Full program description
- One person from the district must register at the full rate and physically attend the conference. The Video Conference Participation option is limited to the first 10 districts selecting that option.
Superintendents of rural districts know that many of the transformational success stories in education are from new schools, new staff in old schools, or new leadership in schools. These are usually not options for rural schools. TASA is joining with Syfr Learning to present an alternative approach for rural schools to approach and implement Creating a New Vision for Public Education in Texas.
The three-year program will begin with a two-day academy at the Region 10 Education Service Center, June 17–18, 2015. This academy is for superintendents, central office curriculum and instructional staff, and principals (only superintendents and principals are required to attend). It is followed by a three-day academy, also in Region 10, July 28-30, 2015, for teachers and their principals, if the principal chooses to attend. Each participating campus is encouraged to send a team of two-five teachers to the July academy.
The approach is to train a small cadre of teachers in a school on how people—including organizations, teachers, and students—learn and self-assess. These teachers then design their own learning improvement strategies and measurement metrics. By October of this year there should be evidence of change in their classrooms and by December other teachers will be improvising from the original work. Progress will be evident in their grade books, benchmarks tests, end-of-year tests, and project-based performance.
Academies are organized around a series of questions, related learning principles, instructional principles, and finally instructional strategies. For example, a question in the first session is how do we compensate for a brain that is wired to forget? The learning principle is "repeat to remember and remember to repeat," which introduces a second question or challenge: repetition is boring. The related instructional principle is progressive repetition with variation. Repetition does not have to be, and should not be, all the same and the variation should escalate with difficulty and complexity. Through it all, the learner—organization or individual—needs a sense of progress toward a meaningful end. Instructional strategies are built around that premise.