What would you ask a prospective superintendent?
On Thursday, I'll be heading up to Massachusetts for a couple days to attend a seminar for Harvard's Urban Superintendents Program, which prepares educators to become urban superintendents. (This is the program where Andres Alonso earned his doctorate.) I've been asked to speak on a media panel, talking to the current doctoral students about working with the press. On the second day of the seminar, I'll be participating in a "mock school board," interviewing these prospective superintendents as though they were applying for a job leading one of our nation's more challenging school systems. Which is why I'm posting this item... to solicit question ideas from all of you who are working (or have recently worked) in the trenches. What would you ask someone applying to be a superintendent or top-level central office administrator? What kind of answers would you want to hear?
UPDATE (Dec. 10): I just returned from the trip last night, just in time to beat some northeastern snow. There were several of us on the mock school board, so I only got to ask a few questions to each of the three candidates I interviewed. But I did ask all of them about what their mechanism would be to listen to staff and parent concerns. I got an interesting range of responses, including one who would have weekly office hours for people to come in and share their concerns. We had to ask at least some things from a list of real questions that interviewing superintendents have had to answer. A number of them were close to the questions submitted here (how to hold parents accountable, views on charter and magnet schools, etc.). Thanks again to all of you for your great suggestions.