High states, not just individual school systems. California recently

High
superintendent turnover is an issue that plagues entire states, not just
individual school systems. California recently experienced staggering
superintendent turnover rates with 71 percent of superintendents in the largest
districts and 45 percent of those in the smallest districts leaving their jobs
between 2006 and 2009, according to a 2012 survey. School districts were asked
to provide internal and external strategies used to retain district office
personnel, especially the superintendent. The researcher employed professional
development surveys, interviews, and qualitative case study. Increasing
superintendent salary may be a worthwhile strategy for retaining
superintendents, and may be especially important in smaller and rural districts
and districts with lower student achievement whose superintendents are more
likely to move to higher paying positions in larger, higher performing
districts in more urban areas.

 

Superintendent
Turnover in a 2007 study, sponsored by the American Association of School
Administrators, Glass and Franceschini (2007) determined that the succession of
10,000 to 11,000 superintendents would be occurring across the country. The
researchers also found, in a Market Data Retrieval report, that a 17%
superintendent turnover rate was recorded in 2006. The superintendents who
participated in the study reported that 80% of the districts do not have
programs that address the replacing of the leadership positions and identification
of individuals that would desire to be in the top position. A study by
Kowalski, McCord, Peterson, Young, and Ellerson (2011) found that over half of
1,829 participants did not intend to serve as a permanent superintendent within
that next 5-year timeframe. In addition, a study by Sharp (2011) determined
that superintendent succession was occurring due to an aging population of
practicing superintendents. Although some of the studies were slightly dated,
the referenced research identifies the necessity for a reduction in
superintendent succession and the need for in depth research.

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There
is disparage in the amount of research and literature written about rural
superintendent turnover. Far too often, the rural superintendent is only valued
in the community and school districts they serve. State departments of
education, school boards would do well to collect more data and conduct
longitude studies about rural superintendents. The importance of
the district superintendent and the potential consequences of superintendent
exits make understanding the factors that drive superintendent turnover a key
topic for empirical research. Lamentably, however, superintendent turnover
lacks a well-developed research base (Natkin et al., 2002). Existing research
has primarily taken the form of qualitative explorations of turnover
motivations through case studies and interviews with superintendents. Few
studies have focused on empirically testing the relative strength of
associations between superintendent turnover and characteristics of the
superintendents, districts, and school boards with whom they work. Moreover,
studies have not examined how these predictors might vary with the type of
turnover. 

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