The School Administrator

Dec09 Cover

December 2009 Number 11 Vol. 66Leadership SuccessionThe strategic challenge of sustaining improvement over time


  • Leadership Succession and Sustainable Improvement


    Lasting gains rarely exist in education without stability in the leader ranks. It’s a strategic challenge that superintendents can address by distributing duties, networking across district lines and coaching administrative newcomers.

    Similar Reading: Additional resources

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  • Training for Succession


    In policy and practice, the school system in Mapleton, Colo., has committed to a positive, long-term institutional legacy by developing future leaders. The district has focused on recruiting the right people and growing the internal leadership pool.

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  • Administrator Succession Planning


    Waiting for a hero or heroine to walk in the door is unrealistic and naïve. Neither is is wise to grab whoever is available. Delaware is working with school districts to devise protocols for filling vacancies that fit real needs.

    Similar Reading: Sharon Brittingham: Succession in a fast-growing district

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  • High-Stakes Administrative Hiring


    The use of behavior-based questioning when interviewing for principal vacancies can lead to better informed personnel decisions.

    Similar Reading: April Peters: Nurturing nontraditionals in the principal pipeline and Sample interview questions

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  • The Laws of Resonant Leadership


    The complex nature of a school district demands a unique relationship between the superintendent and the board president. Forging a positive relationship requires a special kind of navigational skill. The author draws lessons for doing so from a 1972 book Interpersonal Relations and Education.

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    Steady and Steadfast in Idaho by Paul Riede

    Jerry Keane’s steady hand as superintendent in Post Falls, Idaho.

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    Guest Columns

    Measure What We Value, and Value What Learners Need by DAVID FLOWERS

    Aim high, says this superintendent in Kansas, to teach and measure what we know students need, not what is politically expedient or fiscally easiest to measure.

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    Ending the Silence: Bullying in the Curriculum by PATRICK K. FINNESSY

    Having been the victim of daily bullying as a teen, the author says policies that prohibit physical and social bullying, as well as the escalating trend of cyberbullying, need to be transformed into practice in schools. The consequences otherwise can be deadly.

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    Everything I Know I Learned Through Volleyball by DONNA PETERSON

    As a superintendent, the author’s favorite sports venue always was the volleyball court, and when she was snagged to serve as a line judge, the action translated directly into her job responsibilities.

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    Getting Curriculum Reform Right by THOMAS R. GUSKEY

    Why it’s time to embrace a common set of nationwide academic standards in math and language arts, at the minimum. This will enable educators and parents to clarify the expectations for student learning and assess performance more fairly.

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    The latest compilation of superintendent appointments and retirements. The Sidelight highlights the holiday season tradition of a superintendent who likes to don his Santa attire.

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    Board-Savvy Superintendent

    Influencing the Board on Your Evaluation by MICHAEL T. ADAMSON

    The all-too-common distrust of the board’s professional assessment stems from board members being unprepared for their role as evaluators. The director of school board services in Indiana outlines ways the superintendent can put value into the evaluation process.

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    Tech Leadership

    Hey. You, Don’t Get Off of This Cloud by JIM HIRSCH

    Forget the Rolling Stones. In education today you really want to get aboard the concept of cloud computing. Essentially it means you have a full array of connections, software and services available in a remote locale.

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    President's Corner

    Surfacing Your Inner Outlier by MARK T. BIELANG

    What we can learn about untapped potential from Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers and a keynote speaker at AASA’s upcoming national conference.

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    Executive Perspective

    Flying Finns in the Flat World by DANIEL A. DOMENECH

    Finland can be proud of its standing atop international assessments in education, but following a visit to the ethnically homogeneous country, AASA’s executive director opines, “The wonderful teachers of Finland would have to be retrained and fed tranquilizers to function effectively in the South Bronx.”

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    AASA School Solutions

    Uncovering Savings Through an Audit by CHRIS F. PATTERSON

    An auditing firm that works for clients, including school districts, to review invoices for billing errors from utilities and credit card processing.

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