Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Source

The Contemporary Superintendent: Preparation, Practice and Development


Clearly, no issue is currently more crucial to the future of the position of school district superintendent than the battle being fought over professional preparation and state licensing. The intent of licensing professionals is to protect society and not the licensee. Consequently, a decision to deregulate a profession should not be made solely in political arenas in which self- and group interests are more likely to outweigh societal interests. This chapter is grounded in the belief that persons within a profession, regardless of their personal views, have a responsibility to ensure that policy debates of this magnitude will be objective and empirically based. As a first step toward meeting this obligation, the content of this chapter traces the evolution of the superintendency in the context of five role conceptualizations. The intent is to demonstrate the depth and complexity of the position's knowledge base. In addition, the argument is made that future policy decisions will be enlightened if role conceptualizations are considered and critiqued in relation to the nature of local school districts, minority practitioner perspectives (both gender and race), and traditional approaches to professional preparation.

Inclusive pages




Document Version

Published Version


Chapter included in repository with the permission of Sage Publishing. Distributing, reselling, or any repurposing of the content is not allowed.

Permission documentation is on file.


Corwin Publishing

Place of Publication

Thousand Oaks, CA

Peer Reviewed




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