Two New EAB Surveys Reveal Troubling Trends in Student Behavior

Twice as many teachers witness violent classroom incidents today versus pre-pandemic

Washington, District of Columbia, UNITED STATES

San Antonio, Texas, Feb. 16, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Eighty-four percent of teachers say that students are developmentally behind in self-regulation and relationship building compared to students prior to the pandemic. Teachers also report that they are increasingly the target of disruptive student behavior and that classroom incidents involving physical violence have more than doubled since the onset of the pandemic. 

These are among the findings of a new survey report released today by education company EAB at the School Superintendent Association (AASA) National Conference on Education (#NCE2023). The report summarizes findings from a survey of more than 1,000 district and school administrators, teachers, and student support staff. 

“Students who exhibit disruptive behaviors are often dealing with underlying mental or social health issues,” said EAB Senior Director of K-12 Research Ben Court. “Unfortunately, nearly 60 percent of teachers feel that pressure to boost lagging academic outcomes leaves them with insufficient time to address behavioral issues, and only 45 percent feel they are receiving adequate training to do so.”

EAB released a second report at the conference, “2023 Voice of the Superintendent” that highlights findings from a separate survey of 198 school district superintendents across 37 states. 

Eighty-one percent of superintendents agree that student behavioral concerns are worse now than before the pandemic, with 35 percent saying the situation has gotten “significantly worse.” Ninety-two percent indicated that student mental health crises are worse than they were in 2019, with 57 percent saying the situation has gotten “significantly worse.” 

Despite widespread agreement on the severity of behavioral and mental health challenges, 79 percent of superintendents say they lack sufficient staffing to fully address the student mental health crisis, and 74 percent point to staffing shortfalls as the biggest impediment to progress on managing student behavioral issues. 

Superintendents cite insufficient budget as the second biggest challenge preventing them from adequately addressing student mental health crises. Almost half (46 percent) of superintendents believe they lack funding sufficient to achieve the most important objectives for their school districts. An equal number (46 percent) say they are likely to leave their job within two to three years. 

“EAB’s survey of superintendents showed that while most feel more confident and energized than they did a year ago, persistent funding concerns and staffing headaches have led many district leaders to question whether making progress on their priorities is possible in today’s environment,” said Court. “The top priority for those who choose to stay and persevere must be to create a safe, supportive environment where teachers and students are able to do their best work.”

Additional insights and recommendations for how to mitigate these concerns will be shared in an upcoming series of superintendent roundtable discussions hosted by EAB.

About the Surveys
EAB’s “Student Behavior” survey was distributed online from October 14, 2022, to November 1, 2022. The survey, which was designed to provide current superintendents with data about the experiences, needs, and perspectives of their teachers, administrators, and staff, was completed by 1,109 district administrators, school administrators, teachers, and student support staff across 42 states (including DC) and over 60 districts. To read the full survey findings, visit:

EAB’s “2023 Voice of the Superintendent” survey was distributed online from November 2, 2022, to December 1, 2022. This survey, which was designed to provide current superintendents with data about the experiences, needs, and perspectives of their peers, was completed by 198 superintendents from 37 states. To read the full survey findings, visit:

About EAB
At EAB, our mission is to make education smarter and our communities stronger. We work with more than 2,500 institutions to drive transformative change through data-driven insights and best-in-class capabilities. From kindergarten to college to career, EAB partners with leaders and practitioners to accelerate progress and drive results across five major areas: enrollment, student success, institutional strategy, data analytics, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). We work with each partner differently, tailoring our portfolio of research, technology, and marketing and enrollment solutions to meet the unique needs of every leadership team, as well as the students and employees they serve. Learn more at




EAB 2023 Student Behavior Survey Report EAB 2023 Voice of the Superintendent Survey

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