Thirteen percent of school systems across the country—and up to a quarter of urban districts—welcomed new or interim superintendents this school year. This week, policy makers, parents, and educators are concerned about the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results that show a drop in reading and math proficiency among 4th and 8th graders since 2019.

The question is, “What leadership dispositions, skills, and knowledge do superintendents need to lead their community today, at this critical moment?” So asks The Leadership Academy President & CEO Nancy B. Gutiérrez in her new article, New Supe? You Should be Leading in Dramatically Different Ways, published in Education Week. In the piece, Gutiérrez explores the essential skills and leadership qualities that have helped education leaders guide their communities in dramatically different ways throughout the COVID pandemic and the nation’s racial reckoning and culture wars.

Gutiérrez highlights the importance of building a strong diverse team of system-level leaders, positioning communities at the center of district operations and decision-making, and cultivating a culture that elevates minoritized voices to support systemwide transformation.

“As leaders, let’s set goals for our schools around what should be as opposed to what has been. And let’s give ourselves and our colleagues the love and support we need to transform practice in service of systemwide change,” writes Gutiérrez.

Read the article