academic culture in Missouri, the superintendent relied on past experiences with the Texas accountability system, proven practices, and relevant research. During the first two years of the seven-year plan, the superintendent's preferences dominated the new direction. In the later years, ever-increasing decentralized leadership evolved to meet the changing educational needs. When initially addressing the academic culture, it was decided that two existing district initiatives should be retained and strengthened: a focus on literacy and the concept of parents as teachers. Both initiatives became a part of the foundation for future academic successes. To promote the change agenda, the board of education publicized the superintendent's three goals: academic excellence, fiscal responsibility and safety.
American Association of School Administrators. 801 North Quincy Street Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22203-1730. Tel: 703-528-0700; Fax: 703-841-1543; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Missouri