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High superintendent turnover plagues California public schools




Superintendent of Schools Ramon Cortines (C) and other members of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education meet to discuss a proposal to eliminate thousands of jobs in hopes of closing a $718 million budget gap April 14, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.
Superintendent of Schools Ramon Cortines (C) and other members of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education meet to discuss a proposal to eliminate thousands of jobs in hopes of closing a $718 million budget gap April 14, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.
David McNew/Getty Images

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One of the biggest stories in education this year is the resignation of former LAUSD superintendent John Deasey. Deasey was on the job 3 ½ years, which according to an analysis done by the education news site Ed Source, was in keeping with the average length of the tenure of a school superintendent in California.  

EdSource finds that two-thirds of the superintendents of the 30 largest school districts in California have been in their roles for three years or less. Ten have been on the job for less than a year. Only three California school superintendents have a tenure of more than 5 years – from Long Beach Unified, Fresno Unified, and Chino Valley Unified.

What are the challenges that school superintendents face? How has high turnover impacted public education in the state? What can be done about it? How has the job of the superintendent changed over the years?

Guests:

Louis Freedberg, executive director of EdSource a nonprofit organization based in Berkeley that provides data tools and research on education issues

Christopher Steinhauser, Superintendent of Schools, Long Beach Unified School District. He has been in the post since 2002