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District Leadership

"School Superintendents: Vital or Irrelevant?"

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Superintendents have very little influence on student achievement in their districts, a report suggests.

The Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution examined the role of superintendents in Florida and North Carolina, using student-level administrative data from the 2000-01 to 2009-10 school years.

The study found that hiring a new superintendent has little or no meaningful impact on student achievement, nor is there any association with superintendent turnover and improvements in student test scores.

It analyzed a decade's worth of 4th and 5th grade mathematics test scores in North Carolina, and found that superintendents accounted for only 0.3 percent of student differences in achievement—a statistically significant but small effect.

Vol. 34, Issue 04, Page 5

Published in Print: September 17, 2014, as District Leadership
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