Superintendents and interest groups

Lars Björk, Jane Clark Lindle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


U.S. citizens traditionally have abhorred politics at the schoolhouse door. At the turn of the 19th century, the office of superintendent was designed as a professional buffer to politics in education. Mid-20th century scholars of school politics recorded the persistence of politics in education and, more important, the diversity of political roles necessary for superintendents to appease local interests. This article reviews results from one mid-century investigation of superintendents' relationships with their school boards and communities. Survey results from 2,262 superintendents in office during the 1998-1999 school year revealed that superintendents persist in practicing professional decision making while at the same time recognizing the politically charged, interest-driven environment of their school districts and communities. The article concludes with recommendations for superintendents and educational administration programs to end their naïve, apolitical professional approach to community interest groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-91
Number of pages16
JournalEducational Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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