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Why Our Schools Hardly Have Any Female Superintendents

By Victor Trammell

Women are the overwhelming majority when it comes to various key positions within the framework of America’s public school institutions.

According to a newfangled national survey and current information released by the federal government, women represent 76 percent of the teaching population, 52 percent of all the nation’s principals, and a whopping 78 percent of the administrators who work in the central offices of school districts across the U.S.

However, progress has not been made on a coveted front in the hierarchy of the traditional public school system.

When it comes to the position of school district superintendent, women do not have the majority in numbers. In fact, they are a definite minority. According to The School Superintendents Association (AASA), women represent less than a quarter of the nation’s top school district leadership positions.

In Schenectady, New York, there has never been a female superintendent in that city’s public school district. This is quite a travesty because the Schenectady public school district has been in operation for 162 years. Also, Richmond County, Georgia only hired its first female superintendent two years ago.

Margaret Grogan is the dean of the college of educational studies at Chapman University in Irvine, California. She recently held an interview with Education Week Magazine to discuss the issue of the nation’s lack of female superintendents.

It’s a huge problem,” Grogan told Education Week.

“If we have talented administrators, wouldn’t you want all of the talented administrators to move into the superintendency? After all, that’s the position that has the most power to facilitate the growth and development of all of the children and families in the district,” she continued.

A good reason behind this are the decisions about hiring, which are made by the nation’s school board members. They are the ones who choose a school district’s superintendent. Traditionally, school board members are elected by local voters.

However, the power of voters to elect their city or county’s school board members has been stripped in a sizable number of U.S. states. This is due to the state-sponsored hijackings of school districts, which are happening left and right.

The white male-dominated power structures of the states, which are in control of the nation’s local education systems are not yet sold on the idea of hiring women to run America’s public school districts. Diagnosing the problem seems simple, but crafting a solution is hard work. Those who are in power never give it up willingly.

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