Spring 2016

ATPE News is the official publication of the Association of Texas Professional Educators, the largest educator association in Texas. The magazine addresses the most important issues affecting public education in the state. Learn more at

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Page 42 of 43

Think back to 1980. The Internet hadn't made it to homes or ofces yet, email was still being developed, and social media didn't exist. Instead of smart phones, we had pay phones on every corner. This is the world that ATPE was founded in, and the world that our business practices were developed for. THE FUTURE OF ATPE W e had 30 years of overwhelming success and very little change. But in 2011, when the Texas legislature drastically cut public school funding, ATPE sufered a setback that should have served as our wakeup call. Today, ATPE faces not only public education funding challenges but also a changing business environment. We communicate diferently, and we volunteer diferently. Members tell us they already have too many demands on their time to take on ATPE's traditional volunteer roles. ATPE's House of Delegates meets only once a year to conduct ATPE business. But to succeed in today's competitive environment, where information can be shared instantaneously, we must make business decisions more quickly. The organizational model that we developed in 1980 served us well for many years, but simply isn't allowing us to be as efective as we need to be. Consider the case of Kodak. They were an American icon, a fourishing company that seemed unstoppable. But, ultimately, their inability to adapt to a changing world led to their downfall. Nimble competitors took their place in the new, digital market. Like Kodak, ATPE had an impressive period of growth, but now we need to re-examine ourselves to remain relevant. The things that our dedicated members love about ATPE—the sense of family and our commitment to Texas public schools—will never change. But to ensure ATPE can continue to do the same good work it always has, we have to reconsider some of our business practices. I have had many long-time ATPE members say to me, "What we are doing now is working just fne." While I respect their opinion, the fact is, we are trying to save ATPE from being another Kodak. Change will come to ATPE one way or another— it is up to us to ensure that it is proactive rather than reactive. I am hopeful we will be able to work together to change in order to protect what our founders sought to achieve: our commitment to being the preeminent education organization in Texas. ATPE needs motivated leaders now more than ever to ensure our organization will succeed for the next 35 years. Elections are fast approaching for state, regional, and local ofcers. Please ask yourself: are you that leader? | 43 spring 2016 by Gary G. Godsey for the record Gary G. Godsey ATPE Executive Director

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