The are under intense pressure from state and federal

The
ability to effectively hire and retain qualified faculty and administration is
the backbone of any school district. This is especially true when a school boards
mires through the process of selecting a new superintendent. Exacerbating this
process many times hinges on the perceived status and social climate associated
with each individual school district. Howley, A., Pendarvis, E., & Gibbs,
T. (2002) examined the perceived shortage of school superintendents assessing
the conditions of the position and underlying factors that entice principals
into seeking out the job. The researchers surveyed a random sample of Ohio
principals, receiving usable responses from 508 of these administrators.
Analysis of the data revealed that principals perceived the ability to make a
difference and the extrinsic motivators (e.g., salary and benefits) associated
with the superintendency as conditions salient to the decision to pursue such a
job. According to the respondents, some of the difficulties associated with the
superintendent position were: (1) increased burden of responsibility for local,
state, and federal mandates; (2) need to be accountable for outcomes that are
beyond an educator’s control; (3) low levels of board support, and (4)
excessive pressure to perform. (Howley, A., Pendarvis, E., & Gibbs, T. (2002)

 Some conclusions from the research maybe
useful to legislatures who are attempting to enhance the superintendency as a
more attractive career destination for principals. This would include the
suggestion that policy makers design incentives that address evaluation tools
making a difference more measurable and attainable at the district level. There
was also a need to lessen federal, state, and local external mandates that
create more obstacles and hoops for the superintendent to navigate. The
superintendent position has been a demanding position that has required both
physical and mental stamina (Domenech, 1996). Superintendents have dealt with
difficult situations among school board members and with competing agendas.
“School districts are under intense pressure from state and federal
governments, school boards, unions, courts, tight budgets, diverse parent
interests and the increasingly complex needs of children” (Hall &
Difford, 1992, p. 4).

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