The Growth of Minorities in the Nation’s Superintendencies

Research indicates that minorities have greater success when they are in schools where there are more adults (educators, principals and other personnel) that look like them.

As a new report from AASA, The School Superintendents Association, suggest the nation’s superintendents are still overwhelmingly white and male despite gradual shifts in demographics. The percentage of female superintendents increased slightly in the past decade, from 24.1% in 2010 to 26.68% in 2020 — more than double the percentage of female superintendents documented in 2000 (13.1%). The number of superintendents of color is increasing much more slowly, with 8.6% of respondents identifying as superintendents of color in 2020, compared to 6% in 2010 and 5% in 2000. Of the relatively small percentage who are African American, Latinx or other minority group, nearly 42% are women. ?

Chris Tienken. the lead investigator of the study  pointed out the position of superintendent is much more diverse than its counterpart in the business world: The percentage of women and leaders of color in the top education leadership position is “well above” the 5.4% of S&P 500 companies led by a woman, the 5% of the Russell 3000 companies that have a woman in the top position, and the only four black CEOs leading Fortune 500 companies in 2019. Principal leadership remains comparatively much more diverse in contrast, with women holding a majority of principal positions during the 2015-16 school year, according to the National Teacher and Principal Survey. The same survey found? 22.2% of public-school principal positions were held by people of color.

In 2017 our nation’s school systems became “minority-Majority” – minority dominated. Both superintendent and principal leadership lags behind the public-school student population, which has become increasingly diverse. While the last decade was expected to bring a substantial turnover of superintendents, with about half of survey respondents saying they planned to leave the profession, more superintendents (nearly 60%) said they plan to stay in the profession.