In Reality Check 2006, Public Agenda asked superintendents and principals about their schools. They’re a happy bunch.
. . . more than half of the nation’s superintendents consider local schools to be “excellent.” Most superintendents (77 percent) and principals (79 percent) say low academic standards are not a serious problem where they work. Superintendents are substantially less likely than classroom teachers to believe that too many students get passed through the system without learning. While 62 percent of teachers say this is a “very” or “somewhat serious” problem in local schools, just 27 percent of superintendents say the same.
Administrators in “mainly-minority schools” report many more problems.
A majority of principals in mainly-minority schools say their schools have serious problems with too many kids dropping out, acting disrespectfully and slipping though the system without learning. Overall, principals in mainly minority schools are less satisfied with their teaching staffs than principals in mainly-white schools. They are also less likely to say that they have enough authority to do their jobs.
While superintendents and principals are satisfied with most of their teachers, 70 percent say a “very effective” way to improve teaching is to make it easier to fire bad teachers, including those with tenure.