What Type of Superinendent Do You Need?

By Douglas B. Reeves

In the past few weeks, I’ve watched school board members attend to the details of sprinkler systems, report cards, crossing guards, painting contracts, homework policies, and cafeteria menus. Most board members are, after all, elected officials and these concerns are just part of the territory, just as members of Congress occasionally deal with the wayward Social Security check or other personal grievances of constituents.

However, there can’t be ambiguity about the most important job of school board members -- selecting and assessing the superintendent. Two recent studies make important additions to the literature on what great leaders do differently. Both offer board members some powerful insights as they interview and assess current and prospective superintendents.

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