The Learning Leadership Symposiums, hosted by the Learning Counsel, are designed to promote innovation in the field of education. By combining timely research and knowledge of trends and market changes on the horizon, as well as a selection of high impact regional thought leaders, the Learning Counsel facilitates a high-level experience in a single-day workshop format.

In this presentation, Addison Davis, Superintendent of the nation’s 7th largest school district, gives us an inside look at the remarkable turnaround the district experienced, with details explaining a number of brilliant steps along the way.

According to Davis, Superintendent of Hillsborough County Public Schools, “We've had to rethink our model of learning in the last couple years tremendously and revolutionize this industry in so many different ways; what we did two years ago no longer works today. So, we asked, do we have that self-awareness, and what are we doing to be able to improve that experience for children?

Superintendent Davis knows a thing or two about rethinking education. “We have an opportunity to really set trends,” said Davis, “and coming in three years ago, we were faced with 150 million dollars in deficits, we were faced with transitions starting with COVID, we had to cut 1500 jobs to be able to pay our 25 000 employees. On top of that, we had the most persistently underperforming schools within the within the state. 39 persistently underperforming schools and 28 DNF schools, the most in the State of Florida.

“After a lot of hard work and concentration adopting new systems and new processes, I'm proud to stand here in front of you today to say the 28 historical DNFs are now down to five and that the 39 persistently low performing schools now are at a point where we only have 18, and we continue to lead the state in the last two years with Career Technical Education being the first not only for students engaged in CTE courses, but those passing as well. So, all this to say is that you're only as good as your next hire. In the last three years, we've doubled down to make certain we hire first round draft picks to create the best educational space and innovative space for every one of our learners in Hillsborough County. We are we are really trying to win the talent war every single day and I know that each of you whether you're a corporation business or in education it's difficult to do. So how do you do that in in an effort to be able to recruit to a location which has been deemed the number one place to move in the United States?”

“As Tampa continues to thrive and grow,” said Davis, “that comes with major inflation related to the housing market within this community. We are struggling openly to be able to bring individuals especially in education to our classrooms just because the overall affordability of what we have. We see that in the Hillsborough region that all of our educators that we're recruiting are living in the outskirts of the city in the county due to the fact of the affordability issue. So now we have to figure out how to put the shoulders to the wheel and know that we can't do this in an isolated manner and that we have to be able to engage marketing initiatives and also link with every one of our civic leaders, our delegations, our cities and our councilmen and commissioners to find out what we can do especially with our developers to offer our employees something that's more attractive than surrounding counties.”

Hillsborough County School District’s problems are not unique. But what is unique is the way Davis and his team have met the problems head on with intelligent solutions that are consistently building the district and creating better and better learning opportunities for their students. Superintendent Davis delivers with a clear presentation, uncovering the details of success that you can use immediately in your own school or district. You won’t want to miss a minute.