Superintendent of schools

In education in the United States, a superintendent of schools, also known in many states as a chief school administrator, is a person who has executive oversight and administrative powers, usually within an educational entity or organization.

United States

In the United States there are many variations in public school systems from state to state. Every state constitution has language requiring a state-supported system of public education. Education comes within states' rights so, while there are many similarities among public school education systems from state to state, there are also differences.

State level
Many state departments of education in the United States refer to their state-level chief education officer/administrator as "superintendent." However, also common are the titles "commissioner" and "secretary." In most states the state-level education administrator is appointed, but some states select the official by statewide election.
District level
Depending on the state in which they serve, a public school superintendent might be referred to as "chief education officer," or "chief executive officer." The most common title is "Superintendent of Schools." Generally, public school district superintendents have administrative oversight of the students, public schools, and educational services within the geographic area (school district) identified by state law. School district superintendents are hired by a school board of a local school district. As chief executive officer of the public schools, the superintendent has oversight for what is often (in smaller communities) one of the larger businesses within the community the school district serves.

In many states superintendents of schools are members on the board of education (school board) of their school district, but they usually cannot vote as members of the board. In most states, superintendents of schools are required to hold a "certification" issued by the state in which they work. State certification is typically earned by completing a course of study prescribed by the state, usually 60 graduate hours above the bachelor degree and an internship. While not required by any state, many school boards prefer that their superintendent hold a doctoral degree. Most superintendents are hired by contract with the board of education (or board of trustees). The board of education is the governing (policy making) entity of the school district. The board of education is composed of elected (or appointed) officials from the communities the school district serves.

Current chief state school officers

State Head of education Selection Name
Alabama Alabama Superintendent of Education State Board of Education[1] Dr. Thomas Bice
Alaska Commissioner of Education State Board of Education, subject to the governor's approval[2] Larry LeDoux
Arizona Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Elected John Huppenthal
Arkansas Arkansas Commissioner of Education State Board of Education, subject to confirmation by the governor[3] Dr. Thomas Kimbrell
California California Superintendent of Public Instruction Elected Tom Torlakson
Colorado Colorado Commissioner of Education State Board of Education[4] Dwight D. Jones
Connecticut Connecticut Commissioner of Education Recommended to the governor by the State Board of Education[5] Dr. Mark K. McQuillan
Delaware Delaware Secretary of Education Governor Dr. Lillian Lowery
District of Columbia State Superintendent of Education[6][7] Mayor Dr. Kerri L. Briggs
Florida Florida Commissioner of Education State Board of Education[8] Dr. Eric J. Smith
Georgia State Superintendent of Schools Elected John D. Barge [9][10]
Hawaii Hawaii Superintendent of Education State Board of Education[11] Kathryn Matayoshi
Idaho Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Elected Tom Luna
Illinois Illinois Superintendent of Education State Board of Education[12] Dr. Christopher Koch
Indiana Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Elected Glenda Ritz
Iowa Iowa Director of Education Governor Judy Jeffrey
Kansas Kansas Interim Commissioner of Education State Board of Education[13] Dr. Diane DeBacker
Kentucky Kentucky Commissioner of Education

[14]

State Board of Education[15] Dr. Terry Holliday
Louisiana Louisiana Superintendent of Education State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education[16] Ollie Tyler, Acting
Maine Maine Commissioner of Education Governor Susan A. Gendron
Maryland Maryland State Superintendent of Schools State Board of Education[17] Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick
Massachusetts Massachusetts Secretary of Education Governor Mitchell D. Chester
Michigan Michigan Superintendent of Public Instruction State Board of Education[18] Michael P. Flanagan
Minnesota Minnesota Commissioner of Education Governor Alice Seagren
Mississippi Mississippi Superintendent of Education State Board of Education[19] Dr. Tom Burnham
Missouri Missouri Commissioner of Education State Board of Education[20] Dr. Chris L. Nicastro
Montana Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Elected Denise Juneau
Nebraska Nebraska Commissioner of Education[21] State Board of Education Dr. Roger Breed
Nevada Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction Governor, from a list of three candidates submitted by the State Board of Education[22] Dr. James W. Guthrie
New Hampshire New Hampshire Commissioner of Education Governor, after consultation with the Board of Education Virginia Barry
New Jersey New Jersey Commissioner of Education Governor Chris Cerf
New Mexico New Mexico Secretary of Education Governor Dr. Veronica García
New York New York Commissioner of Education New York State Board of Regents[23] Dr. John B. King, Jr.
North Carolina North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction Elected Dr. June St. Clair Atkinson
North Dakota North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction Elected Dr. Wayne G. Sanstead
Ohio Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction State Board of Education[24] Deborah S. Delisle
Oklahoma Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Elected Janet Barresi
Oregon Oregon Superintendent of Public Instruction Governor Rob Saxton
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Governor Dr. Gerald L. Zahorchak
Rhode Island Rhode Island Commissioner of Education Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education[25] Deborah A. Gist
South Carolina South Carolina Superintendent of Education Elected Mick Zais
South Dakota South Dakota Secretary of Education Governor Thomas J. Oster
Tennessee Tennessee Commissioner of Education Governor Kevin Huffman
Texas Texas Commissioner of Education Governor Robert Scott
Utah Utah Superintendent of Public Instruction State Board of Education[26] Larry Shumway
Vermont Vermont Secretary of Education Governor, from a list of three provided by the State Board of Education[27] Armando Vilaseca
Virginia Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction Governor, after consultation with the State Board of Education[28] Dr. Patricia I. Wright
Washington Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Elected Randy Dorn
West Virginia West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools State Board of Education[29] Dr. Steven L. Paine
Wisconsin Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction Elected Dr. Tony Evers
Wyoming Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Elected Dr. James M. McBride
American Samoa American Samoa Director of Education Dr. Claire Tuia Poumele
Guam Guam Superintendent of Education Dr. Nerissa Bretania-Underwood
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Secretary of Education Carlos Chardon
U.S. Virgin Islands U.S. Virgin Islands Acting Commissioner of Education Dr. Laverne Terry

Other countries

The term 'superintendent' is rarely used for education in the United Kingdom (possibly to avoid confusion with the police rank); in most Local Education Authorities the equivalent title is Chief Education Officer. According to the history of Newcastle High School (published in 1985), when in 1885 the Church Schools Company took over a school to form Newcastle High School, later Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School, the mistress of the former school was briefly considered for the post of Lady Superintendent, below the headmistress.

The Ontario's education system equivalent is the Director of Education, which was also used in Hong Kong but it fell into disuse in 2003.

See also

References

External links

  • The American Association of School Administrators website
  • The State of the American School Superintendency
  • Education Resources Information Center.
  • Kentucky Commissioner of Education
  • SuperintendentOfSchools.com - Providing information and professional support to superintendents of schools and school district officials in New York State
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