Tip O’Neill, the legendary U.S. Speaker of the House in the 1980s, was famous for getting things done in a bipartisan fashion, most notably with President Ronald Reagan. He is also famous for saying “all politics is local.” That is, while national politics might be important, the impact on people locally drives decision-making and voting at the national level.
That definitely rings true with us at TASA. Whenever people engage locally, we can see the results at the Texas Capitol. There are a number of districts in Texas that significantly engage with their local communities to ensure their voices are being heard at the local, state, and federal levels.
One of those points of pride is the work being done with the Permian Basin Educational Leadership Summit, which is highlighted in the summer 2021 issue of TASA’s INSIGHT. When school districts tell their stories to elected leaders, they do a tremendous service to everyone. Grassroots engagement is a necessity of 21st century superintendent leadership and countless superintendents across the state are doing this important work. We applaud you.
Likewise, TASA is expanding its efforts at grassroots engagement. The TASA Strategic Framework calls for the following:
- Cultivate a diverse and extensive collaborative of champions equipped to advocate for an educated citizenry.
- Recruit local advocates to connect with legislators and accelerate grassroots public school advocacy efforts.
- Engage, mobilize, and collaborate with partners to advance effective education policy.
- Encourage and support regional, participant-led experiences that increase access to learning and networking opportunities.
- Develop a robust onboarding and mentorship experience that deepens personal connection to the association.
- Cultivate purposeful networks of leaders engaged in meaningful work that advances the principles in the New Vision for Public Education.
These are ambitious goals for our profession and our organization. To accelerate these endeavors, TASA recently expanded and rebranded our member service representative program to include 10 executive superintendents across the state. The intent of bringing on so many legendary Texas superintendents to TASA is to more deeply engage at the local and regional levels in all of the ways outlined above. These exemplary leaders are here to serve you. Although the TASA staff in Austin has a critical role to play, we know that the most important work occurs at the local level.
We are here to support you in any way possible. Thank you for the incredible work you have done to shepherd your local communities through the most challenging of times.
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