School District Superintendent Roles and Team Leadership
Since release of A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform (National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983) educational reform in the United States of America (USA) has emphasized re-centering schools to focus on learning and teaching as well as building the capacity of staffs (teachers, principals and district office middle managers) to work in leadership teams. This shift has profound implications for how schools may be structured, governed and led in the coming decades. The notion that leadership is key to successful implementation of large-scale school improvement not only heightened interest in the role of superintendents as chief executive officers (CEOs) but also on how they developed and utilized with middle management teams in decision-making processes. Scholars agree that decentralization initiatives required superintendents to balance administrative efficiencies gained though centralization and with program effectiveness generated through shared decision-making, distributed leadership, and team leadership. Recent findings from studies on education reform in the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden) and USA suggest that national and state education policy initiatives advanced the notion of decentralization and underscored the importance of team leadership at several levels of school district organizations.
Keywords - Superintendent, Educational Reform, Decentralization, Middle Management, Team Leadership