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This article provides an historical analysis of the origins and development of boards of education as well as superintendents of schools. It provides the reader with a better insight into the delicate nature of the relationship between superintendents of school and their boards of education.

In addition to published in the Connexions Content Commons, this manuscript is catalogued in the Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) database providing a comprehensive, easy-to-use, searchable Internet-based bibliographic and full text database for education research and information for educators, researchers, and the general public. (California Association of Professors of Educational Administration/U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences Contract No. ED-04-CO-0005)

About the author

Michael Moody is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at Texas A&M, Corpus Christi.


According to The Center for Public Education (2011), there are approximately 13,800 elected or appointed local school boards in the United States. Generally, within each of these governance units, a superintendent of schools directly serves the board of education as its chief executive officer (Konnert&Augenstein, 1990; Kowalski, 2003; Moody, 2007). Within this context, it is important to note that scholars and practitioners alike believe that one of the most important tasks of any board of education is the hiring of a superintendent of schools to assist the board in the conduct of its business, and also to direct the day to day operation of the school district (Carter&Cunningham, 1997; Cox&Malone, 2003; Hoyle, Bjork, Collier,&Glass; 2005, Moody; Norton, Webb, Dlugosh&Sybouts, 1996). Citing an extensive body of research including the Iowa School Board’s extensive Lighthouse Project (LaMonte, Delagardelle&Vander Zyl, 2007), The Center for Public Education (2011) succinctly indicated that a positive and stable relationship between boards of education and school superintendents is directly related to positive school outcomes. Conversely, “board-superintendent conflict is a factor that makes it difficult for public schools to reach our common goal of giving America’s children the best education in the world” (Goodman, Fulbright,&Zimmerman, 1997, p. 1). Unfortunately; however, “given the complex and often ambiguous nature of school governance, it is appropriate to characterize superintendent-board relations as being problematic” (Moody, p. 35).

According to Moody (2007), “[T]he topic of superintendent-board relations is not new” (p 34). In fact, the dynamic, complex, and often volatile relationship between school superintendents and their respective boards of education has proven to be a popular topic of study (Alsbury, 2003, 2008; Carter&Cunningham, 1997; Danzberger, Wirst,&Usdan; 1992; DiPaola&Stronge, 2003; Fusarelli&Petersen, 2002; Kowalski&Brunner, 2005; Lutz&Merz, 1992). The current political climate of high-stakes assessment coupled with punitive accountability measures has increased the likelihood that stress and conflict between a board of education and its superintendent of schools will continue to adversely impact school governance practices. According to Hensley and Burmeister (2008, 2009), it is incumbent upon school leaders (superintendents as well as school board members) to promote positive relationships and to develop healthy organizational cultures that serve to advance powerful, effective teaching and learning. Nevertheless, as the school reform movement has intensified, governing schools with moral purpose and integrity in a highly contentious political and social environment has become especially complex and challenging.

Questions & Answers

How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Educational leadership and administration: teaching and program development, volume 23, 2011. OpenStax CNX. Sep 08, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11358/1.4
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