Today’s superintendents are faced with a plethora of challenges, chief among them how to foster engaged citizenship among students and how to support students who are academically underprepared or battling poverty.
The vast majority of superintendents surveyed in Gallup’s 2018 Survey of K-12 School District Superintendents say they are excited about the future of their school district (86 percent), while just around half that (42 percent) say they are excited about the future of U.S. education overall.
The survey shows double-digit increases in the percentage of superintendents who say better preparing students for higher education, strengthening academic rigor, and combating the effects of poverty on student learning will be challenges for their district.
1. Engaged citizenship
The biggest change from last year’s survey is a spike in district leaders who agree that preparing students for engaged citizenship will be a challenge–74 percent this year, compared to 50 percent last year.
“To some degree, this may be an acknowledgment of the increasingly contentious and polarized political environment in the U.S.,” according to the report. “It could also be a reaction to the prominent student activism on gun violence that occurred after the Parkland, Florida, school shooting earlier this year.”