In the L.A. Unified School District, the Board of Education recently approved Michelle King, a career educator who has worked at L.A. Unified for more than three decades, to take on that role. Here’s a primer on her job and why it matters to you:
Why should I care about this superintendent person, anyway?
And it’s not just your child who is affected. L.A. Unified is the second-largest school district in the country.
How does the superintendent interact with my school?
The L.A. Unified superintendent is in charge of an organization that caters to a population that has more people than the state of Vermont, or about 732,800 students, including independent charters and adult education.
But she oversees about 60,000 employees, so much of her influence will be felt from above.
How much of a say do I have in the choice of superintendent?
For the latest search, though, the district launched a public campaign, asking community members to come to forums and fill out online surveys to discuss what they want to see in the next superintendent. About 1,600 people attended the interviews or focus groups, and about 9,500 responded to the survey.
How do I know if the board selected a good superintendent?
That depends on whom you ask and when you’re asking. Depending on the schools’ challenges at any given time, the board might be looking for an insider or an outsider. In choosing King, school board members noted that she’s been in the district more than 30 years, as a student, teacher, principal, deputy superintendent and parent.
How do I tell the superintendent what I need?
For L.A. Unified, King’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Parents can also attend school board meetings, which the superintendent often attends.
How much is the superintendent paid?
In urban districts around the U.S., superintendents were paid an average of $242,000 in 2014, according to a survey by the Council of the Great City Schools.
Who pays for the superintendent?
If the job is to manage the school district, why is so much time spent on politics?
How long does the superintendent stay?
Next door at Long Beach Unified School District, meanwhile, Superintendent Chris Steinhauser is in his 14th year as the schools chief. He said the key to lasting a long time is forming good relationships with community members and board members, and having a long-term plan in place that both board members and the superintendent can adhere to.
How do I know if she's doing a good job?
- style="font-weight: 400;">100% graduation rate (the district’s is currently about 70%)
- style="font-weight: 400;">“Proficiency for all students”
- style="font-weight: 400;">100% attendance rate
- style="font-weight: 400;">“Engaged parents and families”
- style="font-weight: 400;">“Safety of schools as well as other job performance factors,” such as enrollment, the district’s budget and the district’s financial health
How do you think the superintendent should be rated? Join the conversation on Twitter @LATEducation.