What is The Open System?

The Open System is a broad idea framework that describes a set of activities, mindsets and skills required to build the capacity of public education systems to share power and build common vision with the families and communities they serve.  While some have posited the role of open systems in education, we extend this concept toward what is possible when we have expansive notions of partnerships & relationships with our communities.

We must move beyond the simple terms "family engagement", "stakeholder engagement" and "community feedback" and begin to open systems across the education sector.  Across this country there is a movement to mobilize, organize, partner and create shared power in solidarity with families and communities.  We believe this work is truly about "opening systems" and creates vast opportunities for change.  

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Picture from The Economist

Once we take on this frame, we can see closed systems everywhere.  They are the ones creating walls, barriers and structures to keep parents, families and communities out.  Indeed, the idea of "open" vs "closed" is bigger than education and represents a broader societal movement in our politics, business and organizations.

This site is dedicated to the Openers out there - the folks in school systems, districts and networks across the country who are working every day to open their systems.  It is also dedicated to the millions of families who every day want to create shared vision and find common cause with the schools in their community.   This is your platform to share, debate and discuss.