Book Review

Accessing the Superintendency: The Unwritten Rules

Reviewed by Charles W. Rudiger,
Professor of Leadership and Technology,
Dowling College, Oakdale, N.Y.


Marilyn Tallerico, an administrator and researcher for more than three decades, has attempted, mostly successfully, to demystify the procedures by which administrators become superintendents in her book, Accessing the Superintendency: The Unwritten Rules, which was co-produced with AASA.

Tallerico has identified and codified the systemic regularities and processes that are often invisible to the public and an unknowing outside candidate.

Her work yields a valuable guidebook for school boards, current or prospective superintendents and those who train or teach them. Her major theme is this: access to the superintendency differs greatly from other subordinate situations. The mix of power holders and procedures, invisible selection criteria, the unstated protocols and gender, color and other biases affect a person’s ability to enter this vital leadership post.

Her compact and readable text is a composite, based on case study data.

(Accessing the Superintendency: The Unwritten Rules, by Marilyn Tallerico, Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, Calif., 1999, 174 pp. with index, softcover)