Table of Contents: New Superintendent's E-Journal

April 2015

In this issue:

Communicating Student Achievement in a Time of Change: Assessment Can Help
Jean Fleming
As 2015 begins, most states have more rigorous academic standards in place. This means expectations of what students should know and be able to do have increased, and teachers have, in some cases, been teaching to the new standards for several years. This year, as state accountability systems are in flux, some districts will transition to new assessments such as Smarter Balanced or Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).   

Creating Conditions for Success for New Teachers
John Gratto
Last summer I went on a cross-country bicycle trip from Seattle to Washington, D.C.  Throughout the course of the 3300 mile trip, a fundraiser for the American Lung Association, I saw lots of beautiful scenery, pushed myself physically, and spent hours talking to my fellow riders.  One of the riders that I spent a lot of time talking with was a young man named “Luke”. Having recently graduated from a fine university, he was bright, articulate, thoughtful, and excited about starting his first job as a teacher when he returned from the trip. When he learned that I was a retired superintendent of schools and now a professor in an educational leadership program, he peppered me with questions about schools, students, and teaching. He had been selected from a large number of applicants, felt that his teacher-education program had prepared him well, saw teaching as a noble profession, genuinely wanted to make a difference in the lives of students, and had a sincere desire to become an excellent teacher.

Lifelong Learning: Reflections on the AASA National Superintendent Certification Program
Deena M. Paramo
While the title of the present article is simple words commonly used as cliché in our field, they do ring true for administrators in many ways. It is we, administrators, whom must keep abreast of all the many changing facets in education from teaching and learning to budgets and finance---not to mention the most spoken about topic at the latest superintendent meeting…unfunded mandates. It is true we are all in the school business.  As superintendents it seems we have never left the “business.”  At age five most of us began our journey in public education as kindergarteners, and we are currently still engaged with public education (age reference purposefully left out).

Superintendent Discourse: Considering The Perfect School Board Member
  Brian  Sheehan
While relations with school board members are regularly on the list of disincentives for those considering a career in district leadership, a majority of superintendents continue to rate their relationships with their school board members as positive.  Few would argue, however, the urgent need for superintendents and school board members to better understand each other in order to improve aspects of their personal and working relationships.

With questions contact Bob McCord, editor.