Education administration generally refers to the work and positions within a system of education that are not directly involved in the education of students. In other words, education administrators are those people who work at a school or school district in a managerial capacity but are not teachers, such as principals, vice principals, and school district administrators. These administrators typically work to ensure teachers are able to do their jobs and are properly instructing students as well as managing budgetary issues for a school and district, and setting curriculum standards and achievement goals for students in a district. Education administration is typically performed by people who were previously teachers or by other individuals with a degree in education.
Individuals involved in administration typically work at schools or within a school district in public education. While private schools and post-secondary education institutions, such as colleges and universities, also have education administrators, these individuals will have different concerns than those working in public education. Administration in education within the private sector will typically involve budget analysis and ensuring students meet certain goals and expectations, though there will typically be less pressure from regional or national government. Administrators working at public schools and districts often have to meet government standards and goals.
Education administration takes place within individual schools, typically represented by principals and vice principals. These individuals are responsible for ensuring a school operates properly, typically setting and overseeing budgets for the school, dealing with severe behavioral issues at the school, and ensuring satisfactory performance from teachers and students. They may spend time in classrooms observing teachers and students to ensure classrooms are running smoothly, though they will not typically actually teach a class. Many of these administration individuals are former teachers who have worked their way up to higher positions, and may be working toward a position at the district level.
District education administration is typically involved in ensuring the various schools within a district are running properly. Administrators at this level may be former teachers and principals, though they could also be individuals with master’s or doctoral degrees in Education. They often will be responsible for ensuring budgets are set properly and being met by the various schools within the district. District administrators are also responsible for hiring and firing teachers, though principals are often involved in this type of decision making. Education administration at the district level also is typically responsible for setting curriculum standards and goals for students and teachers.