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State of the Superintendent — Excessive Job Satisfaction and a Projected Regular Turnover Charge: Chosen Findings from the Fifth American Faculty District Panel Survey

Analysis Questions

  1. Are superintendents happy with their jobs proper now?
  2. Do they plan to go away their positions at higher-than-normal charges on the finish of the 2021–2022 faculty 12 months?

To look at superintendents’ job satisfaction and short-term profession plans, RAND researchers fielded a survey to a randomly sampled set of 291 American Faculty District Panel district and constitution leaders — together with 222 superintendents — after which weighted their responses to be nationally consultant. As of spring 2022, superintendents have optimistic emotions about their jobs regardless of their consensus view that the job of the superintendent and of colleges has gotten tougher over the previous decade. Superintendents don’t plan to go away their positions at heightened charges on the finish of the 2021–2022 faculty 12 months.

Key Findings

  • Though 95 % of superintendents agreed that the superintendent’s job has gotten tougher over the previous decade, 85 % had been happy with their job as of spring 2022.
  • 13 % of superintendents plan to go away their place by the top of the 2021–2022 faculty 12 months, a charge on par with prepandemic superintendent turnover estimates.
  • Job-related stress topped superintendents’ causes for contemplating leaving their place, adopted by group politics.
  • Increased proportions of superintendents in majority-white suburban and rural districts than city superintendents thought of leaving their job for a wide range of causes.


  • Superintendents have a near-universal and robust conviction that not solely their job, but additionally the job of colleges extra typically, has gotten tougher over the previous decade. This truth, plus the excessive quantities of job-related stress that superintendents expertise, underlines the necessity for each faculty boards and faculty chief preparation applications to put money into growing sturdy, well-integrated senior groups throughout which superintendents can distribute management. Putting an excessive amount of duty on simply the superintendent leaves the district uncovered to dangers of reform cycles as superintendents come and go and better turnover of employees within the central workplace as superintendents are saddled with an excessive amount of duty. Extra-distributed management might make the superintendent place extra engaging insofar because it might scale back the excessive ranges of job-related stress and lengthy work hours. As well as, extra manageable hours might make the place extra tenable for ladies, who’ve traditionally balanced extra household tasks than their male counterparts and stay underrepresented within the place typically.
  • State or regional skilled superintendent associations, schooling associations, and superintendent certification applications ought to look at the pipeline, particularly for the classes of districts which have been hardest to employees. Is the job nonetheless engaging sufficient for folks to see it of their future? What are the native causes that superintendents take into account leaving? Are there sufficient certified leaders within the conventional pipeline of principals and central workplace directors to interchange present superintendents as they retire or transfer to totally different positions?

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