The following is a company-submitted press release and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of School Planning & Management magazine.

K-12 Report: Assessment Readiness, Money, and Privacy Top Priorities for School Technology Leaders

Washington, D.C. – According to CoSN’s (the Consortium for School Networking’s) 3rd annual K-12 IT Leadership Survey, school system technology leaders expressed greatest concern for assessment readiness, funding, and the privacy and security of student data. 

The new findings, released today at the association’s 2015 Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA, provide K-12 leadership and stakeholders with a clearer sense of education technology challenges and priorities

“Strong IT leadership is integral to the success of schools and districts,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “The decisions IT leaders make affect schools and the students they serve far into the future. CoSN conducts this survey to gain a better understanding of the state of the chief technology officer (CTO) and gain deeper insight into who they are. The trends, challenges, and priorities that emerge from the survey results inform CoSN’s activities and help us to better address the changing needs of our membership.”

Key findings of the report include: 

  • For the second straight year, assessment readiness is the number one priority for IT leaders, yet less than 30 percent report they are fully prepared for online assessments.
  • Despite 30 percent reporting budget increases, 54 percent still indicate that they do not have enough money to “meet overall expectations of the school board / district leaders.”
  • K-12 IT leaders are increasingly worried about the privacy and security of student data; fifty-seven percent said the issue is more important than it was last year. In 2014, CoSN launched a Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning initiative to help district technology leaders overcome this growing challenge. 
  • Respondents expect their instructional materials to be at least 50 percent digital within the next three years.
  • K-12 IT leaders are not as well compensated as their counterparts in the private sector. Private sector chief technology officers (CTOs) in the bottom 10 percent of the private earnings range still earn more than the average K-12 IT Leader.
  • Female K-12 IT leaders earn less than their male counterparts. Among leaders in the lowest salary range, 65 percent are women.
  • K-12 IT leadership lacks diversity – 88 percent of leaders are white. While that percentage somewhat aligns with the general population of whites in the United States (78 percent), it does not reflect the make-up of the K-12 student body, which is projected this year to have a majority non-white population. 
  • Leaders have extensive education technology experience. A remarkable 89 percent have been in education technology for more than six years, 42 percent for more than 10 years, and 31 percent for more than 20.
  • Leaders are very busy. Seventy-four percent are in charge of both instructional and administrative technology.
  • Fifty-eight percent of CTOs / chief information officers / district technology directors report to their superintendents — a best practice identified by CoSN.

The K-12 IT Leadership Survey was conducted in partnership with MDR and sponsored by SchoolDude.

For more about the survey, including previous year results, please visit: cosn.org/itsurvey2015, #CoSN15.

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