Center on System Leadership

The NCEE Superintendents Alliance

Welcome to NCEE’s Superintendents Alliance. The Alliance is a new membership organization designed to meet the professional and career needs of American superintendents. The Alliance endeavors to create and deepen connections among leading practitioners in the field, who in turn will benefit from NCEE’s position as the leading resource for policy and practice ideas, executive development, mentoring, and career development.

The Alliance is accepting members from our current list of NCEE Partners who will act as Founding Members of the organization. Open enrollment will begin in July 2021.


The 2020-21 school year will be one of the most challenging years ever for superintendents across the United States.  The COVID-19 pandemic is causing district leaders to re-think everything we thought we knew about teaching, learning, and administration—from basic issues around the health and safety of children and staff to pedagogy, curriculum, assessment, and student supports, from transportation and nutrition to the role of athletics and parental engagement.  Superintendents are also challenged to lead their districts as they grapple with the lingering effects of systemic racism and inequality that is woven throughout the fabric of the American school system.

For more than three decades, the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) has been studying and learning how top-performing systems educate their students.  This is as true today as ever before, and NCEE intends to bring current research to bear to inform education leadership and system design during this time of risk and ambiguity.

Through The Alliance NCEE will serve as a safe, collegial support network for those who are leading their districts during these uncertain and complex times. This launch is just in time to support superintendents nationwide in redesigning public schools in a time when significant redesign is possible due to the urgency created by a pandemic. 

Member Benefits

Members of The Alliance will benefit from:

  • The opportunity to collaborate with fellow superintendents on truly meaningful and forward thinking topics that you deem worthy of discussion
  • Collegial networks with like-minded peers, from across the nation, with a similar foundation of knowledge and the same goal of  designing high performing systems that result in EVERY child graduating with high skills
  • Support from NCEE and fellow colleagues as a result of networking opportunities that can support career advancement
  • Spaces in which you will have time to engage in dialogue with the foremost International experts on current research around educational leadership and school improvement
  • Exposure to more than 35 years of NCEE’s International Benchmarking research on high-performing systems and system design that will dramatically and equitably improve the education of all students
  • Reciprocal relationship with NCEE grounded in a collaborative effort to build the leadership capacity to design and implement high-performing systems

Member Services

Members engage in a myriad of services designed to a) ensure a deep, ongoing system of support and b) set The Alliance apart from other membership organizations. Examples of these benefits include:

Members must be sitting superintendents. Members will receive:

  • Crowd sourced monthly PLC small group conversations about topics that are timely and urgent
  • Ongoing access to NCEE Network of Learning Supports
  • Annual invitation (virtual/in person) to the NCEE Annual Meeting of the Alliance
  • Opportunities to engage in NCEE-led book studies
  • Opportunities to engage in dialogues with peers and experts in top-performing education systems around the globe on key issues, and collaborate globally to address those issues
  • Invitation to engage in a single session of a NCEE virtual offering (NISL, SLA, SDB, DSDP, TEL, or Coaching)
  • Opportunities to serve on various thought-leading committees that inform the work of NCEE

We value our early joiners!  To that end, membership for the FY21 for Founding Members is complementary.

Spotlight on Quarter One

Quarter One Launch with Anneli Rautiainen: October 13, 2020

Anneli Rautiainen is the Head of the Innovation Centre at the Finnish National Agency for Education, which is the arm of the Ministry of Education and Culture responsible for overseeing the primary and secondary education system.  Ms. Rautiainen is a former principal, teacher and head of general education and early childhood education and care at the National Agency.  She will discuss the Finnish education system’s response to the pandemic and the shift to distance learning last spring, including what guidance the National Agency provided and what the experience of schools has been thus far and going forward.  She will, in particular, address efforts to ensure student well-being and to measure and address learning loss.

Small Virtual Network Groups:  

Superintendents will be grouped into small networks of 5-8 superintendents to carry on the conversation from the October 13 event.  Network groups will meet monthly for 75 minutes.  Superintendents will drive the conversation based on their unique contexts and will be supported by our NCEE team.  Members in these groups will remain consistent at least quarterly in order to create the opportunity to build a rapport and deep learning among the group.

Crowdsourcing Groups:

Crowdsource group sessions will occur several times each month around topics put forth by members of The Alliance. Examples of topics to be explored in Quarter One include:

  • Superintendent Self-Care: Are we adjusting our own Oxygen masks first?
  • How are we supporting our teams at the district and school levels during the pandemic?
  • Student mental health: How has/must our focus changed?

More from NCEE’s Center on System Leadership

Supports for Schools

Supports for SchoolsStrengthen school leadership to drive systemic improvements in instruction and student learning. Learn more…

Supports for Districts

High-Performance DistrictsDrive organizational and operational change at the superintendent level or in district leadership teams. Learn more…

Supports for Partners

Partner SupportsNCEE offers a suite of complimentary supports for past and current participants of our professional learning programs. Learn more…