This paper discusses the process of election of superintendents in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Presents background related to the democratic process of selection of principals. Three cases studies of elected superintendents are presented and the evidence expressed different dimensions of the effects of election. They reflected educational leadership, democratic values, educational innovation and in one case the irreversibility of the democratic process. The elective process could help the democratic management of municipal education but it is no warranty of educational success or community involvement. In a very small system clear democratic values and coherence made all the difference, in the large municipality good conditions of work, well educated teachers were the conditions for real democratic participation. In the third case involvement of a progressive political party added another variable to the debate.
Keywords: Selection of superintendents of schools: municipal education. Democratic participation.
Ph.D. Marta Luz Sisson