Relationships between state government and school districts reflect long-standing tensions involving liberty and equity. In states where the former is emphasized, the authority and scope of responsibilities relegated to state agencies are limited, so local boards and superintendents have considerable leeway to make decisions. In states that exercise centralized controls to provide reasonably equal educational opportunities, localities have less flexibility. Consequently, superintendent survey ratings should be considered in light of such dissimilarities across state education departments.
An AASA superintendency study indicated superintendents held widely differing views of their state education agencies. In general, district enrollment, with one exception, was not associated with ratings. While only 31 percent of superintendents in the smallest districts (fewer than 300 students) said state departments were a liability (either minor or major), 45 percent of other superintendents rated them as such.
AASA: The School Superintendents Association
Kowalski, Theodore J., "Perceptions of State Education Agencies" (2014). Educational Leadership Faculty Publications. 27.
Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Commons, Educational Leadership Commons, Education Economics Commons, Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration Commons, Higher Education Administration Commons, Other Educational Administration and Supervision Commons, Special Education Administration Commons, Urban Education Commons