Sigal Ben-Porath advises administrators on navigating political situations

January 9, 2024

School administrators across the country are facing political challenges they might not have expected when they entered education. Sigal Ben-Porath, MRMJJ Presidential Professor, recently offered advice in School Administrator magazine for how superintendents and other leaders can navigate these pressures.

First, wrote Ben-Porath, leaders should examine their values and professional commitments. From there, administrators should listen to their constituents, including those who are not as loud as the extreme voices. Administrators should also provide facts and correct misperceptions, which Ben-Porath stated is an important role for leaders in K-12 education as more disinformation circulates.

Next, administrators should set boundaries, communicate goals clearly and protect the autonomy of their teachers, librarians and staff. Ben-Porath said this ensures a proper chain of handling issues, keeps a school’s mission in focus and makes sure the goal of public education isn’t undermined.

Lastly, Ben-Porath reminds administrators that the K-12 communication should be proactive, but not excessive. Topics an administrator addresses should be valuable to the entire community.