Superintendents  all over the country are under mounting pressure to ensure high academic achievement for their students, provide safe and nurturing school environments and treat students equitably.

But school superintendents are often lightning rods — especially in urban districts — and bear the brunt of a school system’s success or failure. Indeed, urban school district chiefs often last an average of just 3.6 years on the  job.

(Gerald Herbert/AP)

Tuesday, on “Know-It-All, The ABCs of Education,” our guests were three current and retired superintendents of large urban school districts, who divulged the insider secrets to keeping their heads under such pressures. We had a wide-ranging discussion about education “reform,” students and families living in poverty, school safety after Newtown, the piece of criticism that has most affected them as superintendents, student equity, and so much more. You can listen to the show here.

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