Voices of Women Aspiring to the Superintendency
The superintendency offers the most powerful and prestigious positions in K-12 public school systems. Few superintendents of these systems in the United States are women, although the majority of teachers are women and many women have leadership positions in schools. There are also increasing numbers of women in administrative preparation programs at institutions of higher education.
This study of 27 highly qualified women in top-level administrative positions in public education was designed to find out what it is like to be a woman aspiring to the executive leadership position. Research questions included: Why are there so few women superintendents when so many are qualified? What are the routes to the superintendency? What is the context of educational administration in the public school? What kinds of leaders are women who aspire to the superintendency? The research was also informed by a femininst advocacy of social change to discover how and under what conditions a more equitable distribution of superintendencies is likely to occur. A feminist poststructural framework provided the theoretical basis for the analysis of the data.