Education author Larry Cuban, whose work I respect, recently began a blog. His newest post, I thought, was particularly insightful — Fixing Urban Schools: Sprinters or Marathoners?

He identifies the lack of success among “sprinter” superintendents who have “run out of gas” quickly, and contrasts them with what he identifies as the successes of those whom he calls “marathoners.”

His analysis makes perfect sense to me, and the metaphor, I think, can apply to many other areas of life.

I’m very familiar with the ones he says are “sprinters” (and agree with the critique 100% on them) but, unfortunately, know next to nothing about these “marathoners:”

Atlanta’s Beverly Hall, Boston’s Tom Payzant, and Austin’s Pat Forgione, each served a decade or more patiently building academic standards, creating strong principal cadres, strengthening teachers’ knowledge and skills, and developing portfolios of school choices for students to grow intellectually.

For those of you who know of them, do you think Larry Cuban is right?