Friday, November 9, 2012

Why Superintendents Turn Over

Although superintendent turnover can hinder district reform and improvement, research examining superintendent exits is scarce. This study identifies factors contributing to superintendent turnover in California by matching original superintendent and school board survey data with administrative data and information hand-collected from news sources on why superintendents left and where they went. Among 215 superintendents studied beginning in 2006, 45% exited within 3 years.

Using a multinomial framework to separate retirements from other turnover, the authors find that factors such as how highly the school board rates its own functioning and the superintendent’s performance and whether the superintendent was hired internally strongly predict non-retirement exits 3 years later. Short-term district test score growth, however, is uncorrelated. Superintendents who move migrate away from rural districts toward larger, higher-paying districts in urban and suburban locations.

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