AASA Names Fall 2022 ‘Lighthouse’ School Systems To Serve As Models To Help Transform Education

December 07, 2022


James Minichello

Selected Districts Exemplify AASA’s Learning 2025 Commission Initiative

Alexandria, Va. – Dec 7, 2022AASA, The School Superintendents Association, in partnership with the Successful Practices Network and Battelle for Kids, is pleased to announce the eight new school districts that have been recognized as “Lighthouse” systems to serve as models of positive change in public education.

The selected designates are members of AASA’s Learning 2025 Network, a cadre of more than 120 demonstration systems representing forward-leaning, urban, suburban and rural school districts engaged in learning, networking and working together to help drive education policy and ultimately improve student learning. Earlier this year, 13 districts were named “Lighthouse” designates.

The goal of the network, which was created by the AASA National Commission on Student-Centered, Equity-Focused Education, is to guide Learning 2025 leaders as they chart their progress toward “Lighthouse” designation in one or more areas of growth. The commission called for identification of exemplary educational systems to serve as beacons of light in key areas of holistic redesign of American education.

“The work that our ‘Lighthouse’ systems are doing is an example of providing equity-focused and future-driven change to an educational system to better respond to the needs of the students in their respective areas,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “As we emerge from the pandemic, it is critical to invoke positive best practices for the well-being, self-sufficiency and success of our young learners. I congratulate these districts, as well as all of the school districts associated with the Learning 2025 Network.”

The AASA Fall Learning 2025 Lighthouse Systems are:

This initiative should be viewed as a way to envision the arc of possibilities bestowed on the millions of children we serve across our great country—to provide endless opportunities to reflect on the majesty of the work that is happening right now in our school communities.

“I firmly believe that the leaders of the districts we’re honoring are the soldiers—the ground troops for democracy,” said Mort Sherman, AASA senior associate executive director and co-chair of the commission. “We hope that by using the word ‘Lighthouse,’ it’s seen not just as a label, but rather an important concept for school districts large and small to learn and grow and take action with each other. This initiative should be viewed as a way to envision the arc of possibilities bestowed on the millions of children we serve across our great country—to provide endless opportunities to reflect on the majesty of the work that is happening right now in our school communities.”

A review panel comprised of independent education leaders from across the country evaluated applications that needed to be submitted by October 31. Districts were reviewed based on strategies and recommendations developed by the commission. Redesign component indicators included:

  • Social, Emotional and Cognitive Growth
  • Future-Ready Learners
  • Cognitive Growth Model
  • Learners as Co-authors
  • Accelerator A1: Diverse Educator Pipeline
  • Accelerator A2: Early Learning
  • Accelerator A3: Technology Enhanced Learning
  • Accelerator A4: Community Alignment

The profile is meant to guide superintendents and their teams as they consider progress toward their growth. AASA will provide feedback on behalf of selected districts’ progress and efforts for system redesign.

The Learning 2025 National Summit

The second annual Learning 2025 National Summit, co-hosted by AASA, SPN and BFK, on June 26-28 in Washington, D.C., will bring together leadership, faculty, boards and staff from across the country to highlight the work building future-focused capacity by these exemplar districts in alignment with the commission. Over the course of the summit, participants will learn from each other, as well as thought leaders and national experts, through keynote presentations, how-to sessions and networking sessions focused on strengthening culture, instruction and maximizing the use of resources. Click here to learn more.

Educators are encouraged to access An American Imperative: A New Vision of Public Schools, prepared and issued by the commission in 2021. The report articulates AASA’s vision, which is intended to serve as a guardrail for specific change, while also empowering districts and schools to tailor plans to the needs of their leaders and learners.

For additional information, contact Mort Sherman at msherman@aasa.org, or Valerie Truesdale, AASA assistant executive director, at vtruesdale@aasa.org.

To join the conversation via Twitter, please access #Learning2025.


About AASA

AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to equitable access for all students to the highest quality public education. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.

*Collegiate Edu-Nation is a collaborative of 17 rural school districts in Texas.