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

May 02, 2022


James Minichello

Selected Districts Exemplify AASA’s Learning 2025 Commission Initiative

Alexandria, Va. – May 2, 2022 – Moving toward creating a holistic redesign of our nation’s schools, AASA, The School Superintendents Association, in partnership with the Successful Practices Network, announced today that 13 school districts have been recognized as “Lighthouse” systems that will 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.

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.

“Our ‘Lighthouse’ systems are serving as thought-leader practitioners that are implementing bold, actionable steps on behalf of the broader education community to learn from and learn with as they have taken on the challenge of Learning 2025,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “As we emerge from the pandemic, it is critical to invoke future-focused 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 Learning 2025 Lighthouse Systems are:

A review panel comprised of independent education leaders from across the country evaluated applications submitted during the first three months of 2022. 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

“While no school district is anticipated to be exemplary in all components of the AASA Learning 2025 redesign, the goal of the educational system reflection profile is to guide Learning 2025 leaders and staff,” said Bill Daggett, founder of the Successful Practices Network and co-chair of the commission. “System improvement is viewed as a continuum of planning, developing, implementing and evaluating practices, and moving a system to where it strives to grow to benefit the children it serves.”

The opportunity to learn from colleagues, or ‘critical friends,’ across the country should be inspirational for the school systems participating in a process that provides endless opportunities to reflect on the majesty of the work that is happening right now in our school communities.

“It is gratifying to know that we will be able to take action together as we look at some of the country’s remarkable school systems embracing the challenge of Learning 2025,” said Mort Sherman, associate executive director, AASA and co-chair of the commission. “The opportunity to learn from colleagues, or ‘critical friends,’ across the country should be inspirational for the school systems participating in a process that provides endless opportunities to reflect on the majesty of the work that is happening right now in our school communities.”

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

The Learning 2025 National Summit

The Learning 2025 National Summit, co-hosted by AASA and SPN, June 28-30 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, focusing 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.