State of the Superintendency                        Page 6


Hesitancy About the Job


Potential candidates hesitate to apply for their first superintendency for several reasons. Foremost among them are the job’s broad scope and their own school-age children.

With three- to five-year contracts typical and given the job’s tremendous pressures, the superintendency lacks the security of tenure that potential candidates have in other positions where the scope of the work is limited. In a study of New York state superintendents, gender differences in terms of hesitancy have narrowed considerably since 2009, when females ranked job security 16 percent higher than men.

Loss of job security was a more important consideration for female candidates, while cost of living and spousal considerations were more significant hesitancy factors for males.

As superintendents are younger at the time of appointment, having young children at home has grown as a hesitancy factor.

Source of Data: “Snapshot of the Superintendency” (2012) produced by the New York State Council of School Superintendents. Analysis by Edward Fale, Robert Ike and Marilyn Terranova, lead study authors.


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