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

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
Law & Courts Webinar
Future of the First Amendment:Exploring Trends in High School Students’ Views of Free Speech
Learn how educators are navigating student free speech issues and addressing controversial topics like gender and race in the classroom.
Content provided by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
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
Student Well-Being Webinar
Start Strong With Solid SEL Implementation: Success Strategies for the New School Year
Join Satchel Pulse to learn why implementing a solid SEL program at the beginning of the year will deliver maximum impact to your students.
Content provided by Satchel Pulse
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.

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: June 8, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: June 1, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: May 11, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: April 27, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read