Creating a New Vision
Beginning in 2006, Dr. Wellman was one of 35 public school superintendents from the state of Texas who joined together as a community of learners to create a new vision for public education. The Public Education Visioning Institute released a document framing this vision in May of 2008 and continue to support a positive future for the students of Texas.
Below is an excerpt from the introduction of the Visioning Institute's working document that summarizes the background and purpose of the group:
As the representatives of more than 1.2 million students, members of the group were frustrated with the present direction of education, but realized no clear picture was available to frame a conversation regarding a preferred future. We were also concerned that the principle architects of the present system are politicians, business leaders, and their policy advisors -- not superintendents, not principals, not teachers, and not parents or school board members. Educators and parents have vital contributions to make and their insights and commitments should be utilized. We knew it was time to begin a new and different kind of dialogue. We also felt that the only meaningful way to address the issues and challenge underlying assumptions was to define and express a vision, based on relevant beliefs, principles, and premises.
The Visioning Institute held its first of eight workshops on September 6-7, 2006. That workshop focused on examining the culture and structure needed in schools to meet the needs of learners in a more global environment with attendant new expectations. Subsequent workshops held in 2007 explored moral and intellectual leadership, the nature of the future learner, assessment systems and accountability mechanisms, and more innovative ways to use resources.
We believe the work accomplished over the last 21 months of learning and intense dialogue has made us better leaders. It is our sincere hope that it will inspire others toward the common goal of making public schools better for all Texas children.