Quitting school: Turnover rises for urban superintendents

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garth harries

NEW HAVEN — Urban school superintendents on average spend only a little more than three years on the job, and the turnover rate that has been on the rise.

The churn reflects growing strains on leaders in the largest and neediest school systems. And it adds to the challenges by disrupting improvement plans that are measured over years, not months.

The leader of the public school system in New Haven, Connecticut, is stepping down Monday after only slightly more than three years, and repeated clashes with members of the city’s Board of Education.

Garth Harries lasted about as long as the average for superintendents in urban American school districts.

A 2014 survey by the Council of the Great City Schools found the average urban superintendent lasts 3.2 years.