Challenges for School Leaders

By Doug Eadie

Having written the first chapter of my newest book for Rowman and Littlefield, Building a High-Impact Board-Superintendent Strategic Governing Team, I was pondering how to obtain high-level practitioner input on the book’s key concepts before doing any more writing. I realized that state K-12 associations might be a great resource.

Rick Lewis, head of the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA), and Bruce Caughey, head of the Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE), agreed to host teleconferences with their member superintendents and board members to provide me with input.

The two teleconferences validated that there is a tremendous need for practical guidance on building the kind of close, positive, and productive board-superintendent partnerships that are critical for effective governing.

Participants in the teleconferences agreed that my first chapter was generally on point in outlining some of the most important factors that make governing K-12 systems a uniquely difficult challenge, and that, consequently, make a rock-solid school board-superintendent governing partnership even more critical.

By the way, a few participants in the teleconferences questioned my characterizing students as both the “customer” and the ultimate “product” of the K-12 educational process.

While I understand their concern about this unconventional and perhaps even provocative view of students, I think that this bifocal nature of K-12 students is one of the serious challenges that deserves mentioning in my first chapter. I welcome hearing from readers relative to this point and any other challenges they think I should add to the list, in addition to those described in the following excerpt. 

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