The New York City-based Wallace-Reader's Digest Funds have announced a three-year, $1.2 million grant to the American Association of School Administrators to conduct case studies that will capture the best practices of exemplary superintendents in urban school districts.
AASA, in Arlington, Virginia, will seek to contribute to the national effort to improve learning outcomes for disadvantaged children by conducting fifteen in-depth case studies of exemplary superintendents from large urban districts to show how these leaders make decisions, plan strategy, and take appropriate actions that can improve student achievement.
"To date, little information has been generated about superintendents beyond the definition of tasks," said Mary Lee Fitzgerald, director of education programs at the Wallace Funds. "These case studies will help to assess the overall role of the superintendent as an educational leader and will seek to identify behaviors and practices that might lift student performance."
The grant will be awarded as part of the Funds' LEADERS COUNT initiative, which is designed to help foster a national movement to place quality leadership at the core of school reform. Over the next five to ten years, the program will seek out and support ways to develop new knowledge and research about the potential of school leaders to improve learning; strengthen the capabilities of existing principal and superintendents; identify promising, innovative models of leadership; create a climate that encourages bold and effective school leadership; raise public awareness of the critical importance of education leadership; and share learning and lessons so that they become usable knowledge for practitioners and the public alike.