School & District Management

What District Leaders Were Reading This Year: Top 10 Stories

By Stacey Decker — December 21, 2023 2 min read
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What were the most pressing issues for school district leaders in 2023?

Those working in the central office wanted to know the best ways to teach math, reading, and writing. They also wanted to know how to support stressed-out teachers and how artificial intelligence could upend K-12 education.

That’s according to a scan of the most popular stories among district leaders on edweek.org in 2023. (The ranking below is based on a combination of how many people read the story, how much time they spent reading it, and how often it was shared.)

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Two of the top 10 stories popular with district leaders this year were on gender disparities in educational leadership. In one essay that made the list, Shayla Ewing, an assistant principal from Illinois, reflects on the 2023 blockbuster movie “Barbie” and the lessons it offers for getting more women into leadership roles.

“Unfortunately, not all schools come with a leader Barbie; many come with just Ken,” wrote Ewing.

Here’s the full list of stories that resonated most with district leaders in 2023:

Kids Need to Know Their Math Facts. What Schools Can Do to Help

Illustration of a child in motion jumping easily across number block formations  and equations.

Teachers can optimize how they introduce math facts and teach strategies while not losing sight of conceptual knowledge.

Read the Story


Teachers Need PD on Artificial Intelligence. What It Should Look Like

Photo collage of teacher working at desk with laptop computer.

Schools are just beginning to think about how to integrate AI into teacher professional development.

Read the Story


What ‘Barbie’ Teaches Us About School Leadership (Opinion)

Stylized photo illustration of Barbie dolls with superimposed symbols of graduation and success.

Not all schools come with a leader Barbie; many come with just Ken. Here are three lessons from the hit movie on closing the “dream gap.”

Read the Story


What School Leaders Can Do to Ease Teacher Stress

Instructor Emily Daniels, left, raises her arms while leading a workshop helping teachers find a balance in their curriculum while coping with stress and burnout in the classroom, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, in Concord, N.H. School districts around the country are starting to invest in programs aimed at address the mental health of teachers. Faced with a shortage of educators and widespread discontentment with the job, districts are hiring more therapist, holding trainings on self-care and setting up system to better respond to a teacher encountering anxiety and stress.

New studies illuminate some factors that can help school leaders prevent or manage teachers’ stress.

Read the Story


4 Ways Reading and Writing Interlock: What the Research Says

v42 19SR Reading Writing 4 Things to Know 1439825899

Here’s a cheat sheet for understanding what research tells us about how the two disciplines connect in literacy instruction.

Read the Story


How Does Writing Fit Into the ‘Science of Reading’?

White and Black elementary girls sitting side by side at their desks and writing in their notebooks while having a class at school. Their classmates are in the  blurred background.

Writing in the early grades is often segmented off from reading. Research suggests teaching them together is both efficient and effective.

Read the Story


There’s a Good Chance Your Superintendent Has One of These 15 Names

Image of male and female professional silhouettes, with a central male figure punched out in color.

A researcher’s findings highlight just how white and male the American superintendency is.

Read the Story


How to Make the ‘Science of Reading’ Work for Teachers (Opinion)

Searching knowledge concept. Men and women stand next to book and find necessary information. Independent training and education.

One state took a different path with good initial results, writes a state chief academic officer.

Read the Story


Kids Understand More From Books Than Screens, But That’s Not Always the Case

ed tech survey march 2023 schwartz

What the research says about the benefits and drawbacks of reading on screens versus printed text.

Read the Story


What Educators Know About Artificial Intelligence, in 3 Charts

Image of AI sources and tools.

Most educators say they have not received any professional development on artificial intelligence.

Read the Story


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