Reclaiming Local Control through Superintendents, School Boards, and Community Activism

Edited by:

A volume in the series: Research on the Superintendency. Editor(s): Meredith Mountford, Florida Atlantic University. Leigh E. Wallace, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Call for Chapters

The purpose of this series is to explore vexing issues for the American school superintendent. Superintendents do not work alone or in a vacuum. They serve as multi-directional informational hubs who facilitate the flow of information between, among, and across all school district stakeholders (Mountford & Alsbury, 2007). These stakeholders derive from complex, often pluralistic, macro and micro-communities or services across key areas of educational governance (Mountford & Wallace, 2019). This includes other superintendents, school boards, community members, school leaders, educators, state and federal departments of education, private enterprise, and virtually anyone who interfaces with a school district. Perhaps the most vital stakeholder for the superintendent is their school board. A superintendent’s capacity to be a multi-directional informational hub to the broader community while working collaboratively with their school board is a powerful, yet politically delicate position to negotiate. While this organizational set up of district leadership was intended to sustain local control of education, local control, as we once knew it, is increasingly elusive.

To that end, Volume II of The Research on the Superintendency Series under contract for aa second volume of the series is soliciting chapters related to the tensions described above as well as:

1) Reclaiming local control – school boards and community engaged in efforts to increase and sustain local control of education.

2) The history of local control of schools and the future of school governance.

3) Superintendents, school boards, and civic organizations – Opportunity gaps and advocacy; empirical studies and exemplars from the field encouraged.

4) School redistricting and inequity - Trends toward re-segregation efforts through redistricting and the impact on equity across SES, student, and family health and wellness.

5) The politicization of the superintendency and school boards – Changing motivations for the role of superintendent and/or school boards.

6) The capacity of superintendents and/or school board members to influence state and federal education policy.

7) Superintendents and school boards – partnerships with other school districts, community organizations, unions, universities, non-profits, or for-profit organizations.

8) Superintendents and school boards and the role of system thinking during policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation.

9) Superintendents and/or school board evaluations – The role of board and superintendent advocacy efforts in evaluations and feedback.

10) Conditions necessary for superintendents and school boards to turn around student performance.

11) The experiences of Latinx school board members.

12) Representation and experiences of superintendents and/or school board members of color, Latinx, females, LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual, and queer or questioning), or any traditionally marginalized population serving as school board member or superintendent.

13) The impact of dwindling resources on superintendent and school board decision making and student wellbeing and academic outcomes.

14) The impact of superintendent and/or school board member churn.

15) School board members and superintendents’ reactions and solutions to mass shootings or violence in schools.

16) International governance structures and local control of education. The similarities and differences of school board members and/or superintendents among their international counterparts.

Each submission must address one or more of the issues above or a related topic and conclude by highlighting the contribution of the proposed chapter to the field.

Despite significant findings on the critical roles, responsibilities, and system impact of school leaders and their school boards, a commitment to focused research on the superintendency and school board members remains a seriously under-researched in the field. Our schools are changing and require a new focus, understanding, and response to diverse learning environments. Leading for social justice must be a primary consideration when studying the role of the superintendent and school board members Garza (2008) states, “Leading for social justice incites political unrest because the hegemonic culture will resist change that provides equity to all members of society” (p. 163). Contemporary school district leaders should recognize this reality and step up to the plate.

Format of Proposal
You are invited to submit a proposal of no more than 500 words (not including the listing of up to 10 references) for the second volume of the series: The Contemporary Superintendent under contract with Information Age Press. The submitting authors will be notified of the co-editors’ decision by mid-August (see projected deadlines below). Corresponding authors of full chapters are required to participate in a blind review of two other full chapters, submitting comments three weeks after the full chapter submission deadline.

Please email proposals as attachments in Microsoft Word format to both Dr. Meredith Mountford ( and Dr. Leigh E. Wallace ( Inquiries are welcome.

Projected 2020-21 Deadline for Proposals:

Chapter Proposals for VOLUME II: March 15, 2020
Notification of Decision: April 15, 2020
Full Chapters Submitted & Blind Peer Review Initiated: June, 15 2020
Blind Peer Review Comments Returned to Authors: August 15, 2020
Authors’ Responses to Peer Review Comments Submitted to Editors: September 1, 2020
Editors/Authors Interaction... Final Version Submitted to IAP: October 15, 2020 with intended publication by the end of 2020

  • This title is in development and is not yet available to order online. Please call the IAP office for more information: 704.752.9125
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