ABOUT THE COUNCIL

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The History of The Council

The Council traces its history back more than 130 years to 1883, when a group of 17 NYS school superintendents met in Syracuse to form the first organization known as the New York State Council of School Superintendents. It formed in response to deep and far reaching changes in American life which marked the late nineteenth century.

At that time, there were some 10,000 public school systems in New York State. Most of New York’s systems were small schools led by “supervising principals” who, while chief school officers, enjoyed the benefits of tenure and loosely reported to the District Superintendent of Schools (now more commonly called the BOCES Superintendent).

However, The leaders of these districts did not comprise the membership of The Council. Instead the first members of The Council were District Superintendents of Schools and the chief school officers of the state’s small city school districts. The supervising principals were later to be represented by the NYS Association of School Administrators.

The organization had no formal staff, nor an office, and committees of active school superintendents did the work of organizing annual meetings and conferences.

Over the next 20 years, a tremendous amount of consolidation took place. This consolidation, a national trend, fostered by better transportation and communication technologies, enabled collaboration and many states began organizations of professional educators.