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Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Studies do not back Surridge OUSD claims
Studies do not back Surridge claims and plans
A recent article by Ed Source, an independent online forum that responds to key education challenges and innovations in California and nationally, does not back Orange Unified Board President Tim Surridge controversial claims that a higher number of the school board trustees impacts the turn-over of district superintendents.
At the January 17, 2013 OUSD Board Meeting Surridge stated studies showed the more school board members on a school board result in a higher turnover of superintendents. Using this logic, Surridge is seeking to eliminate two OUSD Trustee positions. He has scheduled a “discussion” for his plan to eliminate two trustess for Thursday’s February 21 OUSD School Board meeting.
The December 12, 2012 online article titled “Survey finds high superintendent turnover in large
districts” summarizes and links to the most recent studies. The article states: California
Between 2006 and 2009, 71 percent of superintendents in
Nothing in any of the cited studies relates to the number of school board members and the turn over of superintedents.
In fact the main problem is not the number of trustees, but the overall relationship between the board as a whole and the superintedent as summarized in the article:
Becca Bracy Knight, executive director of the Broad Center for the Management of School Systems in Los Angeles, which trains superintendents, said turnover happens when superintendents and boards “don’t have alignment from the outset to weather what happens when there is change.”
The most recent study linked in the Ed Source article is “Why Superintendents Turn Over” by
Jason A. Grissom of
Vanderbilt University and Stephanie Andersen of Washington University in St. Louis published in the American Educational Research Journal. The scholarly study delves deeply into the relationships between superintendent and school boards, but nowhere mentions the number of school board members in relation to any of the numerous reasons the study found for problems between the superintendents and school boards.
The study results in a complicated matrix of reasons for high superintendent turn over. None of which relate to the number of school board members as Surridge claims.
The study also concludes that “home grown” superintendents with a history in the district stay far longer then recruited superintendents from outside a district.
American Educational Research Journal LINK: Why Superintendents Turn Over