GREAT SUPERINTENDENTS DEMONSTRATE CORE VALUES THAT PLACE STUDENTS AT THE CENTER OF THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM.
Great superintendents are critical components for strong school systems, but how do we know who makes a great superintendent? Rather than focusing on specific qualifications or characteristics of individuals, Stand for Children proposes that we focus on a superintendent’s values.
PROPOSED SUPERINTENDENT VALUES
Child-focused vision: The best interest of kids is first and foremost. Builds bridges: A great superintendent creates relationships between the central office and the school board as well as across a variety of community partners— even conflicting ones. Culturally competent: A great superintendent will understand the history of New Orleans and its educational system. Further, a great superintendent understands the socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds of students in the school system. Effective communication: Good superintendents make an effort to express the needs and accomplishments of the district. Fresh perspective: Strong superintendents are willing to bring a new perspective about cutting edge best practices in education that are relevant to New Orleans. Experience: The superintendent should have experience with different types of schools (traditional and charter schools). Good management: Strong superintendents support school leaders by providing them with the autonomy to make the best decisions for their schools while also holding them accountable. Strategic risk-taker: Strong superintendents are not afraid to take responsible risks. They understand how to work with many pieces of information to set goals that are challenging, and then they put the programs and resources in place to achieve those goals. Flexibility: The superintendent can manage the politics of the job by adapting to new board members, changes in funding, and changes in the school community— all while not sacrificing the district’s vision.
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