The American Superintendent 2020 Decennial Study | AASA Central
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The American Superintendent 2020 Decennial Study

Book Cover: The American Superintendent 2020 Decennial Study

Edited by Christopher H. Tienken - With PDK International and AASA

The 2020 AASA Decennial Study of the Superintendent is an extension of national decennial studies of the American school superintendent that began in 1923. The research was conducted in late 2019 and early 2020. The results are presented in various ways throughout the study, ranging from aggregate findings to two and three level crosstabs that disaggregate data by eight different enrollment categories. Just as findings from previous decennial studies suggested, the various job-related happenings of superintendents are not always homogeneous. They can be influenced by a multitude of factors such as district enrollment, demographic characteristics of the superintendents, and characteristics of the students and communities they serve.

About Author: Christopher H. Tienken is an associate professor at Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ in the College of Education and Human Services, Department of Education Leadership, Management, and Policy.


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Table of Contents:

  • List of Figures
  • List of Tables
  • Foreword
  • Preface: Executive Summary
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1: The Evolution of the American School Superintendent
  • Chapter 2: Design and Methods
  • Chapter 3: Superintendents and the Intersections of Race, Gender and District Composition
  • Chapter 4: Career Pathways of Superintendents
  • Chapter 5: The Current Work of the American Superintendent
  • Chapter 6: Professional Learning of the Superintendent
  • Chapter 7: Community Relationships
  • Chapter 8: Leading in Transition
  • About the Authors
Reviews:Kristi Wilson, EdD, Superintendent, Buckeye Elementary School District, Arizona wrote:

The American Superintendent 2020 Decennial Study is impressive in its scope and thoroughness. The study was conducted by a strong cadre of researchers and practitioners, making the results and conclusions both empirically strong and practically important. The findings highlight national trends in the American school superintendency. Promising results include diversity within the superintendency. The report is helpful in defining the way school systems leaders in America approach their day to day work and it defines the future needs and potential evolution of the position.

Kirk J. Miller, EdD, Executive Director, School Administrators of Montana, President, Association of State Executives wrote:

The 2020 study of the American Superintendent provides readers a deep dive into the top education post in public education. This version includes topics not previously examined in early studies. The focus on educational equity and superintendents' level of preparedness to lead discussion about race peels back the curtain on superintendents' perceptions of some of education's most pressing issues. Insights developed by the study will benefit aspiring, practicing and former superintendents as we continue to measure the influence of district leadership on the education of America's children. Thanks to AASA for this valuable contribution to the study of the Superintendency!

Chris Gaines, EdD, AASA past president; superintendent, Mehlville School District wrote:

The American Superintendent 2020 Decennial Study is a treasure trove of data. District leaders will find it invaluable in terms of being the most up to date picture of the superintendency. Education leadership faculty and students will find it a vital resource for better understanding one of most complex leadership jobs in the country. That complexity has been stretched by the pandemic. District, school, and classroom leaders have risen to the occasion. A big thank you to AASA for leading the effort to collect and present this important data.

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