2005 Executive Educator Archive
Assessing School Leaders
When I was appointed to a vacant seat on my school board, I had visions of grandeur. In short, I walked into the job with the confidence voiced by the Spartan general Leonidas at Thermopylae: They have the numbers; we, the heights. Like Leonidas, my vision evaporated at the second board meeting, when I was required to assess the superintendent's performance.
What is the superintendent's primary role? Ask school board members, and most will say it is leadership. Few will cite management as the primary responsibility. We want our superintendents to be visionary leaders, but chances for reform are slim if they're not good managers, too.
Helping New Teachers and Principals
As all of us in the education community are painfully aware, the attrition rates of new teachers and principals are higher than those of any other profession—a sad trend considering most of these young educators enter the profession brimming with passion, optimism, and a desire to serve. Camden, N.J. is successfully tackling this issue by building an environment in which students excel, teachers inspire, and the community connects.
According to Plan
“Nail down what the board expects from you in the first year—and get it in writing.” That was the advice I was given when I became superintendent. But what the board said it wanted had little to do with the strategic plan that had been in place for six years. The solution was to transform the plan into a practical document that reflected both short-term goals and our vision for the future. Here’s the story of how we did it.
Little research has been published on the link between teacher morale and student achievement; the two major studies—one from the United States and one from Britain—were released decades ago. Common sense tells you, however, that supported and contented teachers will do a better job than their dissatisfied colleagues. Here are 10 things you can do to make your schools great places to work.
The Big Paycheck
The Executive Educator's Guide to superintendent salaries and compensation. Imagine this scenario: Your board is looking to hire a dynamic, accomplished superintendent to lead your district. But in trying to balance the demands of the marketplace with the expectations of your staff and community, you know it will be tough to meet the superintendent’s salary and compensation demands. Does this sound familiar? The answer is probably yes.