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Creating a New Vision for Public Education in Texas

TASA report cover imageA report developed by thirty-five public school superintendents who came together as a community of learners to form the Public Education Visioning Institute.  Through a series of eight workshops held between 2006 and 2008, this document articulates a new vision for public education in Texas. The authors consider it a basic resource to inform the efforts of all who want to participate in realizing the results it envisions.

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TED Talk – Andreas Schleicher: Use data to build better schools

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An informative presentation by Andreas Schleicher, delivered at TEDGlobal 2012. He describes PISA, a global measurement sponsored by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that ranks countries against one another and provides data to help schools improve. Offers valuable insights about why some school systems around the world outperform others.

The Magic of Dialogue

Read the first chapter of The Magic of Dialogue courtesy of

The Superintendents’ National Dialogue seeks to promote dialogue on issues relevant to the future of public education in the United States. We observe Daniel Yankelovich’s definition of dialogue as, “a discussion that includes three essential elements: 1) equality and the absence of coercive influences 2) listening with empathy and 3) bringing assumptions into the open without judgment.” Based on 40 years of experience conducting public opinion research, Yankelovich concluded that American society arrives at sound judgments primarily through a process of engaging in conversation imbued with values and emotions, rather than purely objective analysis of factual information. Thus, he argues in his book The Magic of Dialogue, engaging in dialogue is an effective way to work toward resolution of societal conflicts and other problems.

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Dr. Joseph Scherer

Photo of Dr. Joseph SchererBefore being named the Executive Director of the Superintendents’ National Dialogue, Dr. Joseph Scherer was the Vice President, on special assignment, with the State Services group of Pearson’s Assessment and Information Division. Prior to joining Pearson in September of 2009, Dr. Scherer was the co-founder and managing director of the District Management Council (DMC) where he provided consulting support on management issues for seventy-five school districts across America. Six years previous to the founding of the DMC, Dr. Scherer was a Vice president at Harcourt Education and there he spent his time identifying incremental revenue opportunities. His previous experiences in the private sector include serving as Vice President of Kaplan Learning Services, Key Accounts Executive with IBM, National Accounts Vice President with Computer Curriculum Corporation and General Manager of Marketing with Control Data. Before entering the private sector he spent eighteen years working in Washington, DC.

Dr. Scherer first came to Washington as an intern with the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Children and Youth. The Institute for Educational Leadership selected him for a fellowship with the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Following a second year in the U.S. Office of Education Scherer was appointed to head up the Washington Office of the National PTA. He left the PTA to accept the position of Associate Executive Director of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and concluded his association management as the Executive Director of the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA).

He has managed a gubernatorial campaign, worked with elected officials in two state legislatures, Tennessee and Minnesota and has taught from middle school (Minneapolis Public Schools) through graduate school where for the past two years he served as an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education Mid-Career Doctoral Program.

Dr. Scherer has earned an M.A. in Education, an M.S. in Psychology and a Ph.D. His doctoral degree is from Vanderbilt University.


Superintendents National Dialogue Logo


SND logoWelcome to a special website designed to support experienced practitioners who are committed to influencing public discourse on the future of K-12 education in the United States.  As leading educators you recognize that you must combine knowledge accumulated through years of successful experience with understanding of the facts, as well as the values and feelings held by the American public in order to resolve long-standing conflicts and craft effective solutions for students today and in the future.  Emboldened voices of your colleagues have already started to reshape the conversation by examining and responding to predicted societal disruptions, affirming beliefs, and outlining required action.

There has never been a more urgent need for education leaders to gather together, share their hard-won insights and formulate new solutions to the many challenges we face. The Superintendents’ National Dialogue includes nearly 400 men and women who believe that dynamic change will happen only when we make it happen. This website is designed to support the collective work and wisdom of these remarkable individuals.  Here, we provide tools  intended to support the development of vision, pursuit of action and commitment of talent and resources to the ongoing nature of this important work.

Please use the Superintendents’ National Dialogue as your forum to share  experience, craft innovative solutions and  accomplish dynamic change for your school system.  Thank you for your dedication, talent and time.


Joseph Scherer,  Ph.D.

Executive Director
Superintendents’ National Dialogue

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