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A Path to Benefits-Based Accountability™ for K-12 Schools

Join the movement - and take a student-first approach to school performance.

Instructor: John Tanner

You always knew school accountability was broken.

You just couldn’t put your finger on why.

Meet Your Instructor

John Tanner is one of the nation’s foremost voices on school accountability. His bravEd Benefits-Based Accountability™ Framework was designed to help school district teams embrace a system of school performance that puts students and community stakeholders, and not test scores, first. Sign up today.

The Experience

Here’s what to expect when your school team joins braveEd’s nationwide Benefits-Based Accountability™ Framework.

Virtual 90-min. learning conversations

Meet virtually to define common terms, challenge prevailing misconceptions and systematically construct a Benefits-Based School Accountability Framework, with a focus on students' needs.

Project-based onsite 'doing' workshops

Break into small groups for a series of timed 30-min. learnings to solve problems of practice and move school and district accountability plans from concept to action.

Available collaboration & coaching

John and his team will make themselves available as needed to offer advice, discuss sensitive topics and model effective evidence-based accountability practices.

Plus, receive a copy of John's latest book

Every participant receives a copy of John's book, Accountability Mindset: a blueprint for a worthwhile educational accountability.

The Sessions

What follows is an example description of the sessions you’ll attend in Year 1 of the program:

Session #1

Define your hopes and dreams

Get an introduction to benefits-based accountability, learn the vocabulary and plot a path forward for your schools and students.

Session #2

Understand Benefits-Based Accountability™

Learn about the two types of accountabilities and establish a system based on shared benefits.

Session #3

Build broad capacity for change

Improving accountability means becoming a different type of organization. In this session, you’ll answer key questions to help transform your thinking one conversation at a time.

Session #4

Become a trust-building machine

Master and embrace the best parts of the Benefits-Based Accountability Framework to build critical community-based relationships and tell the truth about change.

Session #5

Communicate ‘for what’ and ‘to whom’

Together, your team will learn how to clearly communicate the motivations and goals behind your program to colleagues, parents and policy-makers.

Session #6

Pressure test your benefits-based framework

Develop an early draft of your organization’s Benefits-Based Accountability Framework™ to share with stakeholders for candid feedback.

Session #7

Take an evidence-based approach to success

Learn how and where to collect evidence of success and use the right data to generate continued support for your approach.

Session #8

Scale your work across multiple systems

Done right, a Benefits-Based Accountability Framework isn’t ‘one more thing,’ it’s the thing that helps you communicate the success, or failure, of your most important initiatives.

Session #9

The role of the central office

Learn how school district leaders can work together through shared responsibilities to build broad-based support for change.

Session #10

Speak Benefits-Based Accountability™ fluently

Deploy your Benefits-Based Accountability Framework™ to have a new kind of community-based conversation about the future, one that puts students, and not test scores, first.

The Outcomes

A Benefits-Based Accountability™ mindset starts with you and your schools being able to do the following four steps over and over, with ease.

1. Use the right vocabulary
2. Center everything around student benefits
3. Shape your school for the future and not the past
4. Tell your truths, in a language your stakeholders understand

The result is a student-centric accountability environment that is good for your students, understood by their parents, and embraced by communities.

We’re leading a nationwide movement of 1,000+ school districts to change how schools do accountability.

Join us today.

We have finally found a thought partner that understands the transformative work that needs to be done in order to help us truly empower and inspire our students. If you are exhausted with living in the 20th century accountability system and value an accountability system that is student centered and seeks to report the truth on what you do, Brave-Ed and John Tanner can build your capacity to do so. I know this because we’re doing this in my school district.

Dr. JAMES LLOYDSuperintendent

Through the work with John, our district teachers, administrators, and students feel empowerment that inspires. It is refreshing and exciting, especially in the face of increasing challenges from the compliance-driven focus of state accountability.

JANA RUETER, ED.D.Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum & Instruction San Angelo Independent School District

The Benefits-Based Accountability™ Framework provides a truly comprehensive method for communicating all that a school and district is doing to meet the needs of students and the community.

CRAIG HARPERExecutive Director Professional Association of Georgia Educators

Tanner gets it. If we want to change the work we do and change the results we get, we need to change the system. Changing our current system requires we find a new box to think inside of. John has created a compelling design for a new box.

DOUG CHRISTENSENFormer Nebraska Commissioner of Education; Professor of Leadership in Education, Graduate Division Doane College

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Benefits-Based Accountability™ today

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is accountability exactly? I’m not used to thinking about it the way bravEd describes it.

    Accountability is a leadership discipline that enables and empowers an organization and its stakeholders to come together around a common purpose. It requires regular accountings as to where an organization is and it’s not effective at meeting stakeholder needs, but it isn’t the work of the organization. The goal for every leader is to insert the accountability function into the DNA of the organization.  As such, real accountability is neither a program nor an initiative, but rather mindset accompanied by a set of frameworks.

    I have lots of new leaders and principals this year/I’m a new superintendent. Do we wait to do this work until we get settled in, or do it now?

    Our position on this is unequivocal—an environment with new leaders or new leadership represents an ideal position from which to do this work. Accountability is the most powerful organizational force in any organization and will create directional forces that will guide the organization towards its future. Accountability doesn’t negate the other components necessary to create coherent leadership team (that isn’t its purpose), but it can help create the necessary environment for those components to quickly thrive.

    How does a benefits-based accountability and a strategic plan work together?

    The accounting or accountability function in an organization represents the capacity an organization needs to indicate clearly where it is effective and where it is not yet as effective as it needs to be. The accountability function is therefore neutral when it comes to the content of an organization. Strategic plans represent one content component that will require a rich accountability function for them to be more than a series of tasks and metrics. Our experience suggests that the most traditional of strategic plans often need to be rethought once a benefits based accountability system is in place but that the opposite is not true. Schools that build a benefits-based accountability system first experience a much shorter timeline when doing their strategic work, as well as increased coherence across the entire system regarding their priorities and what needs to be accomplished.

    How will this fit with the other initiatives and programs we have going?

    If your organization is like most schools and districts we have worked with the answer is quite nicely. Remember that our benefits based accountability system is not an initiative or program, but rather, the mindset and frameworks regarding how best to account for those things. One of the most powerful moments in the process is when a school system can view all its strategic efforts, programs, and initiatives, through a coherence lens and see for the first time how everything fits or doesn’t fit together. Think of accountability as the glue that holds everything else together with a surprisingly small amount of effort.

    Can you really put this in place in a few hours each month?

    You can. Schools are unique in the universe in how accountability has been done to us and as a result we’ve become conditioned to think of accountability as a massive undertaking that sucks up considerable time and effort on a daily basis. But real accountability is part of an organization’s DNA regarding how it understands and communicates its effectiveness to a variety of audiences. Real accountability is as natural to an organization as breathing is to a person.