State of the Superintendency                   Page 6

CEO Impact on Superintendents

Noting that collaboration between business executives and superintendents was wide but not deep, a Harvard Business School monograph, “Partial Credit: How America’s School Superintendents See Business as a Partner,” identified positive findings regarding access.

Nearly two-thirds of 1,117 responding superintendents said they had access to business leaders to whom they could turn for advice and support. In urban districts, the figure was 84 percent.

However, in AASA’s decennial superintendency study in 2010, a related question yielded responses suggesting the level of influence exerted by business leaders on superintendents was the lowest among nine identified groups. In order of highest to lowest influence, the other eight groups were students, peer superintendents, parents, employee unions/organizations, community interest groups, state officials and local officials.

The apparent gap between access and influence may be explained by another finding in “Partial Credit.” When asked if business leaders in their communities were well-informed about public education, only 3 percent of the superintendents said yes. Just over half said the business leaders were only somewhat informed, and 14 percent said they were misinformed.

Source of Data: “Partial Credit: How America’s School Superintendents See Business as a Partner” (2014), Harvard Business School. Analysis by Theodore J. Kowalski, Kuntz Family endowed chair and professor of educational administration, University of Dayton

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