The Growth of Minorities in the Nation’s Superintendencies

Research indicates that minorities have greater success when they are in schools where there are more adults (educators, principals and other personnel) that look like them.

As a new report from AASA, The School Superintendents Association, suggest the nation’s superintendents are still overwhelmingly white and male despite gradual shifts in demographics. The percentage of female superintendents increased slightly in the past decade, from 24.1% in 2010 to 26.68% in 2020 — more than double the percentage of female superintendents documented in 2000 (13.1%). The number of superintendents of color is increasing much more slowly, with 8.6% of respondents identifying as superintendents of color in 2020, compared to 6% in 2010 and 5% in 2000. Of the relatively small percentage who are African American, Latinx or other minority group, nearly 42% are women. ?

Chris Tienken. the lead investigator of the study  pointed out the position of superintendent is much more diverse than its counterpart in the business world: The percentage of women and leaders of color in the top education leadership position is “well above” the 5.4% of S&P 500 companies led by a woman, the 5% of the Russell 3000 companies that have a woman in the top position, and the only four black CEOs leading Fortune 500 companies in 2019. Principal leadership remains comparatively much more diverse in contrast, with women holding a majority of principal positions during the 2015-16 school year, according to the National Teacher and Principal Survey. The same survey found? 22.2% of public-school principal positions were held by people of color.

In 2017 our nation’s school systems became “minority-Majority” – minority dominated. Both superintendent and principal leadership lags behind the public-school student population, which has become increasingly diverse. While the last decade was expected to bring a substantial turnover of superintendents, with about half of survey respondents saying they planned to leave the profession, more superintendents (nearly 60%) said they plan to stay in the profession.



Most School Shooters Are…

The National Threat Assessment Center, a division of the US Secret Service has issued a followup report to the initial school shootings at Columbine HS. The new report emphasizes the following:

The overwhelming number of  school shooters are “students, former students or students from other schools.” They are not intruders. So we have been preparing for the wrong attackers. The people who commit school violence know the schools. We have created a multi million dollar industry with secure door locks, “bullet-proof” back packs and the rest of the “harding” of schools.


New School Violence Report Issued

The National Threat Assessment Center, a division of the US Secret Service has issued a followup report to the initial school shootings at Columbine HS. The new report emphasizes the following:

“There is no profile of a student attacker. There have been male and female attackers, high-achieving students with good grades as well as poor performers. These acts of violence were committed by students who were loners and socially isolated, and those who were well-liked and popular.”


America’s Disregard for Schools, Educators & Children

Across the country, America’s schools are not a priority. There is a disregard to schools, educators and children. Let’s look at the following as proof:

  • Four public schools in Scranton, PA were closed last month because of hazardous asbestos and lead in pipes.
  • The average teacher spends $500 on supplies. (In what other business, are employees expected to pay for supplies?) Source: Pew study
  • There are 200,000 “temporary” portable classrooms. Many are not heated in Fall or Winter. There isn’t air conditioners in the Spring or Summer. Some lack toilets. ( How many businesses could or would operate under these conditions?) Source: Wikipedia
  • Teachers have as many as 25 students in the space of a hotel room. Source: Randi Weingarten in the NY Times, 2/17/2020
  • America’s public schools received a D+ from the American Society of Civil Engineers in their latest infrastructure report card. Source: ASCE
  • As of 2010, the National Center for Educational Statistics estimated that there are almost 99,000 public schools in the country. In 1999, ( the most recent data available) the average public school was 42 years old, (built in 1957).
  • About 28 percent of school districts have already achieved 1 Mbps per student, including 15 percent of the 1,000 largest districts in the country—leaving 72 percent of districts without sufficient internet speeds to make digital learning a central part of the curriculum.Source:
  • Nearly half of rural, single-school districts, which average about 200 students apiece, have already reached the 1 Mbps goal.. Source:

Businesses depend on well-trained, highly qualified graduates. How can schools produce them under these conditions?






Get a Free Excerpt of My New Book

Learning Counsel has just published the first of two excerpts from my new best-selling book, Who Will Teach The Children? Recruiting, Retaining & Refreshing Highly Effective Educators # hashtag#education hashtag#pedagogy hashtag#schoolsafety hashtag#principalsschool


Reasons Why There is A Shortage of Special Educators

America is facing a major shortage in a number of subject areas. But there is no more dramatic shortage than in Special Education. No state- no school district- no school can find a sufficient number of qualified, licensed special educators. Many are hiring unlicensed, uncertified teachers. Some states are resorting to importing Special Educators from foreign countries who work on short-termed-visas. How severe is the problem?

  • 49 states report a shortage of special education teachers
  • 3 percent of special education teachers leave the profession – nearly double the rate of general educators.
  • 82 percent of special educators report there are not enough professionals to meet the need of special education students
  • All school districts and 90 percent of high poverty schools have difficulty recruiting qualified special educators.


  • Could it be the inordinate amount of time and effort to complete IEP’s?
  • Could it be the fear of lawsuits?
  • Could it be the extra hours that Special Educators need to put into the job?


Whatever the reasons, the most vulnerable students in our educational system go without the minimum needs necessary in order for them to succeed.




Why College Enrollments Continue to Fall

College Enrollment Continues to Decline

College enrollment in the U.S. has decreased for the eighth consecutive year, according to an article published in Inside Higher Ed (https://insidehigheredcom) according to data released by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

The overall decline compared to last year was 1.7 percent. Community colleges continued their enrollment slide with a decline of 3.4 percent. Four-year public institutions saw a drop of .9 percent. States that had the largest decrease in student enrollment numbers were Florida, California, Illinois, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Alaska, Florida, Illinois, North Dakota, Hawaii and Kansas had the largest percentage declines.

Why is this taking place? There are a number of variables, so it is difficult to pinpoint  a singular cause. I will enumerate.

  • Our college-aged population is aging.
  • The number of college-aged people is declining.
  • College-aged people may have different obligations such as taking care of their children and/or their parents.
  • Some individuals may find that the ROI may not be a good investment in their future for their time or money. Student loan payments are at an all-time high. The individual loan payments equaled $33,654. The total student debt is $1.45 trillion.
  • Some people need or want to go into the workforce as opposed to going to college.
  • The continual rising cost of college tuition which in 2016-2017 was $26,593 (National Center for Educational Statistics) (NCES)

Higher education serves many purposes. We, as a society, need it to provide greater economic growth. With the decline in enrollment, we will be unable to fulfill the numbers necessary in STEM jobs that most economists say is vital for our future economy.

My latest best-selling book, Who Will Teach The Children? Recruiting, Retaining, & Refreshing Highly Effective Educators (on sale at Amazon & Barnes & Nobles) provides solutions to increase college enrollment.



The Failures of Classroom Technology

Natalie Wexler in MIT Technology Review has indicated that at an international study of millions of students “do  a lot worse in most learning outcomes” when placed in front of computers or using tablets.  Eight-graders who took Algebra I online “did much worse that those who took the class in person.” Fourth-graders who used tablets in the classroom scored a full grade lower in reading than those who did not.

All indications indicate that a highly effective teachers have a greater impact on student learning than machines.

Schools that serve disadvantaged students have turned to technology to close the educational gap. “Who Will Teach The Children? Recruiting, Retaining & Refreshing Highly Effective Educators” indicates that schools/districts are having difficulty finding qualified educators to put into classrooms.

Schools cannot produce highly-skilled graduates unless they have highly-effective teachers in classrooms and in school front offices.



10th 5 Star Review for my latest best selling book

This is the latest review (on Amazon) of my new book “Who Will Teach The Children? Recruiting, Retaining & Refreshing Highly Effective Educators.”

Reviewed in the United States on January 15, 2020

Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
As a lifelong teacher, statewide programming evaluator, and assistant superintendent, as well as the grandmother of 21 (9 still in public ed) and now great grandmother to 5 and counting, the future of our education system and of our commitment to our children is of grave concern. Few people are better advocates for quality education than is Franklin Schargel. I found this latest book to be spot on in identifying the challenges of attracting and retaining committed teachers. It was well written and easy to follow. Great job dear colleague.

13th Annual Children of Color Summit

I delivered two presentations at the 13th Annual Children of Color Summit in Colorado Springs on January 18th, 2019.

Both presentations were well-received at the superbly organized and run conference. The first was a keynote from my latest best-selling book, “Who Will Teach The Children? Recruiting, Retaining & Refreshing Highly Effective Educators?” The second was a breakout entitled, “Engaging Children & Parents in the Educational Process”.


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