Leadership Symposium Early Bird Deadline Approaching | Join K-12 leaders nationwide for three days of empowering strategies, networking, and inspiration! Discounted pricing ends March 1. Register today.
Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

Assistant Superintendents: No Need for Own Group

October 05, 2009 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

As assistant superintendents, we were surprised to read in David Leach’s online Commentary “The Assistant Superintendent’s Dilemma” (Sept. 23, 2009) his suggestion that an association devoted solely to assistant superintendents be created.

The American Association of School Administrators is actively engaged in meeting the needs of assistant superintendents nationwide. While in the past the AASA was known as an organization strictly for superintendents, today it provides programs and services for senior-level school administrators, cabinet members, and aspiring school system leaders.

Since joining the AASA, we have been involved in webinars, think-tank networks linking superintendents and assistant superintendents across our region, conferences, and various other professional-development opportunities. The organization’s news and business briefs provide timely information and perspectives that expand our thinking. The AASA also offers information on career opportunities and access to executive consultants for training and professional-development purposes.

Mr. Leach is correct, however, when he says that the pipeline to the superintendency is shrinking. The AASA’s “2007 State of the Superintendency Survey: Aspiring to the Superintendency” study found that there are not enough candidates to fill a looming surfeit of job openings. It also showed that the biggest disincentives for those considering the superintendency as a career are a lack of funding for the school system, personal family sacrifices, and school board relations. Witnessing these challenges up close, and watching the rapid turnover of superintendents nationwide, may have more to do with their joining or not joining the superintendent pool than any lack of professional development.

The AASA has been responsive to our needs, and is working to expand the superintendent pipeline, from creating programs and networks for mentoring and coaching, to identifying and encouraging all candidates—including assistant superintendents—so that the country maintains a high-quality pool of school leaders.

Betsy Fenske

Assistant Superintendent Cluster V

Fairfax County Public Schools

Kim Dockery

Assistant Superintendent

Department of Special Services

Fairfax County Public Schools

Falls Church, Va.

A version of this article appeared in the October 07, 2009 edition of Education Week as Assistant Superintendents: No Need for Own Group

Events

Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Science of Reading: Emphasis on Language Comprehension
Dive into language comprehension through a breakdown of the Science of Reading with an interactive demonstration.
Content provided by Be GLAD
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: February 7, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 31, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education In Their Own Words The Stories That Stuck With Us, 2023 Edition
Our newsroom selected five stories as among the highlights of our work. Here's why.
4 min read
102523 IMSE Reading BS
Adria Malcolm for Education Week