The Insiders: How Principals and Superintendents See Public Education Today

Sarah Kim

Public Agenda
October 2006

This report--based on a survey of superintendents, principals, teachers, and parents--asks school leaders to appraise the institutions they head. Not too surprisingly, more than half of the nation's superintendents consider their local schools to be "excellent." Even more alarming, almost four out of five superintendents and principals say low academic standards are not a problem where they work. Pollyannish? Depends upon which side of the education divide you sit. Administrators in predominantly minority and low-income schools are far less content with the status quo than their counterparts in mainly white districts. Many of the principals in less cushy environs admit to serious problems with dropouts and low academic expectations. This report does a good job identifying opinions of local school leaders and demonstrating a wide gap between the views of local education leaders and the reality of most U.S. schools and school systems. Read it here.

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