AI Low on Superintendents’ Priority List According to a Survey

Persistent challenges like staffing shortages and student misbehavior persistently trouble school districts, making it nearly impossible to integrate AI in the classroom.


According to EAB’s 2024 “The Voice of the Superintendent” survey, superintendents acknowledge the significance of integrating AI, but perceive it as a low priority due to various non-academic challenges.


The survey, conducted online between November 27, 2023, and January 10, 2024, gathered responses from 148 superintendents across 39 states. Among the participants, 70% had been in their jobs from one to 10 years. The majority of district makeup was suburban (52%) and rural (37%).


The survey findings indicate a rise in superintendent job satisfaction, with a 9% increase in those intending to remain in their positions for the next two years, notwithstanding exhaustion and burnout.


Although 97% of superintendents believe that schools should integrate and educate students on the responsible use of AI, only 37% presently have a plan to do so. For the rest, non-academic challenges are making it nearly impossible.


Superintendents have indicated that these major challenges have either remained constant or escalated since 2023:


  • Chronic student absenteeism, cited by 63% of respondents;
  • Disruptive student behaviors, 77%;
  • Worsening student mental health, 76%, with 77% of superintendents blaming social media (These first three challenges have been prevalent regardless of student socioeconomic status, results show.);
  • Chronic staff absenteeism, 51% instructional, and 52% non instructional (with working conditions to blame); and
  • Staffing shortages, i.e., open positions, 52% instructional and 66% non instructional.


The survey concludes with three major recommendations for addressing these issues:


  • Establish a leadership team dedicated to identifying solutions and spearheading implementation efforts.
  • Collaborate with other districts, particularly those with proven success stories, to exchange strategies for overcoming challenges.
  • Initiate a task force focused on advancing AI integration, aimed at streamlining teacher administrative responsibilities and alleviating burnout.


For more details on the survey results, please download the Executive Brief here.


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