Transforming a metropolitan school system is a vast undertaking, much more complex than the typical school superintendent’s job. A school CEO at the helm in a portfolio city is expected to lead a system of schools while simultaneously overhauling that system, effectively building the plane while flying it.
As the portfolio strategy spreads, it will need new leaders. But no obvious career track or dedicated preparation program exists to groom a portfolio CEO. We aim to help current and potential future leaders of portfolio cities see the scope of the job. And we sketch out how people from various backgrounds can approach it. We outline the CEO mindset, the job functions, the skills required, the challenges involved, and the possibilities for preparation and training.