Measuring School Superintendent Efficiency

Date: August 11, 2011
Location: College Park, MD

A recent publication titled “The Productivity of Elected and Appointed Officials: The Case of School Superintendents” aims at measuring elected and appointed school superintendents through a solid and critical quality measures systems established through rigorous research; the academic performance of children in school.

The publication and study, written by Optimal Solution Group, LLC’s (Optimal’s) Mark Partridge and former Florida State University (FSU’s) professor Tim Sass, provided a brief history of research work undertaken to measure efficiency of governments run by elected versus appointed officials for the past 40 years. According to the paper, past research efforts have measured expenditures of municipal and county governments to determine efficiency. However, this study focused on the actions and academic progress of children functioning in schools under elected and appointed superintendents.

The conclusion of the study found no consistent difference in the performance of elected and appointed superintendents. The study utilized data from 67 school districts in Florida and used both instrumental variable methods and panel data techniques to nullify selection bias issues.  The full paper regarding the study, its methodologies, and findings can be found via SpringerLink.