Superintendency is a term that is widely used in the realm of public education

Superintendency is a term that is widely used in the realm of public education. The chief executive position (Superintendency), a centralized position in US public schools has been in existence since 1837. In large measure, historical events have defined an American system of public education framed by federal, state and local community expectations. How those are structured, funded and governed and how the superintendent’s roles are defined influences the trajectory of career patterns and issues faced (Björk, L, Kowalski, T ; Browne-Ferrigno, T, 2014). The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, public education is the responsibility of each state and not a power delegated to the federal government by the US Constitution. Consequently, the federal government’s influence over US schooling is limited to two weak policy approaches; providing funding for voluntary initiatives and passing laws that provide for the cutoff of federal funds to educational agencies and institutions that do not comply (Skrla, 2000). Superintendency was established mainly by schoolmasters, Protestants, and other men in 1837, but superintendency was initiated to serve a different purpose-coordinators. In order to conquer consistency in their particular district, superintendents had to ensure that everything was uniform: same education opportunities, curriculum, teacher certifications, and tax dollars.
The history of the superintendency suggests that the superintendent’s roles and responsibilities are defined by emerging social, economic and political conditions, which in turn establish performance expectations for schools and students that are aligned with perceived national needs and transformational efforts (Björk, L, Kowalski, T ; Browne-Ferrigno, T, 2014). For many years school boards and communities had defined the superintendency almost exclusively by the leader’s ability to manage fiscal, physical, and personnel resources; recently, though, the emphasis has shifted to vision, and the ideal of the current model superintendent is one who communicates strongly, build relationships, and demonstrate political acumen (Glass, 2005).
This position has a wide influence, however, is narrowly understood in terms of the position. There are very few studies that address the functions, responsibilities and what it takes to be successful as a superintendent. Consequently, with the many changes that have transpired over the last century, the role of the superintendent is constantly changing. The superintendency is a position that was created by local boards of education, which emerged in the twentieth century as a powerful centralized position within public K-12 school systems. The local school superintendent is deemed one of the most powerful individuals in the school district and most visible member of the community. The superintendent serves as CEO of the district and manages its day-to-day affairs. They are typically hired on multiple-year contracts (usually three years in length) and serve in two to three districts over an average career spanning16 years (Kowalski et al., 2010). Superintendents take on the daily task of financial and instructional oversight of school districts. On regular basis, superintendents face conditions on the job such as; struggle to acquire financial resources, community issues and to eliminate the achievement gap within the district. With current issues as aforementioned, superintendents spend tireless hours engaging in school improvement efforts.
During the 1960’s, the world of public education began to change rapidly. Mandates from district and federal court became more prevalent. One, in particular, the passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) (McLaughlin, 1975). This significant law impacted public education that involved a series of court cases which curtailed the schools’ role in loco parentis (in place of a parent) the standard. The position of superintendency is one that faces many criticisms and challenges more than ever before. It is also a position that requires many demands and provides very little job security. However, according to The American School Superintendent; AASA’s 2010 Decennial Study, regardless of race or gender, superintendents expressed a high level of job satisfaction with 97% expressing very satisfied or moderately satisfied with their position.
As CEO’s of school districts superintendents struggle to create coherence out of the numerous and sometimes incompatible goals that the public set for the schools and school district. Expected to improve the system, but lacking direct control over the classroom, “most district administrators have to create their own personal cause-effect models and rely on luck” (Cuban, 1998). Cuban asserts that superintendents must synthesize a solution for three conflicting roles; instructional, managerial, and political. As instructional leaders, they bear ultimate responsibility for improving student achievement. Superintendents are known as instructional leaders and communications, but Seinfeld discovered from the retirees that the communication is the main key to success. Student learning and achievement is important, but knowing how to communicate with all constituents is more important. The superintendent is responsible for ensuring that legislated mandates, policies and regulations are implemented properly and for providing oversight and support to local schools. Their duties thus include:
• advising the board of education on education and policy matters;
• making recommendations to the board regarding personnel hiring;
• ensuring compliance with directives of state and federal authorities;
• preparing district budgets for board review and adoption;
• leading long-range planning activities;
• providing oversight of instructional programs and student performance;
• determining the internal organizational structure of the district; and
• making recommendations regarding school building maintenance and new construction needs (Kowalski, 2006).
During the last two decades, the rise of a global economy heightened concern for the future well-being of the nation, fueled demands for improving education, and stimulated interest in the role of superintendents in large-scale, system-wide reform (Björk, L, Kowalski, T & Browne-Ferrigno, T, 2014).

Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSELS)
Effective leadership is essential because it is linked to student performance and there are no documented instances of failing schools turning around without powerful leadership (CCSSO, 2015). Leadership standards indicate detail skills and knowledge district and school leaders should possess to influence teaching and learning. They clarify expectations for educational leaders. Leadership standards guide preparation, practice, support and evaluations for district and school leaders (CCSSO, 2015). Leadership standards have been refreshed due to the changing nature of education as it relates to principal and superintendents responsibilities. With updating the standards, leaders are receiving needed support. Also, research demonstrates the value of managing change and school cultures. Both the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSELS) formally ISLLC and National Educational Leadership Professional Standards formally ELCC have been refreshed. The NELP standards are currently in draft form and set to be released January 2018. According to CCSSO, the refreshed Standards cover critical functions such as; supporting teaching and learning, advanced equity, ethics, developing professional capacity, managing school change, managing operations and resources and turning around schools.
In the mid-1990s, the National Policy Board for Educational Administration (NPBEA), a consortium of stakeholder groups in educational leadership, created the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) to take up the challenging task of designing the first set of national standards for educational leaders. This new consortium was organized and facilitated by CCSSO. The National Policy Board for Educational Administration (NPBEA) unanimously approved new, refreshed standards for educational leaders in October 2015. The 2015 Professional Standards for Educational Leaders, formerly known as ISLLC standards, aim to ensure district and school leaders are able to improve student achievement and meet new, higher expectations. (NPBEA, 2015). The purpose for using the 2015 Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSELS) is to provide additional evidence that the superintendent has the character and leadership skills to further the objectives of the district. The Professional Standards for Educational Leaders are organized around the domains, qualities, and values of leadership work that research and practice indicate contribute to students’ academic success and well-being. The standards apply to all levels of educational leadership with district leaders included within the same scope of work as assistant principals and principals. The standards are as follows:
1. Mission, Vision and Core Values-Effective educational leaders develop, advocate, and enact a shared mission, vision, and core values of high-quality education and academic success and well-being of each student.
2. Ethics and Professional Norms-Effective educational leaders act ethically and according to professional norms to promote each student’s academic success and well-being.
3. Equity and Cultural Responsiveness-Effective educational leaders strive for equity of educational opportunity and culturally responsive practices to promote each student’s academic success and well-being.
4. Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment-Effective educational leaders develop and support intellectually rigorous and coherent systems of curriculum, instruction, and assessment to promote each student’s academic success and well-being.
5. Community of Care and Support for Students-Effective educational leaders cultivate an inclusive, caring, and supportive school community that promotes the academic success and well-being of each student.
6. Professional Capacity of School Personnel-Effective educational leaders develops the professional capacity and practice of school personnel to promote each student’s academic success and well-being.
7. Professional Community for Teachers and Staff-Effective educational leaders foster a professional community of teachers and other professional staff to promote each student’s academic success and well-being.
8. Meaningful Engagement of Families and Communities-Effective educational leaders engage families and the community in meaningful, reciprocal, and mutually beneficial ways to promote each student’s academic success and well-being.
9. Operations and Management-Effective educational leaders manage school operations and resources to promote each student’s academic success and well-being.
10. School Improvement-Effective educational leaders act as agents of continuous improvement to promote each student’s academic success and well-being.
National Educational Leadership Preparation Standards (NELP)
The NELP standards formerly known as the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC standards), which are aligned to the Professional Standards for Educational Leadership (PSEL) serve a distinct purpose in that they provide specificity around performance expectations for beginning level building and district leaders (NPBEA, 2011). Whereas the PSEL standards define educational leadership broadly, the NELP standards specify what novice leaders and program graduates should know and be able to do as a result of completing a high-quality educational leadership preparation program. The NELP standards were developed specifically with the principalship and the superintendency in mind and will be used to review educational leadership programs through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) advanced program review process.
1. Mission, Vision, and Core Values -Leadership candidates who successfully complete a district level educational leadership preparation program understand and demonstrate the capability to promote the success and well-being of each student, teacher, and leader by applying the knowledge, skills, and commitments necessary for: (1) a shared mission and vision; (2) a set of core values; (3) and continuous and sustainable district and school improvement.
2. Ethics and Professionalism- Leadership candidates who successfully complete a district level educational leadership preparation program understand and demonstrate the capability to promote the success and well-being of each student, teacher, and leader by applying the knowledge, skills, and commitments necessary for: (1) professional norms; (2) ethical behavior; (3) responsibility; and (4) ethical behavior.
3. Equity and Cultural Leadership- Leadership candidates who successfully complete a district level educational leadership preparation program promote the success and well-being of each student, teacher, and leader by applying the knowledge, skills, and commitments necessary for: (1) equitable treatment; (2) equitable access; (3) culturally and individually responsive practice; and (4) a healthy district culture.
4. Instructional Leadership-Leadership candidates who successfully complete a district level educational leadership preparation program understand and demonstrate the capability to promote the success and well-being of each student, teacher, and leader by applying the knowledge, skills, and commitments necessary through: (1) systems of learning and instruction; (2) instructional capacity; (3) professional development of principals; and (4) principal effectiveness.
5. Community and External Leadership-Leadership candidates who successfully complete a district level educational leadership preparation program understand and demonstrate the capability to promote the success and well-being of each student, teacher, and leader by applying the knowledge, skills, and commitments necessary for: (1) community engagement; (2) productive partnerships; (3) two-way communication; and (4) representation.
6. Management of People, Data, and Processes-Leadership candidates who successfully complete a district level educational leadership preparation program understand and demonstrate the capability to promote the success and well-being of each student, teacher, and leader by applying the knowledge, skills, and commitments necessary for effectively managed: (1) district systems; (2) resources; (3) human resources; and (4) policies and procedures.
7. Policy, Governance and Advocacy-Leadership candidates who successfully complete a district level educational leadership preparation program understand and demonstrate the capability to promote the success and wellbeing of each student, teacher, and leader by applying the knowledge, skills, and commitments necessary to: (1) understand and foster Board relations; (2) understand and manage effective systems for district governance; (3) understand and ensure compliance with policy, laws, rules and regulations; (4) understand and respond to local, state and national decisions; and (5) advocate for the needs and priorities of the district.