District joins national network seeking to reshape education

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Linden Public Schools have joined “Learning 2025,” a collaborative nationwide network of districts aspiring to become more student-centered, equity-focused, and future-driven.

The network, administered by AASA, The School Superintendents Association, includes more than 60 “demonstration systems” that represent a collection of forward-leaning urban, suburban, and rural districts serving as national models to help guide partner districts by sharing successful practices, as well as challenges.

The program allows members to collaborate and learn with school systems that are committed to supporting the whole learner, ensuring anti-marginalization, and adopting practices that anticipate future needs in a bold effort toward a holistic redesign of America’s schools.

“We look forward to working with other school districts from across the country to learn more about their strategic improvement efforts.”

Superintendent Dr. Marnie Hazelton

“Serving as a demonstration site for ‘Learning 2025’ is an honor for Linden Public Schools,” said Superintendent Dr. Marnie Hazelton. “We look forward to working with other school districts from across the country to learn more about their strategic improvement efforts. In addition, our staff will be able to network with peers nationwide and share strategic ideas and winning solutions in our collective effort to strengthen our communities and raise student outcomes.

“Sharing ideas with colleagues within the network can only help us in making certain that every child is valued and supported.”

The initiative’s end goal is systemic redesign of the public school system by 2025. Along the way, member school districts will receive support in areas such as early learning, technology-enhanced learning, and enabling students to be co-authors in their education. Districts will receive personalized consultation on strategic direction and become part of a community of learners who help each other.

“Our goal is to galvanize and synergize thought leaders from all sectors to emerge from the pandemic in better shape than they were before,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director of AASA. “This initiative will ensure that educators are empowered and equipped to meet whole learners’ needs by personalizing and customizing instruction involving students in designing their own learning and coordinating resources to support all children’s overall growth and well-being.”

The initiative is grounded in the foundational work of the AASA Learning 2025 National Commission, which recommended essential principles for school system redesign, including the creation of demonstration districts.

“This report contains a blueprint to empower school districts to design their plans and meet the specific needs of their learners, educators, and communities,” said Kristi Wilson, 2020-21 president of AASA, and one of the 27 “Learning 2025” commissioners. “Every district that commits to becoming a demonstration system will receive a personalized consultation and become part of a community of learners who help each other as ‘critical friends’ focused on student learning.”

As an AASA “Learning 2025” demonstration system, Linden Public Schools will:

  • Receive senior consulting services, personalized engagement, and strategic planning support.
  • Create a customized action plan tailored to meet the district’s needs.
  • Gain a customized dashboard to track the district’s progress and provide real data to community stakeholders.
  • Take part in professional learning opportunities, including registration to one of AASA’s Leadership Network cohorts.
  • Contribute to national research, practice, and policy.
  • Network, collaborate, and learn with school systems that are committed to supporting the whole learner, ensuring anti-marginalization, and adopting future-driven practices.
  • Move the district forward with research-based recommendations to provide all learners with a bright future.

“This work will be guided by thought leaders from business and industry who are ahead of the curve in terms of implementing innovative strategies and solutions that align to key components of Learning 2025 recommendations,” said Malbert Smith III, CEO, president and co-founder, MetaMetrics; creator of the Lexile and Quantile Frameworks; and Learning 2025 Commissioner. “The team will assist in identifying assessments that could be used to inform and bolster the district’s ability to achieve its priorities and goals for maximizing student achievement.”

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