Nontraditional educational leadership

Table of Content


The nontraditional educational leadership has been said to be the best alternative of effecting change to traditional leadership. This has been seen as away of improving the academic performance of educational institutions and at the same time, those hired to manage the nontraditional schools offer the best managerial skills. Parents of the children in those schools seem to support this system because it has been proved to be the better option. The other purpose of introducing the nontraditional educational leadership was to bring decentralization. Decentralization seeks to centralize authority in order to enhance accountability and overcome impediments of school boards politics and bureaucratic inefficiencies.

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Gunslingers have been the best alternative for managing, controlling and effecting change in schools. They have been thought to be more interested in achievement measures, as they measure their achievement by use of the quantifiable indicators. These people are not purely educationists but come with modern management skills. They speak of pleasing their customers and promise to bring business practices that will bear good returns in terms of good management and improved performance. They recognize that they are not educators, but want to be leaders of the education system. However there are many challenges which come with this system that need to be considered first before embracing it. The entry of political influence into the management of schools can affect the management and performance of those institutions. For a long time most public schools have been run by individuals who are educationists but their management and administrative skills have not been pleasing. The performances of their schools have not been encouraging, even the enrollment rate has been too high thus affecting the general performance of the school. This has necessitated the introduction of the nontraditionaleducational leadership in these schools to rectify the deteriorating situation. In general the nontraditional educational leadership in public education is about bringing better leadership by describing it, introducing more better reforms and exploring their implications to public education.

Critique in the body

Many reasons have been given on the importance of introducing the nontraditional educational leadership in the United States. Some of the major reasons of introducing it includes; high dropout rates, disciplinary problems, chronic truancy, and most important, low test and achievement scores, seen as enough evidence of the incapability of public educational institutions to achieve their basic goals. The appointment of the Chief Executive Officers or gunslingers and mayors rather than school superintendent has its disadvantages. Their professional backgrounds lie entirely outside the sphere of public education. They have no exposure to the standard education school curriculum; they have not shaped their professional identity by championing on the particular education practices or practices. The hope of employing them to bring new ideas and perhaps bring radical changes to teaching, teachers and curriculum matters is at times not attained.

Though they offer the best managerial skills, they know little about teaching children, tend to hire their deputies, who are professionally qualified and conform to the professional norms. The gunslinger superitendants challenge the culture of the schools and are seen by the public as obstructionists, hide-bound and elf-seeking. They have no career at stake, no reputation to protect and enhance for the next superitendancy, undertake ruthless leadership that is prepared to tackle really ancient problems of management. Another issue is whether the public will recognize their management skills and reward them for their success. They impose order on the bureaucratic operations of the district schools, make no pretence but understanding the process of education. They ride into town and tame or even replace the school board, challenge the teachers union, master the bureaucracy, and for the good measure, galvanize students and their parents to commit higher achievement. Quite often, they delegate this function to their second- in- command meaning that they cannot make important and urgent decisions on their own on educational matters. Some have challenged the teachers union, portraying them as a divisive force and an obstacle to innovation. The changes in the administration will mean drastic change from the top up to the classroom, however if not handled properly will disrupt the usual schedule of the school programmes to some extent. In real sense hiring a gunslinger is a high risk proposition that is likely to lead to ignominious defeat and community disappointment as expectations were based on the wrong paradigm.


The introduction of any new method will always come with its advantages and disadvantages. A situation where the benefits seem to outweigh the losses, the new method can be applied. Wider consultations have to be made and an experiment has to be carried out on one school to find out whether really the method works. The inclusion of politicians in the education system can affect the management of many schools thus impacting negatively on education Politicians are not educationists bit opportunists who have hidden mission to accomplish for their own benefits. Hiring of managers should be done in a more professional way. People who are qualified and are professionals in public education should be hired as they have the experience and are committed to their jobs. Those hired must have the will of the public and should be people who are recognized and respected by the public.

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Nontraditional educational leadership. (2017, Jan 14). Retrieved from

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