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ERIC Number: EJ921058
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0036-6439
Compression in the Superintendent Ranks
Saron, Bradford G.; Birchbauer, Louis J.
School Administrator, v68 n4 p20-22 Apr 2011
Sadly, the fiscal condition of school systems now not only is troublesome, but in some cases has surpassed all expectations for the worst-case scenario. Among the states, one common response is to drop funding for public education to inadequate levels, leading to permanent program cuts, school closures, staff layoffs, district dissolutions and consolidations. The financial despair has all stakeholders in a competitive mode of hyper-justification. Every program and employee is potentially on the chopping block. This leaves local school boards and school district leaders with the responsibility of figuring out what to eliminate and how to keep the schoolhouse doors open for children for another year. One unfortunate upshot of this destructive process has been a dilution in district-level leadership, as a result of the growing use of the part-time superintendent. The Small Schools Committee of the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators, in partnership with the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, completed a study of the part-time superintendency in Wisconsin. Statewide, 334 participants--rural superintendents and school board presidents--shared information to give a glimpse into the justification for what is sometimes referred to as the "compressed superintendency" and what outcomes are emerging from this governance model. According to the authors of this statewide study, the increasing use of part-time school district leaders as a cost-savings measure may be contributing to full-time fallout. This article concludes with implications of the compressed role being played by superintendents.
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: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin