The leadership of the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) just met for two days in Austin, Texas. We spent time learning about howTASA has impacted the education of Texas children in the past, and more importantly, how we see it influencing the futures of children in Texas in years to come.
I found myself wishing that critics of Texas public schools could have been present to hear the depth of those conversations, to see the collective and dedicated commitment to making public schools in Texas the envy of the world, and to feel the palpable passion for educating ALL children equitably and optimally.
The group represented a cross section of the state’s public schools, small/mid-sized/large, rural/suburban/urban, from all corners of the state, and with every imaginable demographic make-up of students. Most inspirational for me was to hear administrator after administrator articulate in their own way, and from the perspective of their own contexts, some of these powerful ideas that resonated with me:
- ALL children deserve the best that Texas can offer in the way of public education.
- Local communities must recapture a primary role in the crafting and directing of the education its own children. No government and no bureaucrat can love, nurture, and educate a child like the local community can love, nurture, and educate a child.
- Schools can and must continue to add value to the learning experience through innovative and creative approaches to learning task design.
- School leaders must do a better job in sharing “our story” of the powerful work done in schools, every day, in a million ways (actually, about 5,000,000 ways – that’s how many children Texas public schools serve).
- An ineffective accountability system continues to marginalize too many students.
- Texas public schools can, must, and will adapt to changes in social contexts, new knowledge regardlng how the brain learns, advanced technological tools at our disposal, and the globalness of the world our students will live and work in as adults.