Preparation of School Leaders, Specifically the Superintendent and the Business Official
Preparation leadership is a group of skills and qualities that develops through strategic design content and the strategies of active adult theory. On the other hand, transformational leadership is a mediating factor on school improvement. While schools in higher learning institutions are still enjoy freedom in academics, it is just open that programs in universities have to make sure that graduates of theirs undergo thorough preparations for the challenges that superintendents and other school leaders in the current world. This can only be achieved in part via alignment of curriculum work, expecting course outcomes to link with applicable standards that are set nationally, working with other school leaders from effective schools, as well as putting in position ongoing program evaluation with strategies of improving areas that do not meet the requirements of current school leaders.
Individuals from different fields like policy makers, business people, and superintendents among others have all raised the concern over programs used in superintendent training. among the complain include absence of equity under the representation of women, theoretical curriculum, lack of information linking local school boards, and the failure of experience needed for a superintendent. In addition, literature relates superintendence programs have been much problematic. Most literature has revealed that, all races have not impressed gender or any other background information concerning their subjects. It is a fact that, there have been some efforts in the last two decades to particularly, include women superintendents in the literature. On top of all these, literature has not extensively explained how educators ascertain the views of practicing educators to state exactly what are their views concerning the preparation their preparation programs, (Young, 2002).
Business education in many cases is among the largest community single enterprise. Looking at the magnitude and significance of such enterprises, the people who provide fiscal leadership to school district, they are not only charged with vital responsibilities, for the school district’s leadership team, but they also have tremendous effects on the achievement of the school district and the society. Very effective school business administrator leads the business support process of the school district, for the implementation of good business management actions and effectively allocates resources that are available to programs that deal with education, as an effect, the quality of educational services for any student that learns in the district, (Peterson, 2002).
Importance of Effective Superintendants and Business People Leadership
Literature has shown that Superintendent and business people are the most significant factors needed in improving student achievement, particularly in schools that perform very poorly. Research has given a suggestion that there are no that are documented circumstances of under which schools are turned around with no strong leadership. Undoubtedly, prepared leadership in school improvement is a catalyst, (Donaldson, 2001).
Prepared leadership is like effective leader, whom teachers get attracted to and hence remaining in most challenged schools. The working environment of teachers surveys continue finding supportive prepared school leadership as amongst if not the main significant reason that has led to the retention of good teachers, in most cases, trumping motivation. Superintendents in their position make sure that teaching and learning spread beyond classrooms. The process of investing in school leadership is a cheap and efficient way of improving teaching and learning. Furthermore, investments that are targeted in business people and superintendents, can positively affect student performance. The preparation of school leadership has elevated reasonably in US since time immemorial, (Murphy, 1992).
In real since, the role of school leadership has changed from just being building managers to leaders that need to be instructional. Superintendents and business people helps in the creation of vision, supporting and developing teachers as well as school staff. They also help in the process of strengthening school culture. At the same time, they share and distribute roles of leadership amongst teachers and the school subordinate staff. This is mainly for enhancing the capacity of instructional leadership.
As an effect, many nations and states have engaged themselves in the creation of career pathways for the teaching staff, formally including the recognition of teacher leader positions. Being school leaders, they work towards meeting state and federal accountability requirements increase student academic performance dramatically. They also ensure sufficient autonomy over budgets, staffing, access to the information that is apart from being timely, is much useful. Bothe superintendents and business people engage in meaningful professional development and the systems of evaluation, on top of enough resources, (Donaldson, 2001).
Literature confirms that, superintendents and business people play an important responsibility in the recruitment, preparation, and the retention of other junior effective school leaders. They ensure that principals have the enough autonomy useful and timely information as well as adequate resources that ought to be used in improving teaching and learning in different schools.
Better-prepared superintendents and business officials are much critical in ensuring the attainment of improved instructions and improved student’s performance. By bad luck, preparation programs have received criticism allover the world for not preparing adequately for today’s school environment that has become very complicated. Many programs that are used during training, be they university programs district or state-based, are not training principals adequately for them to deal with the matter of improving teaching and learning operations (Peterson, 2002).
Most of the programs in most cases fail in responding to the local needs and wants, providing enough follow-up support to their students, as well as trucking graduates into their workplace for updating their programs continually. In response to such allegations, several universities and collages have engaged themselves in redesigning their administrator preparation programs. This aim of; reflecting statewide leadership standards; incorporating real-world problems and effective leadership practices; emphasizing instructional leadership; integration of practices and theory, provision of authentic school-based experiences (via attachments or programs that are medical-based residency); evaluation of students, knowledge of mastery and skills; evaluation of program efficiency; and lastly, partnership creation between schools district and universities.
The available literature at the same time states that a growing number of states and districts that are large, are trying to air such like challenges by the use of new preparation program creation. Such like alternative programs, for instance statewide leadership academies, or even district-led programs in most cases create collaborative partnership with agencies of nations or states, association professionals as well as institutions dealing with higher learning. They ensure that alternatives are available are much responsive leadership requirements and creation of competitive university-based leadership preparation programs.
In the preparation of school leaders, literature states that, superintendents and business officials have numerous opportunities of playing the major role through adoption of rigorous leadership standards to direct all concepts of school leadership development and aligning such standards to preparation, induction and mentoring, as well as professional development and evaluation. The state on the other hand, can also leverage policy and licensure to in the process of improving preparation programs. They can furthermore provide training and support, and propose creation of alternative preparation programs.
Mentoring and Induction
Just like any other aspiring professionals, superintendents can benefit more from mentoring and induction operations that are meaningful. These two benefits can be might be integral elements of school leaders’ preparation programs that were designed with the aim of school and the performance of students. Under some circumstances, in some nations and states, it can be related to licensure programs.
In accordance to Southern Religion Education Board, the elements that comprises effective mentoring are: higher expectations and standards for attainment; university and district partners commitments, learning systems that is problem-centered, superintendents and university internship coordinators, clear definition of mentors’ responsibilities, on top of meaningful performance evaluation. Superintendents as mentors receive high quality training to ensure that they give support to new and aspiring principals. Many superintendents have opened up mentoring and induction programs in their area of operation in support of new administrators and principals during their first few years in their positions.
Professional development has also been major policy discussions to ensure that school leaders possess a wider range of knowledge and experience to be efficient in the current increasing school environment complexity. Continuous superintendents and other stakeholders’ people strengthen and develop a capacity of school leadership in the process of improving instructions and creation of a school culture of collective leadership. They put putting expectations at a higher level and having maximum collaboration for all students. Available literature suggests that professional development that is far much effective, need to be ongoing, and entrenched in practice, connected to the reform initiatives of schools on top of being based on problems. Furthermore, it needs to be related to leadership standards that are thorough.
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Superintendents and business officials, ensure the availability of high quality professional development is continually available to make sure those capacities of leaders is strengthened to improve instructions and curriculum, on top of high effective organization creation. They provide special attention to building very strong leadership teams. Such teams include; teachers who provide assistance in improving continuous imrovements and airs specific challenged facing a particular school, especially in schools that have lower performances.
The advantage that is stated by literature is that in the US; around every state have school administrators that hold minimum professional development necessities for the renewal of administrator renewal. The renewal of professional development licensure forms a significant element to advance knowledge and expertise of superintendents and principals in improving schools.
Superintendents continue strengthening their efforts in evaluating school leaders. They normally use assessments in improving programs for preparing school leaders, licensure, certification, induction and mentoring, on top of qualified support and improvement. Valid and reliable efficient leadership evaluation helps superintendents when aligning leadership policies, through them, leadership assessments programs used in preparation, provides accountability information. As an effect, leadership assessment needs not to be looked upon as a one objective program, but as an operation for collecting the information to be used in improving teaching and learning.
Superintendents and other concerned individuals uses Robusta data in the collection of principals, teachers and even students’ information, which is used as an education assessment factor. The criteria in cooperation with rigorous standards need to give a distinction between principals who are effective ad these who are inefficient. Superintendents in most cases tend to consider the use of multiple indicators. In the principal’s evaluation, performance-based measures and the annual individual student growth measures amongst other student superintendents use information, (Peterson, 2002).
This in one way or the other can be improved graduation of high school, readiness of collage attendants’ rates and matriculation. Nevertheless, superintendents in one way or the other uses other measures in the evaluation principle, effectiveness of teachers, transfer and retention on top of working condition. A well designed evaluation system; present the feedback to school leaders and tracks personal progress for the mastering of the knowledge and expertise required in the improvement of student learning and school attainment; the systems also identify professional developments as well as supporting customized to the requirements of individual leaders and schools too. The available literature provides feedback to licensure institutions on graduates, for continuers’ performance of preparation program improvement. The program also assists individuals to advance in there career developments, and helps them in meeting requirements for professional-level licensure, (Peterson, 2002).
Superintendents require school leaders’ evaluation. They may also evaluation for the completion of preparation programs successfully. The degree of entry level and licensure that is advanced, useful programs that are used in monitoring and induction as well as professional expansion, all these together aligned to the leadership standards that are aligned to the statewide, (Bush, 1999). This information is used for the accountability and development for the educator.
Education Standards Board, have the responsibility of developing teacher and principle assessment model instruments and operations that are based on the standard of the board for both principals and teachers. They also develop evaluation educator program that is consistent with the criteria set the board. This will help in supporting, monitoring and maintaining programs for educator assessment, and the provision of ongoing assessment of career educators, (Stephen, 2005).
Prepared Superintendents in many states engages in the activities of recruiting, prepare them give them support and also the retention of effective school leaders. They are also left with the responsibility of K-12 school governance structure, in the determination of most efficient way of improving teaching and learning. In many states, superintendents together with the local school board members make most significant decisions for students who operate in their systems. Due to the increase in the education funding degree, and the educations expectations that are very high, superintendents a are charged with the responsibilities of holding school districts and schools for the accountability for the progress of their students, (Elmore, 2000).
Compensations and Data Systems
Many superintendents and business people allover the world is experiencing shortages in prepared school leaders in their area of operation. Some factors that have led to such like condition include; retirement wave that is anticipated to happen in the coming few years, insufficient compensation and benefits, tedious policies and regulation barriers, and lastly, demanding jobs of holding the accountability for the success of all students. In some nations, the qualification requirements are a times greater. Attracting and retaining exemplary prepared school leaders, especially those serving in the lowest performing schools, superintendents have recommended to the state to reexamine the compensation of prepared school leaders, (Stephen et al, 2005).
Longitudinal as systems of data collection are necessities used by superintendents for improving teaching and learning as well as attaining accountability effectively. These programs have been developed in a manner that even student progress over time can be monitored, as for instance from early childhood all the way to postsecondary education, (Bill, 2003).
Superintendents are also taking measures in ensuring needed steps in ensuring longitudinal information for nonstop consistent improvements. Superintendents use such like information that is valid and much timely in making decisions that are much critical for educators, for instance, connecting principal information to student data, among others. This process of data collection is much important in teaching and learning improvements. Career paths of school leaders and superintendents from their preparation to employment in studying the preparation program effectiveness, induction and mentoring process as well as development programs for professionals. In New Mexico for instance, there are laws that demand school administrators students to be monitored directly from pre-entry all the way to post graduate. It is also needed that, the information from the information concerning the administrator programs of preparation be added on in the reporting systems of educator accountability and the yearly transparency report of statewide educator, (West & Patterson,1999).
Licensure and Certification
The authority of licensing and certifying school leader candidates is an important policy requirement in ensuring that all schools have prepared leaders. It is the duty of the state, to regulate who can become a superintendent and signal the qualification to the community, containing business officials. Historically, the requirements of licensing have been focusing on the number of units causes taken while undergoing administration preparation program on top of classroom experience, other than mastery knowledge and skills. Drastically, countries are moving towards licensure that is based on performances systems by creating standards that are high and needing superintendents to show knowledge and experience for them to level of entry and advanced licensure, (Stephen et al, 2005).
The tiered licensure systems that most states have implemented demand candidates to go beyond and above the normal completion approved program of preparing administrators and just passing certification exams. The entry-level and superintendents that are experienced have ensured continual demonstration of their capabilities to ensure teaching and learning as well as instruction have been improved. Licensure candidates in such states are requested to provide assurances that they have practiced the behaviors and experience of improving practices in classroom and learning of students. Tiered certification is not all the same in all states, though have the capability of combining graduate course works, school leadership experience, either an attachment or clinical experience, taking part in useful programs entailing mentoring and induction documents of professional portfolio, as well as a prove of improved student attainment, (Silins & Mulford, 2002).
Many states have also developed alternative pathways for the certification of school leaders. One of the strategies that have been used to deal with job shortages in scho9ols is the recruitment and training individuals from outside teaching departments. Commonly, this has become an alternative licensure. Amongst those who meet the requirements. However, substitute licensure for superintendents has become more prevalent. Many states still need aspiring principals to be expertise, and teachers who are fully certified. On the other hand, Substitute certification has become more common in many states, (Riley & Louis, 2000).
Available literature continue explaining that, though licensure is a significant state policy machine used in strengthening school leaders, in isolation, it can’t operate. It has to be coordinated with other concepts of leadership expansion, these includes; standards, attachment, preparation, mentorship and induction, and the Ongoing professional evaluation and development. The responsibility of the state in coming up with licensure and certification of superintendents is much paramount. States are able to settle on certification and licensure qualification of superintendents, this might include; coming up with advanced licensure mechanisms that concentrates on mastery of experience and knowledge as well as a prove of achievement of students. The state also has the responsibility of creating substitute programs of licensure. All these depends on the states superintendent standards, (Riley & Louis, 2000).
The Responsibilities of Business officials
The school business officials’ duties are far much diverse, complex subjects to alter and in most cases vary from district to the other. Business officials are the main members of the management group. This group represents superintendents; board education in the management of school district. together with the superintendents, members of the education board, other administrators, non teaching staff, teaching staff, parents and guidance, leaders in the community, and in most cases, they are responsible for designing and managing operations that include some if not all stakeholders in the processes of the school diistrict.
The legal roots for the school business officials position, provides duties that they perform. School finance officers forms the local school administrative units who are appointed by the superintendents of schools, who are approved by the education board, with the school financial officers helping at the wish of administrators. The responsibilities of school financial officer might be conferred on any worker or officer of the local district unit of school administration; in other words, upon the superintendent’s request, who does the board of education and the county commissioner then approve. In places that have more than one local school unit of administration, the responsibilities of finance officer, might be conferred on any worker.
The Stake of Business Officials on Education Program
The efficient operations are facilities by Business officials to ensure that more resources might be invested in programs of education. Amongst the examples are; trained business officials carefully manage school district cash flows to ensure that return on investments is minimized. In addition, they assist in managing the timing of school expenditures for the use of available resources in an efficient manner. They also effectively monitor budgeted expenditures the school business officials are able to identify quickly potential savings and allocate them again to other areas that are badly in need of them, other than waiting for the coming cycle of marketing, (Cooper, & Speakman, 1997).
They analyze business processes in the entire organization. The school business officials helps in the identification and implementation of strategies that aids in cost reduction and necessary time for the completion of ordinary business duties, for instance, management of payroll, the operations of purchase orders and miscellaneous payments like bills, on top of other administrative functions while going on with meeting necessary requirements for reporting and auditing. Business officials on other hand have developed and shared other strategies across the entire state. Some of them help in saving costs in various activities, which give rise to economies in areas like construction supervision, insurance, transportation, as well as food service among other areas.
The prop up that school business officials get from the superintendents, as well as Education board, result to a marvelous difference in terms of effectiveness of financial management used in different school districts. Assuming that there are no strong supports they are accorded by the school district leadership, the school business officers will not be able to enforce the rules, procedures, and policies effectively. As an effect, there will be no school business operations that are bound within the law, and in agreement with business management practices that are good. When recruiting aspirants for school business official position; much care needs to be considered. This is to ensure that the person chosen, show the capabilities of working well with other members in the team of leadership, as well as ensuring that both mutual support and teamwork, are very significant for businesses that are ranked on the level of first class business processes, (Hack et al, 1994).
Competencies Needed For the Qualification of School Business Officials
For the successful Management of various responsibility arrays, that has been mentioned previously, need school business officials described as having broad base knowledge, starting with very keen grasp of modern business actions, to a very clear thoughtful of and much commitments to the programs that can be described as being instructional. Aspirants to be far much comfortable and very familiar with school budgets and Act of physical control, as well as many other state rules and regulations which normally govern such like adverse actions; as the investment forms permitted, buying power, certification issues and taxes from properties, and sources of revenue, as well as the requirements of documentation federal funding. In history, Officials of school business were taken mainly from instructional fields, however, in the current world; most of them are being recruited from other entities of local governments, firms of public accounting, among other fields related to business community.
Leadership and Conceptual Skills
The qualifications of becoming school business official, includes that one that demand for intelligence, very high standards of ethics, judgment that is mush accurate, on top of being dedicated to district mission. Being the specialists of financial operations of school district superintendents, the officials of school business is in most cases expected to be in the forefront in reducing operational costs, making administrative duties far much efficient and very effective. In addition, they are expected to be in the forefront in the presentation of major facts and the analyses for the construction of school plans, on top of taking advantage of the technology that is advancing to bring in new abilities that aids in dealing with administrative operations.
Another noble qualification is the possession of both communication and interpersonal skills. School business officials is in most circumstances needed to be a listener described as being an astute and communicator who is much effective. Very strong verbal and writing skills will be an asset that is much valuable in the effective relation with the superintendents, Education Board, Administrators, teachers and other staff members, on top of parents and the society. The officials of school business, is supposed to play main duties apart from coming up with long range schemes of school districts, however in the articulation of financial and education progresses requirements to the Education Board, among other elected bodies, (North Carolina Association of School Business Officials, 2010).
The available literature continues stating that, the technical skills are much important in achieving success in district affairs management. Such like affairs include being familiar with accounting principals that have been generally accepted, effectively coordinate fiscal and statistical information. They need to have thorough knowledge of regulatory and legal environment and talents for prudent management of resources that are fiscal. Officials of school business who have become much successful, must also at one time have first hand experience with the concepts of technicality of business operations; particularly the use of computers and computer spreadsheet tools.
Experience in such like areas, is in most cases developed and maintained via participation in the development activities of professionals. North Carolina Association of School Business Officials has provided such like activities. This is an international association that has international and regional constitutes, and the North Carolina Department of public instructions. This organization provides chances for business officials, to expand their professional expertise and meet with peers in different fields, idea sharing as well as solutions that are much creative to their district major concerns.
Qualification of School Business Official in North Carolina
“The North Carolina State Board of Education Policy Manual” (Wallace foundation, 2009), contains specific qualifications for any spirant of School business official in North Carolina and the maintenance of certified status. Generally, the aspirants need to have at least years of experience in business and a four-year degree with a major in a curriculum that is related to business. Alternatively, in some rear occasions, three year experience in business, a four-year degree with a major in a non-business related curriculum, on top of 24 semester hours course work that is business related. CPA certificate on its part, it is exactly for individuals who meet both education and experience necessities, obtaining certification only at the time one is accepting the first position, which needs on to hold the certificate of SBO, and the certification will only be maintained if and only if the person continue remaining in a similar position.
For the retention of that certificate, “a certified NC School Business Official”, (Wallacefoundation, 2009) has to finish not less than 24 hours of continuing professional education every year. Extra renewing hours of training are higher than what the state demand when in other position in the North Carolina school district. Any incomplete hours of learning results to revocation of business official certificate, and in some case, it might leads to school district funding reduction. This kind of reduction takes place school district that employee that individual, in other cases, other measures that the manual policy indicates might befall the individual only or with the concerned school, (Hack et al, 1994).
Time of Change
There has been change over the past years that affected students and financial management in various schools. Such like changes included; increasing expectations from the public to improve significantly in the student success in various public schools. There has been also an increasing demand on for education setting substitute like the charter schools. Significant changes in the make-up in parents’ and family duties. This has resulted to higher expectations concerning school service provision for kids like those in pre-k programs of education, and particular programs for kids suffering from abuse and neglect. Such like Changes take on significant importance related to economic challenges. This point of realizing that, schools have to improve in the country, for it to compete effectively in the world market. Accomplishing such ambitions, need strong fiscal school leadership. The efficient management of all these dollars that have been granted stimulates new era of productivity and much advances in public schools, (North Carolina Association of School Business Officials, 2010).
Financial affairs mangers of schools district, is in a better position to understand and recognize chances for operational improvements and implementation of practical measures for the deliverances of educational services in an efficient manner. For the effective successful district administration team, the school district has to get the right person who has the ability to accomplish many demands of school business officer. A person who is able to available resources for the accomplishment of the growing demand for accountability and effectiveness that is being placed upon public education institutions in the current world, (Cooper, & Speakman, 1997).