The Role of the Public School Superintendent in Local Economic Development

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Virginia Tech

The public school superintendent is seen as the leader of schools and as a spokesperson bridging schools and the community. With this thought in mind, along with reports suggesting school and business collaboration as the key to better schools and lasting economic growth, defining the school superintendent's role in local economic development becomes valuable. As school and business relationships change, superintendents must be prepared to address this evolving interdependence.

The purpose of this study was to clarify the role of the public school superintendent in local economic development. Using a three-round Delphi technique, panelists representing various geographic locations and employment domains participated in developing a consensus on this role. Superintendents, economic development leaders, business leaders, and government officials individually identified the tasks important to the public school superintendent's responsibility in local economic development. Panel members then rated the level of importance of each suggested task and worked through the rounds to develop agreement using statistical feedback from the group response. The tasks agreed upon by 80% of the panel members as being important to extremely important were then examined to disclose the level of importance. The rating response mean and standard deviation were calculated for each task. These descriptive measures were then used to rank the most important tasks and better define the public school superintendent's role in local economic development.

Delphi, Superintendent, Economic Development