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The Superintendent: Championing the Deepest Purposes of Education


by Paul D. Houston — 2006

To be proactive and to broaden our leadership agenda, we must recognize that the first and foremost mission of the public schools is their civic mission. In these times of making education the foremost instrument of the global economy while making public schools the scapegoat for society’s lack of will to tackle the messy issues of race and class, that mission has gotten lost. What would it take to recapture the deepest reasons we have public schools? What would it take to confront the issues of how we keep children whole and how we address the needs of the whole child in an era in which children are being sliced and diced into categories on standardized tests? What is the role of local districts, of local control, when state and federal bureaucracies are making the decisions and calling the dance? What are the implications of all this for education and for democracy?


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 105. No. 1.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 108 Number 13, 2006, p. 1-9
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18499, Date Accessed: 7/29/2017 7:41:28 AM

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About the Author
  • Paul Houston
    American Association of School Administrators
    E-mail Author
    PAUL D. HOUSTON has received several awards for his leadership in education and has served as executive director of the American Association of School Administrators since 1994. Dr. Houston served schools in North Carolina, New Jersey, and Alabama prior to serving as superintendent of schools in Princeton, New Jersey; Tucson, Arizona; and Riverside, California. Dr. Houston has also served in an adjunct capacity for the University of North Carolina, Harvard University, Brigham Young University and Princeton University. He has served as a consultant and speaker throughout the U.S. and internationally, and he has published more than 150 articles in professional journals.
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