Background for The Blueprint for Educational Change

In January 2008, E3 Alliance brought together more than 150 regional leaders representing a cross-section of business, government, community and education organizations to set education priorities designed to drive systemic change over the next decade in Central Texas. It was not as if there weren’t wonderful education programs throughout our region – but there were literally thousands of education programs – competing with one another for funding, often happening redundantly in the same school, sometimes even in conflict.  How could we as a region get our hands around these programs and initiatives more strategically?

Each of The Blueprint’s four goals is led by a team of community leaders and includes prioritized action strategies, partners, and measured outcomes to ensure all students, from cradle to career, reach their highest potential and in turn secure our economic competitiveness and quality of life.

Purpose

Education outcomes for most students on most measures are improving, yet the competitive pressures of the global economy are still intensifying, raising the bar ever higher. If we focus on disconnected, incremental improvements that no longer work, we will lose ground.

Central Texas must have all of our students reach their highest potential to ensure our economic competitiveness and quality of life as a region.

The Blueprint is:

  1. Data-driven and focused on positive change
  2. Compiling never-before-available, objective, longitudinal information and sharing it transparently enables communities and institutions to work together toward common goals
  3. A regional strategy – the most effective platform for scalable change
    • A regional footprint is large enough to gain economies of scale and leverage strengths, but small enough to be entrepreneurial and engender understanding and will of the public.
    • A regional model can be intentionally replicated across the state and beyond, with versatility to allow for regional differences.
  4. Aligned to institutions and practices from early childhood to workforce success
    • The traditional vertical separation of various “levels” of education creates huge barriers for students – even those who are succeeding.
    • Localized structures tend to promote inefficient “not invented here” approaches to solving problems. Together, we can overcome institutional and policy barriers, and align our resources and practices to optimize educational outcomes.
  5. Based on regional precedents for effective public-private partnership
    • We can build on the national reputation our region has in public-private partnerships for other critical infrastructure issues that span artificial geographical boundaries.
    • Business and community influence and support are required to build the public will for change in education systems.