In the News

In the News

Senior Military, Private Sector and Education Executives Selected for Superintendents Academy

Feb 8, 2011

Contact: Erica Lepping

LOS ANGELES – Three high-ranking military officers, a telecom executive and four experienced educators have been selected to participate in The Broad Superintendents Academy, The Broad Center for the Management of School Systems announced today.

The Broad (rhymes with “road”) Superintendents Academy is a 10-month executive management training program run by The Broad Center to prepare top leaders from education, military, business, nonprofit and government sectors to lead urban public school systems. The Broad Superintendents Academy is the only program in the country that recruits and trains executives with non-education backgrounds as well as successful high-level educators. Participants keep their jobs while attending extended weekend sessions across the country.

The Broad Superintendents Academy has trained more working superintendents in large urban school districts than any other national training program. Since the academy was founded in 2002, graduates have filled 71 superintendent positions and 101 senior school district executive positions nationwide, including 36 percent of all external superintendent openings in large urban districts in the past two years. Two-thirds of Broad Superintendents Academy graduates who have been serving as superintendents for three or more years are outperforming comparison groups in raising student achievement on state reading and math exams, closing achievement gaps and raising graduation rates.

“The largest public school systems are the size of Fortune 500 companies, when you consider budget, number of employees, and number of facilities,” said Eli Broad, founder of The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, which funds The Broad Center.  “We need superintendents who have effective CEO-level skills and who believe that their goal is to provide a world-class education that enables every child to compete successfully in the 21st century.”

The Broad Superintendents Academy’s tenth class includes high-ranking Air Force and Army officers – a three-star Army general who is the director of a Pentagon agency, a senior officer who oversees a $20 billion budget, and another who leads military programs supporting 100,000 service members. The 2011 class also includes a Qwest Communications executive from Portland, Ore., the CEO of a high-performing charter management organization in Houston, a former military officer and diplomat to Poland and Russia now serving as a superintendent in Colorado Springs, Colo., and career educators currently serving in cabinet-level positions in districts in Charlotte, N.C. and Hartford, Conn.

“We need the very best leaders to address the crisis in our public schools and ensure every student in every school receives an education that prepares him or her for life,” said John Simpson, The Broad Superintendents Academy’s superintendent-in-residence and former superintendent of Norfolk Public Schools in Virginia.  “By participating in the Academy, these executives are all making a commitment to use their proven leadership and management skills to take on a new challenge as an urban school district CEO.”

Upon graduating, this year’s new class will join the ranks of academy alumni who are serving in senior school district roles across the country. Graduates of the program currently work as district or state superintendents in 43 cities across 25 states.

Broad Superintendents Academy graduates who were recently appointed to state or district superintendent positions include 2006 graduate John Deasy, who will become the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District in April. In December, 2003 graduate Linda Lane was named superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools, and 2004 alum Christopher Cerf was selected as New Jersey Education Commissioner. In North Carolina, 2009 academy fellow and retired Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata was recently named superintendent of the Wake County Public School System, after serving as chief operating officer in D.C. Public Schools.

The Broad Superintendents Academy is a 10-month executive management training program run by The Broad Center to prepare talented executives to lead urban public school systems.  Participants of the academy attend extended weekend sessions while keeping their full-time jobs. The academy then helps place graduates in urban school districts and also provides extensive on-the-job support. For more information, or to apply for the 2012 class, please visit

The Broad Center for the Management of School Systems is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising student achievement by recruiting, training and supporting executive talent from across America to become the next generation of urban school district leaders. The Broad Center is funded by The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, a national venture philanthropy established by entrepreneur and philanthropist Eli Broad to advance entrepreneurship for the public good in education, science and the arts. For more information, please visit