By Sausner, Rebecca
District Administration , Vol. 39, No. 4
H-O-T. That's a fair description of the trend in trading superintendents for corporate-style CEOs. From San Diego to New York, non-traditional superintendents are being handed the helm with the idea that leading an education organization takes the knowledge and skills of an MBA.
"Traditional superintendents bring an enormous amount of talent, but there are other skills necessary in dealing with things like labor, facilities and managing human resources," says Melissa Bonney Ratcliff, spokeswoman for the Broad Center for Superintendents, which is at the forefront of the hot fashion with its year-old Urban Superintendents Academy.
The academy bills itself as "a rigorous executive leadership development program designed to prepare the next generation of public education CEOs." In February, it welcomed a second cohort, including 11 leaders from traditional education backgrounds and nine from outside education. Among them, a former member of the Miami Dolphins, a Navy Rear Admiral and a Goldman Sachs analyst.
The group will attend seven weekend-long training sessions on topics such as, "The CEO: Effective organizational leadership in education," and "Using management and instructional data for decision making," and have access to faculty members like Secretary of Education Rod Paige and Elliott Hall, a former senior vice president at Ford. …