Dr. Christopher Tienken has been selected as the Lead Author and Principal Investigator by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), the School Superintendents' Association, for their 2020 American Association of School Administrators Salary and Benefit Study. The nationwide study has been conducted yearly for the last eight years. The study aims to understand the current state of Superintendent salaries and benefits across the country.
The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) had conducted a comprehensive and scholarly study of the salary and benefits packages of the American school superintendent on a yearly basis since 2012, although the first such study was launched in 1999. Dr. Tienken will lead the study and assemble a team of researchers and practicing superintendents to analyze and interpret findings and present conclusions and recommendations for policy and practice.
The study employs an annually revised and updated survey instrument. The survey tracks the demographics, salary, benefits, and other elements of the employment agreements of school superintendents throughout the country. This year's study will be distributed to over 14,000 superintendents and central office staff across the nation.
The study is intended to provide superintendents with actionable information needed to manage and negotiate their compensation and benefits. Prior to the AASA efforts to study this topic, most school superintendents relied on the annual salary study sponsored by the Education Research Service (ERS) to benchmark their compensation and benefits. With the closure of ERS nearly a decade ago, a void was created. AASA responded to this need by developing a comprehensive study of the salary and benefits of school superintendents that far exceeded previous studies undertaken on this topic.
AASA was founded in 1865. It is the professional organization for more than 13,000 superintendent and cabinet-level school administrators in the United States and throughout the world. AASA members include chief executive officers, superintendents, cabinet-level administrators, professors, and aspiring school system leaders.
This proprietary project serves to profile, document, and offer valuable analysis of the changing landscape of superintendent compensation. Superintendents and state school administrator associations regularly use the results from the study for contract negotiations. The large amount of data collected results in a rich database that is often used by academics for secondary analyses. Final results and interpretations will be released in February 2021 at the AASA National Conference on Education.