The Open System

The Open System Redesigning Education and Reigniting Democracy

Landon Mascareñaz and Doannie Tran
paper, 304 Pages
Pub. Date: June 2023
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-813-5
Price: $37.00

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A call to action for school and community leaders to reframe educational institutions as open systems that are adaptable and responsive to the needs of students, families, and communities. 

Landon Mascareñaz and Doannie Tran propose that, even as events of this decade have exposed stress points in existing top-down, closed systems within education and other public institutions, they have also created prime opportunities to rethink and redesign those systems in ways that encourage civic participation and invigorate local democracy. 


Despite decades of well-meaning reform efforts, educators remain frustrated that we have not met our promise of better and more equitable outcomes for our students. It is refreshing to read a breakthrough piece that has the potential for dramatic systemic improvement. The book brings hope supported with direction. It is a must-read for education leaders. — Gene Wilhoit, former executive director, Council of Chief State School Officers, and founder, Center for Innovation in Education

The Open System is a rare combination of concrete, practical strategies on how school systems can much more effectively work together with families and communities to improve policies and outcomes, and ambitious, idealistic arguments for how these strategies can help bolster our democracy. — Hanseul Kang, assistant dean and Anita and Joshua Bekenstein ’80 B.A. Executive Director, The Broad Center at the Yale School of Management 

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About the Author

Landon Mascareñaz is an educator, writer, and vice president of community partnership at the Colorado Education Initiative. He currently serves as the chair of the Colorado Community College and Occupational Education Board. Doannie Tran is a partner at the Center for Innovation in Education. He formerly served as an assistant superintendent for the Academics and Professional Learning Department in Boston Public Schools and the Innovation Programs Division in Fulton County Schools.  

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