The American School Superintendent: Leading in an Age of Pressure / Edition 1

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"[The American School SuperintAndent] is well-written. It includes the case studies and voices of those who know the job best. It provides a powerful treatise on the challenge of the job. But best of all, it gives one a sense of hope. Yes, those who stop reading partway through will wonder why anyone would want this job. But those who stay with the authors to the And will see that there are solutions to the problems and answers to the questions. Savvy leaders who can master the skills and attitudes necessary to navigate the perilous role of the superintAndency will be rewarded by success in fulfilling the most difficult—and potentially one of the most rewarding—jobs in American public life today."—From the foreword by Paul D. Houston. This in-depth look at the ever-mounting pressures on the American school superintAndent draws on interviews from across the country. The authors propose changes in the way the role of superintAndent is conceived and map out promising strategies for easing the burdens of the job. They also offer invaluable guidance from practitioners on working with boards, defusing crises, building community coalitions, and fostering school improvement and technological innovation to meet the needs of the future.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"If every school board member and every superintAndent read The American SuperintAndent, we'd be a long way toward building the team structure we need to guide American schools." —Anne L. Bryant, executive director, National School Boards Association

"While acknowledging the difficult genesis and turbulent, current condition of the American school superintAndency, Carter and Cunningham refuse to accept the victim status so easily thrust upon those in positions of public leadership. Instead they offer a detailed road map for the type of visionary leadership needed to transform our nation's public schools. Thanks for the addition to my course material." —Robert S. Peterkin, director, Urban SuperintAndents Program, and Francis Keppel Senior Lecturer on Educational Policy and Administration, Harvard University

"In this rich resource for aspirants to the superintAndency, Carter and Cunningham deftly mix reform ideas, research literature, and the wisdom of leading practitioners. Engaging and profitable reading for school board members and the public, who could use the book's lessons to develop coherent expectations for the job." —Arthur E. Wise, president, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

"This is one of those rare books on the superintAndency that breathes life and passion into the leadership role through the voices of practicing superintAndents. It portrays both the complexity and opportunity inherent in the superintAndency through a comprehensive examination of both historical and current issues in practice. You cannot put this book down!" —Paula M. Short, president, University Council of Educational Administrators, and department chair, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, University of Missouri-Columbia

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787907990
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/12/1997
  • Series: The Jossey-Bass Education Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.22 (w) x 9.33 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

GENE R. CARTER is executive director of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). He is also a former school superintAndent and has won numerous awards in leadership. WILLIAM G. CUNNINGHAM is professor of educational leadership at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, and is a national consultant in educational leadership and innovation.

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Table of Contents


Changing Conditions and Rising Expectations.

The SuperintAndent's Changing Role.


Negotiating Community Politics and Controversy.

Responding to Reform Goals and Mandates.

Doing More With Less—The Fiscal Crunch.

Resolving Conflicts With Boards.

Coping With Daily Crises.

The Personal and Professional Toll.


Building Community Alliances.

Developing District Capacity.

Motivating Systemic Change.


Creating Innovative Schools.

Harnessing the Benefits of Technology.

The SuperintAndency of the Future.

Vision and Responsibility for a Better America.

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