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National K-12 Ed-tech Survey Identifies Significant Growth Obstacles Attributed to Insufficient Leadership Depth

The Ed-tech Leadership Collective’s second annual report provides timely analysis on C-suite imperatives for navigating a more complex work environment


The latest national survey conducted by the Ed-tech Leadership Collective has identified a stark misalignment in expectations when it comes to emerging leaders’ readiness to reach the executive suite. For a second year in a row, very few C-level executives (9%) expressed confidence in their ability to hire from within for executive team vacancies. In contrast, one out of two (58%) of Department Heads fell they are ready for the executive suite.

The gap in confidence regarding management depth comes at a time when 78% of C-suite leaders consider the work of their non-executive leaders to be critical to their company’s success. However, C-suite leaders also acknowledge they have fallen short on providing mentoring, constructive feedback, and clearly defined paths to advancement.

Conducted in December 2023, the survey reflects the perspectives of 157 ed-tech leaders regarding talent gaps, business risks and employee pain points associated with leadership development in the U.S. K-12 ed-tech industry. The Ed-tech Leadership Collective has published the survey findings in a report titled, “The State of Ed-tech Talent Development: Executives’ Insights Regarding the Challenges of Business Growth.” The full report can be found at

“We know that leadership depth continues to be a gating factor to company growth, and our survey respondents clearly indicated their concerns regarding the potential their teams’ potential struggles,” stated Collin Earnst, founder and managing partner of the Ed-tech Leadership Collective. “Recent economic shifts and evolving work environments have introduced new levels of complexity for K-12 ed-tech executives, which is why organizations must continue to cultivate talent who can lead, communicate, and collaborate.”

As ed-tech companies strive to maintain aggressive growth targets, more than half (54%) of respondents indicate that their company has conducted layoffs in the past year. Meanwhile, leaders from every level reported high levels of stress and anxiety, with nearly half (48%) who considered themselves to be at a high-risk of burnout.

The full report from the Ed-tech Leadership Collective includes additional data regarding:

  • Waning executive confidence in leadership depth and succession plans
  • Leadership skill gaps causing the greatest obstacles to company growth
  • Strategies for accelerating leadership development and addressing vulnerabilities
  • Concerning levels of burnout, stress and anxiety among ed-tech leaders
  • Continued shortfall in support for members of historically marginalized populations
  • Impact of remote work environments on leadership dynamics
  • Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to address resource gaps
  • Fallout from recent layoffs and reorganizations

“Our 2024 report identified some fairly alarming statistics regarding elevated risk of company underperformance and employee burnout, however the data also clarified practical the steps that will allow companies to strengthen leadership capacity throughout their organization,” continued Earnst. “Leadership depth has become a competitive advantage and the data show that K-12 ed-tech companies are ready to invest in their emerging leaders.”


About the Ed-tech Leadership Collective

The Ed-tech Leadership Collective is focused solely on the educational technology market and currently supports dozens of leaders from some of the most esteemed companies in the industry. We leverage deep industry expertise and a wide network of professionals to create a supportive community for professional growth. Using a structured approach, the organization helps high-potential employees develop the leadership skills and contextual knowledge necessary to step up and contribute amidst increasingly high expectations. 

The Ed-tech Leadership Collective's members and executive coaches bring sophisticated understanding of the nuances of the K–12 market and a deep understanding of the ed-tech vernacular. The organization's rigorous program framework creates an environment that uncovers gaps and blind spots, embraces critical feedback, while scaffolding and celebrating success. To learn more about the Ed-tech Leadership Collective, please visit