School leadership is very critical in ensuring satisfactory results in school and the moulding of future leaders. As competition increases on the global scene, countries are striving to improve their education system to make their citizens competitive. However, in many countries, the people who run schools are largely overburdened, underpaid and in their sunset years in their careers. Such leaders do not inspire the people they lead because they are themselves de-motivated. There are certain qualities that an effective leader should possess among them; trustworthiness, competence, forward-looking, enthusiasm, widening the circle involvement, creating communities for action, connecting people to each other and embracing democracy. This paper answers the question of whether these qualities can be found in the current leaders in U.S public schools.
The U.S education system is laden with leadership problems. Like in many other countries the U.S public schools are led by people who lack enough remuneration, are overburdened, nearing retirement. This is because the leaders have to come from within the system and it takes long for one to climb the ladder to leadership. This means that most men and women leading the public schools are not enthusiastic about the position, and they fail to involve all stakeholders in their decisions. In most cases, there is no standardized criterion for promotions which makes the process undemocratic.
However with all the weaknesses, schools remain among the best managed public institutions in the U.S where much of the weaknesses in leadership can be attributed to the system as opposed to persons. Talented leaders are, therefore, in many cases limited in action by the system. Those leading the schools ought, therefore, to be commended and encouraged.
To ensure schools have effective leadership now and in the future, it is necessary to remunerate those in leadership positions well in comparison to their colleagues in private schools and other sectors of the economy. It is also vital to set up a standardized way of promotion and to restructure the school system so that responsibilities are spread to ensure those in leadership positions are not overburdened.