Organizational Transformation

To prepare future-ready students, schools must be transformed from their current bureaucratic form, characterized by rules and sanctions, punitive accountability systems, routines, and standardization of everything, to learning organizations where only the mundane is standardized and standards are used to nurture aspirations and accommodate human variables.

With organizational transformation, our schools will be learner-centered environments with:

Students who are committed to being co-managers of their learning processes and who are engaged in meaningful instruction based on rigorous content with teachers whose roles have been redefined to guide students to a learning path toward post-secondary experiences and future life opportunities; and

Teachers who are supported with mentoring, collaboration, social support, and purposeful professional development tailored to their needs or those of their students, and who are engaged in leadership development opportunities.

The Vision: Organizational Transformation
Learner-centered schools created through organizational transformation is among the principles espoused in the visioning document, Creating a New Vision for Texas Public Education.
Article 5: Organizational Transformation
The digital revolution and its accompanying social transformations and expectations dictate a transformation of schools from their current bureaucratic form and structure that reflects the 19th and early 20th century factory after which they were modeled, to schools that function as learning organizations. We believe that a learning organization can create the conditions and capacities most conducive for leaders, teachers, and students to perform at high levels and meet the expectations of new learning standards.
Supporting Premises
  • Excellence emanates from a shared commitment to values and standards, high levels of engagement, and strong leadership at levels functioning within an accountability system that inspires.
  • The teacher’s most important role is to be a designer of engaging experiences for students, supporting students in their work by incorporating more traditional roles as planner, presenter, instructor, and performer.
  • The overall quality of the present teaching force is excellent, and most teachers are capable and willing to take on their new designer role if their sense of moral purpose for entering teaching is honored, and if they are provided relevant developmental opportunities and a climate and conditions that support them.
  • To attempt to incentivize teachers with material rewards for improving test scores is an insult to teachers and infers that improvements in learning can be measured with precision. Such pay schemes should not be mandated by the state but left to the discretion of local districts.
  • The costly loss of so many teachers from the profession in the first three to five years of employment is likely more a function of the social systems and conditions that dominate most schools than a lack of material rewards.
  • Districts will have increasing difficulty in attracting experienced teachers to teach in poverty-stricken schools, and the overall teacher retention rate will decline even further if federal and state bureaucratic controls continue excessive focus on high-stakes standardized tests.
  • Leadership development at all levels (teachers, included) must become a primary means of building needed capacities to function in required new roles.
  • Students are in charge of determining where their attention, effort, and commitment go, and their access to information gives them even more power; hence, they must be treated accordingly.
  • The variation in student learning is as much a function of student effort as it is of ability, meaning that we must incorporate into the tasks we design and assign to students those qualities that will increase engagement.
  • Profound learning (owning the knowledge) as opposed to superficial learning (short-term memory) comes more from engagement and commitment than from various forms of compliance, coercion, sanctions, or rewards.
  • The use of too tightly monitored curriculum and a scripted approach to teaching to ensure coverage of the material for the test instead of broad understandings of connected content is a detriment to profound learning.
  • The district is responsible for creating the conditions in which student commitment and engagement become central and for attracting principals and teachers who can learn to use appropriate frameworks, protocols, processes, assessments, and resources in different ways in a collaborative setting.
  • Operating and social systems exist in all organizations including schools. Transforming these systems is the only way to transform schools into the type of organization needed.

Organizational Transformation in Texas Public School Districts

Alamo Heights ISD

Colin Lang, aerospace studies teacher at Alamo Heights High School in Alamo Heights ISD has a saying in his class: “More of you and less of me is a very good thing,” meaning teachers need to transition their classroom from a “teacher-centered” environment to a “student-centered” one.

Bryan ISD

District growth is not always just about numbers – it’s also about a new mindset. Regardless of their current circumstances, students and staff members are encouraged to see the possibilities ahead and realize that hard work will lead to successfully reaching their goals.

Clear Creek ISD

The Leader in Me program at Falcon Pass Elementary is a transformative program focused on building student leadership skills. The teachers take a supporting role, allowing students to build confidence in their skills and use them to make real change in the world.

DeKalb ISD

Prior to the start of the 2016-17 school year, DeKalb ISD hosted the North East Texas Leading and Learning Conference to bring educators together to explore best practices for engaging students and increasing productivity, and to focus on leading and learning through the use of technology. Learn more.

Grand Prairie ISD

Grand Prairie ISD was chosen by the Holdsworth Center to be in the first District Leadership Cohort. As part of the cohort’s work, a new definition of leadership was developed that provides a framework for decision making and district vision. This video was shown district-wide in preparation for organizational transformation.

Harlingen CISD

During Harlingen CISD’s Little Innovators competition, fifth-grade inventors pitch their ideas to local business professionals during a Shark Tank-themed event. It’s an annual culminating activity that brings together several areas of learning for students.

Highland Park ISD

Teachers involved in Highland Park ISD’s STEAM initiative say it is a fun way to teach that encourages students to think more deeply as they work to create something on their own. It integrates several disciplines, including reading and math, for real-world learning and engages not only students, but teachers as well.

Lytle ISD

Lytle ISD provides teachers with a second conference period for facilitated collaboration called Design Time. Teachers discuss how standards can be taught to a “profound level” by examining student work, teaching strategies, and assessment opportunities to design more engaging learning opportunities.

Roscoe Collegiate ISD

The Roscoe Collegiate P-20 System Model for Student Success is a collaborative, sustainable model for breaking the generational poverty cycle through higher education, while filling agricultural STEM workforce shortage areas that will be critical to feeding and clothing the 9 billion people on the planet by 2050.

San Angelo ISD

A learner-centered environment is evident in San Angelo ISD, where Advanced Placement students from Lake View High School build models of roller coasters that they use to demonstrate and explain calculus and physics principles to fourth graders. The project teaches the high school students a real-world application of the principles but also brings the concepts to elementary level.

Splendora ISD

Splendora ISD students created this video for use in a teacher training. In it, they discuss different aspects of student engagement through NAAAPC: Novelty and Variety, Affirmation, Authenticity, Affiliation, Product Focus, and Choice. Splendora ISD is designing intentional structures and processes for student voice to inform their work in curriculum, instruction, leadership and culture.

Related News

FRSLN Holds Third Event of 2019-20 in Grapevine

FRSLN held its third event of 2019-20 February 26-27 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine. The design team for this event built an experience around the theme, “The New Digital Generation.” See photos from the event and learn more about FRSLN.

FRSLN Holds Second 2019-20 Event in Clear Creek and Galveston ISDs

FRSLN held its second event of 2019-20 December 4-5 in Clear Creek and Galveston ISDs, with the theme of “Future-Ready Leadership.” See photos of the event and learn more about FRSLN.

FRSLN Kicks Off 2019-20 Events at Apple Campus

TASA's Future-Ready Superintendents Leadership Network (FRSLN) kicked off for 2019-20 October 22, 2019, with an orientation for new FRSLN members and continued with an event for all FRSLN members October 23-24 at the Apple campus in Austin. FRSLN is a group of future-focused school leaders from across Texas who, with the support of TASA, gather for superintendent-designed and superintendent-led...

TASA Introduces Superintendent-in Residence Program to Help Further Mission: School Transformation

TASA is pleased to announce the launch of a new program to help further the association’s Mission: School Transformation initiative. Through the Superintendents-in-Residence program, recently retired superintendents will serve TASA part time, assisting members across the state on matters related to fulfilling TASA’s vision as outlined in Creating a New Vision for Public Education in Texas. Three...

Wichita Falls ISD Superintendent Presents Options for ’22nd Century’ Schools

Wichita Falls ISD Superintendent Michael Kuhrt encouraged trustees to think outside the box of a traditional classroom during a recent school board meeting. Kuhrt gave a presentation on different types of classrooms, common areas and teacher work spaces for board members to mull over as they lay plans to modernize school facilities. "I think we’re building schools for the 22nd Century because we...

Midway ISD Part of Study on Impact of Flexible Learning Environment on Student Engagement

About 600 students and 30 teachers at Spring Valley Elementary School and Woodway Elementary School in Midway ISD (Region 12), a Consortium Associate district, will take part in a research study during the 2019-20 school year, directed by a collaborative team composed of Baylor University researchers, architects from Huckabee, and educational specialists from the Region 12 ESC. They’ll study the...

TASA Partners with N2 Learning on Assistant Principal Leadership Academy with Focus on Transformational Leadership

TASA is pleased to announce a new partnership with N2 Learning that furthers our mission of developing school leaders who create and sustain student-centered schools and develop future-ready students: the Assistant Principal Leadership Academy (APL). APL provides assistant principals with valuable leadership training based on the principles of the TASA visioning document, Creating a New Vision...

FRSLN Visits Georgetown ISD

TASA's Future-Ready Superintendents Leadership Network (FRSLN) members gathered at Georgetown ISD’s Hammerlun Center May 1-2, 2019, at for their third and final event of 2018-19: “Future-Ready Leadership.” Participants heard from TASA Executive Director Kevin Brown on the moral imperative of future-ready leadership, participated in panel discussions and team-building activities, visited Wagner...

Apply to Join the 2019-20 FRSLN by May 10

The Future-Ready Superintendents Leadership Network (FRSLN) — TASA's popular superintendent-led network of future-focused school leaders who gather for events that provide authentic learning experiences designed to further school transformation — is expanding for 2019-20! Superintendents who have demonstrated interest in creating and sustaining student-centered schools and developing...

FRSLN Visits Perot Museum, Sunnyvale ISD

Members of the TASA Future-Ready Superintendents Leadership Network (FRSLN) gathered in Dallas at the Perot Museum February 27 for their second event of 2018-19: “Using Voice and Choice to Cultivate Curiosity.” Participants heard from fellow school leaders and other experts on the art of design, the maker movement, project-based learning and argument-driven inquiry, augmented and virtual...

THPSC Report to 86th Legislature Provides Update on Community-Based Accountability Work

The Texas High Performance Schools Consortium (THPSC), a group of 22 school districts charged with informing the governor, Texas Legislature, State Board of Education, and commissioner of education on methods for improving student learning in Texas public schools, has delivered its biennial report to policymakers. In “Update on the Progress of the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium,” the...

FRSLN Visits Lubbock-Cooper ISD

Members of the TASA Future-Ready Superintendents Leadership Network (FRSLN) gathered in Lubbock November 8-9, 2018, for their first event of the school year: “Beyond Physical Safety: Social & Emotional Wellness.” Leaders will be confident, empowered & compelled to ensure the social & emotional wellness of our students through learning how to create a safe learning environment....

TASA Partners with engage2learn to Bring Innovation to More School Districts

TASA is pleased to announce a new partnership with engage2learn (e2L) to help bring e2L's new, more affordable Do-it-Yourself (DIY) solutions to school districts of all sizes and in every corner of the state. e2L's Experience Since 2011, e2L has assisted more than 200 districts — primarily in Texas — in designing culture and systems, modernizing teaching and learning through coaching teachers,...

Alamo Heights ISD: School Transformation from the Heart

The September 7, 2017, issue of Pioneering!, the magazine of Education Reimagined, a nationwide initiative of the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution includes an article by TASA Immediate Past President Kevin Brown, superintendent, Alamo Heights ISD, a Consortium Associate district. In the article, Brown tells the story of why and how his district re-evaluated its priorities as it developed...

Education Reimagined Podcast Features Alamo Heights ISD Leaders

Education Reimagined, a nationwide initiative of the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution in which TASA has participated, recently partnered with TLTalkRadio hosts Randy Ziegenfuss and Lynn Fuini-Hetten, superintendent and assistant superintendent at Salisbury Township School District, to launch the "Shift Your Paradigm" podcast series. The series showcases learner-centered pioneers...

THPSC Report to 85th Texas Legislature Suggests Community-Based Accountability

The Texas High Performance Schools Consortium, a group of 22 school districts charged with informing the governor, Texas Legislature, State Board of Education, and commissioner of education on methods for improving student learning in Texas public schools, has delivered its biennial report to policymakers. In “Update on the Progress of the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium,” the...

Prosper ISD Student Team Invited to NYC by Stephen Colbert

Prosper ISD, a Texas High Performance Schools Consortium district, is giving a team of high school students the opportunity to try their hand at comedy with a student-run TV show launched in September 2016 as part of the school's scholastic broadcast program. "The Mid Morning After 10, But Still Just Before Lunch Show" has even caught the attention of talk-show host Stephen Colbert, who invited...

Lake Travis ISD’s ChickTech Program Introduces Girls to Tech Careers

ChickTech: High School is a yearlong program that introduces high school girls to different aspects of careers in technology. It is designed to inspire them to pursue careers in the technology and computer science fields. Thirteen Lake Travis High School girls attended the kickoff of the Austin Chapter of ChickTech inaugural program in November 2016 at Google. Learn more.

Sunnyvale ISD Middle School Opens Innovative Addition

Sunnyvale ISD, a Consortium Associate district east of Dallas, recently opened a next-generation learning space at its middle school. “We felt it was important to change the learning space because instruction has changed. We moved away from teaching kids in rows more to collaborative spaces,” said Doug Williams, Sunnyvale ISD superintendent. “We want to make sure that instruction and learning...

Mesquite ISD Prototype Classroom Helps Students Engage in Learning

Each high school in Mesquite ISD, a Consortium Associate district, will have an innovation prototype classroom equipped with flexible furniture and technology, thanks to funding provided in the 2016-17 budget. The idea behind the innovative classrooms is to get students collaborating and asking questions so they learn from each other and allow the classroom teacher to serve as a facilitator of...

New Round Rock ISD STEAM Academy Puts ‘Why’ at Heart of Curriculum

Round Rock ISD, a member of the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium, opened Joe Lee Johnson, the district’s first STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) academy in August 2016. The school is aligned with the district’s strategic plan, which centers on creating flexible programs and learning environments for 21st century learning. “Every bit of learning that we do...

Education Reimagined Spotlights Alamo Heights ISD

The following article and Q&A are from the October 6, 2016, issue of Pioneering!, the magazine of Education Reimagined, a nationwide initiative of the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution. They feature Alamo Heights ISD, a Consortium Associate district. Under a microscope, Alamo Heights, Texas, appears to represent small town America to the letter — a small, independent city stretching...

Collaboration is Turning School Transformation Vision into Reality

This feature on MISSION: School Transformation, written by Merri Rosenberg, was included in the September/October 2016 issue of Texas School Business magazine. The Mission: School Transformation movement is spreading like wildfire across Texas, clearing out old ways of doing things and making room for new growth. The roots of Mission: School Transformation can be traced back to 2006, when 35...

Millsap ISD to Continue Transformation to 21st-Century Learning Environment

Millsap ISD, a Consortium Associates district, will continue its transformation to provide a 21st-century learning environment under new superintendent Deann Lee, who previously served as assistant superintendent in the district. “One of the biggest goals we will develop is for each student to become an innovative thinker,” Lee told the Weatherford Democrat. The district is moving to...

900+ Educators Gather for “Revolutionizing Learning” Conference

More than 900 Texas educators gathered July 27-28, 2016, for the second annual Revolutionizing Learning Conference held by the Community Schools Transformation Alliance (CSTA), a regional consortia of school districts committed to school transformation started by Sunnyvale ISD Superintendent Doug Williams and Commerce ISD Superintendent Blake Cooper. The conference featured dozens of sessions on...

Learner-Centered Education Across the U.S.

Education Reimagined, a nationwide initiative of the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution in which TASA has participated, was founded to accelerate the growth and impact of the learner-centered education movement in the United States by:

Sharing the possibility of learner-centered education with a broad spectrum of education stakeholder groups, so as to attract new leaders and grow support for transformational efforts.

Identifying and emboldening learner-centered leaders already at work in communities, school systems, policy arenas, and the education profession, growing the number of leaders who see themselves as part of a larger movement.

Igniting and fostering ever-growing communities of diverse learner-centered leaders who wouldn’t otherwise see each other as allies in a movement—and creating the conditions for them to effectively collaborate, innovate, and advocate together.



Share This