Creating a Policy Environment that Fosters Innovation in Public Education

Over the past three decades, Texas has undertaken a variety of ambitious reforms designed to improve the quality of public education.  These efforts have yielded important gains, but the pace of progress has not been sufficient to keep pace with the challenges at hand.

As a result, far too few students – particularly low-income students and minorities – get the kind of education they both need and deserve to prepare them for a productive, self-sufficient future.  Furthermore, the costs of the current delivery model have been escalating at an unsustainable rate.


“Educational innovation means discarding policies and practices that no longer serve students while creating opportunities for smart, entrepreneurial problem-solvers to help children learn.”

– Rick Hess, Leaders and Laggards:
A State-by-State Report Card on Educational Innovation

Innovation – in the form of new delivery models, the infusion of technology, alternative staffing configurations, different use of time, and more – has the potential to significantly change the current trajectory of public education.  A multitude of promising innovations that are now occurring on a relatively small scale could flourish and grow if barriers to innovation in public education were addressed.

A+ believes that opening doors for innovative approaches that promote new efficiencies, address unmet needs, and are scalable is an exciting and promising path for transforming public education.  Accordingly, we advocate creating a climate that is conducive for talented, visionary people to be able to design innovative learning solutions for better educational outcomes for students, whether this means operating new schools or designing new tools.


A+ Policy Recommendations

Houston A+ Challenge's policy recommendations for the 83rd Legislative Session are focused in these areas:

  • Principal Leadership & School Culture (read brief)
  • Teacher Quality (read brief)
  • Curriculum, Assessments & Use of Time
  • Accountability

Recent Testimony Submitted to Texas Legislative Committees on Public Education


Driving Innovation

Key People to Watch 

Will Richardson 
Personal Learning Networks

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach 
Connected Educators & Connected Learning

George Seimens 

Michael Horn 
Blended Learning