MetaMetrics CEO Malbert Smith Serves on AASA Commission Calling for Multi-Year Plan for School Redesign to Addressing the Needs of Learners, Families, Communities

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National Commission Identifies Core Essential Areas for Systemic Redesign

As we reimagine how we approach and accelerate social, emotional, and cognitive growth for students, the commission’s report provides a great conceptual framework and model for schools and districts.

MetaMetrics Co-founder and CEO Malbert Smith recently completed serving on Learning 2025: A National Commission on Student-Centered Equity-Focused Education, launched by AASA, The School Superintendents Association. The commission’s report, An American Imperative: A New Vision of Public Schools, released on April 8, 2021, recommends a holistic redesign of our nation’s schools aimed at capturing a new vision of future-focused, rigorous, energetic and culturally-vibrant learning through the empowerment of districts to enact change on behalf of learners, families and communities.

According to the report, “We, as a nation, are painfully divided and face a series of existential and systemic crises. “The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare profound issues that we have known about for decades but have addressed with only minimal success. Confronting and overcoming long-brewing racial, economic and social injustices and disparities so that we may promote and safeguard healthy civic participation for all is the imperative of our day.”

Smith, who served on the commission with other thought leaders in education, business, community and philanthropy said, “I’m proud to have served on this commission. The events of the past year–while challenging illuminated the inequities in our education system as well as the possibilities for improving learning. Personalizing and customizing learning to meet the needs of all learners are key to transforming education over the next four years. As we reimagine how we approach and accelerate social, emotional, and cognitive growth for students, the commission’s report provides a great conceptual framework and model for schools and districts.”

“Returning to the past following the end of this pandemic is not an option for our schools,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA, and co-chair of the commission. “What makes this report stand out and what gives us hope is that it will impact practice at the classroom and school levels. It’s a call to action comprised of recommendations, coupled with specific action steps. Everyone associated with a school district—superintendents, principals, teachers, school boards, teachers’ unions, and community and business leaders—must take bold steps to work together as systems on behalf of the well-being, self-sufficiency and success of our students.”

The report outlines critical functions—leading, teaching and learning—for realizing systemic change. “If we are to deliver learner-centered, equity-focused education to all learners, then we must experience a paradigm shift in how these positions function,” said Kristi Wilson, 2020-21 president of AASA and superintendent, Buckeye Elementary School District, Buckeye, Ariz. “As a commission, we believe that the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach must no longer be tolerated. Now is the time to raise the voices of our superintendents on behalf of the students they serve.”

The report affirms that leaders, teachers and learners play a role in redesigning systems, reengineering instruction and co-authoring the learning journey. Further, core component areas are essential and must be present to address any school system and community to meet the commission’s vision. These core areas include resources; culture; and social, emotional and cognitive growth.

AASA, in partnership with other national collaborative organizations, will identify demonstration school districts, a collection of forward-leaning urban, suburban and rural districts that exemplify the actions expressed in the report to serve as national models. Each demonstration site will be the subject of a case study designed to guide schools, districts and regions in realizing the vision articulated in the commission’s recommendations. Policy support from local, state and national leaders will be integral to the overall effectiveness and success set forth by the report’s vision.

To access An American Imperative: A New Vision of Public Schools, visit the AASA website.

About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to equitable access for all students to the highest quality public education. For more information, visit

About MetaMetrics
MetaMetrics is an award-winning education technology organization that offers the only scientifically valid, universal scales for measuring silent and oral reading and listening (Lexile) and math (Quantile) with plans to develop measures for writing. The Lexile and Quantile Frameworks measure student ability and the complexity of the content they encounter. Lexile and Quantile measures and related technologies link assessment to instruction and provide next steps for students of all ages and abilities. The measures also provide valuable insights about students’ potential for growth. MetaMetrics’ measures, products and services are licensed to dozens of education product companies to help achieve that growth. For 35 years, MetaMetrics’ work has been increasingly recognized for its research-based approach to improving learning. For more information, visit

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Lisa Wolfe
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