IT Infrastructure & Management

What We Know About District Tech Leaders, in Charts

By Lauraine Langreo — August 01, 2023 1 min read
Illustration concept of leadership, using wooden cut-out figures and arrows.
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

K-12 district technology leaders are among the most influential people in a school district.

As the role of digital technology in the classroom has expanded and become more sophisticated, chief technology officers’ responsibilities have grown beyond just managing and troubleshooting a handful of information technology tools.

Now, there are thousands of digital tools to maintain, an increased risk for cyberattacks, a need for off-campus access to digital devices, and a much stronger connection between technology and teaching.

Who are the people taking the lead to manage all these challenges in K-12 school districts?

The vast majority are white, male, and between the ages of 40 to 59, according to the Consortium for School Networking’s 2023 State of EdTech Leadership report. Slightly more than half of male CTOs come from a technical or technology background outside of schools while the vast majority of female tech leaders come from K-12 instructional backgrounds.

These demographics haven’t changed much in the last decade, the report found. But it’s worth noting that the number of women in K-12 ed-tech leadership has actually dropped slightly in the past seven years, to 33 percent this year from 36 percent in 2016.

The male dominance in district technology leadership is even more striking given that the vast majority of teachers are women. More than three-quarters of teachers are women, as well as 56 percent of principals.

“That’s alarming,” said Diane Doersch, who leads CoSN’s board of directors and is also the senior director of information technology for Digital Promise. “What can we do not only to get females but other underrepresented populations into ed-tech leadership roles?”

Following are five charts that illustrate in detail the makeup of district technology leadership, based on data from CoSN’s annual report, which surveyed more than 1,200 U.S. school district technology leaders between Jan. 10 and Feb. 28.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Budget & Finance Webinar
Innovative Funding Models: A Deep Dive into Public-Private Partnerships
Discover how innovative funding models drive educational projects forward. Join us for insights into effective PPP implementation.
Content provided by Follett Learning
Budget & Finance Webinar Staffing Schools After ESSER: What School and District Leaders Need to Know
Join our newsroom for insights on investing in critical student support positions as pandemic funds expire.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How can districts build sustainable tutoring models before the money runs out?
District leaders, low on funds, must decide: broad support for all or deep interventions for few? Let's discuss maximizing tutoring resources.
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

IT Infrastructure & Management Ed-Tech Companies Are Vulnerable to Cyberattacks. A New Federal Effort Wants to Help
The Education Department is teaming up with a top research university to stem a wave of cyberattacks on schools.
4 min read
Image of lock on binary code background.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
IT Infrastructure & Management Leader To Learn From Through Wars, Tornadoes, and Cyberattacks, He's a Guardian of Student Privacy
Jun Kim, the technology director in Moore, Okla., works to make the most of innovations—without endangering student data.
11 min read
Jun Kim, Director of Technology for Moore Public Schools, center, leads a data privacy review meeting on Dec. 13, 2023 in Moore, Okla.
Jun Kim, director of technology for the Moore public schools in Moore, Okla., leads a data privacy review for staff.
Brett Deering for Education Week
IT Infrastructure & Management One Solution to Maintaining 1-to-1 Devices? Pay Students to Repair Them
Hiring students to help with the repair process is one way school districts are ensuring the sustainability of their 1-to-1 programs.
4 min read
Sawyer Wendt, a student intern for the Altoona school district’s IT department, repairs a Chromebook.
Sawyer Wendt, who's been a student intern for the Altoona district's tech department since junior year, is now studying IT software development in college.
Courtesy of Jevin Stangel, IT technician for the Altoona school district
IT Infrastructure & Management Schools Get Relief on Chromebook Replacements. Google Extends Device Support to 10 Years
Schools have typically had to replace Chromebooks every three to five years.
4 min read
Photo of teacher working with student on laptop computer.
iStock / Getty Images Plus