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Buckeye Accountability Network

A Path to True Accountability™ for K-12 Schools

Join the movement - and take a benefits-based 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 True 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 True Accountability™ movement.

Structured monthly conversations

Meet monthly to define common terms, challenge prevailing misconceptions and systematically construct a more empathetic and measurable framework for true school accountability.

Project-based onsite workshops

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

Regular collaboration & coaching

John and his team will hold scheduled virtual office hours with your team to offer advice, discuss sensitive topics and model effective evidence-based accountability practices.

Quarterly strategy & progress sessions

True accountability doesn’t happen overnight. Culture change takes time. Check in with John and his team once a quarter to review your district’s progress and stay on track.

Plus, access to the bravEd portal

Every participant receives 24/7 access to bravEd’s online library of research-backed training tools and learning materials designed to help your school or district achieve True Accountability.

bravEd’s virtual email hotline

Additionally, teams will have access to bravEd’s virtual email hotline, where they can ask questions and build an organic knowledge base to support their work.

The Outcomes

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

1. Use the 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 an accountability environment that is good for your students, understood by their parents, and embraced by communities.

The Working Cohort - $15,000

Invite key school and community team members to participate in this comprehensive and collaborative process to understand, build and implement a working True Accountability™ framework.

Intended for up to (12) team members, the Working Cohort includes:

Structured monthly seminars (learning efforts)
A series of (10) 90-minute learning sessions, in which school leaders will establish a vocabulary for True Accountability™, challenge prevailing misconceptions, and learn how to build a benefits-based True Accountability™ system for use in their schools.

Accountability book study
Participants will engage in a collaborative book study to understand the benefits and drawbacks of traditional accountability frameworks and develop forward-thinking models that meet the needs of students, and the expectations of parents and staff.

BravEd Portal access
Participants receive 24/7 access to the gated BravEd portal, a virtual library featuring the latest research and writing around K-12 school-based accountability. Use the portal for your own research and find resources to share among and with your broader school and community team.

Project-based workshops
Participants engage in a series of (9) coordinated working sessions to solve problems of practice and move school and district accountability plans from concept to action.

Quarterly strategy & progress sessions
John and his team will check in with participants once a quarter for 60 minutes to gauge their progress, provide advice and ensure the work stays on track.

Experience the power of
True Accountability™ today

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    Cohort Model


    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the bravEd True Accountability Framework?

    Created by nationally recognized data scientist, writer and speaker John Tanner, the bravEd True Accountability™ Framework replaces outdated compliance-based school performance models, with a benefits-based approach that accounts for circumstances inside and outside of school that impact a child’s education. The framework can be delivered as part of multi-day engagement within a larger school district, or as part of a multi-district cohort experience.

    Why adopt the bravEd True Accountability Framework?

    As schools struggle to close achievement gaps forced wider by a global pandemic, educators desperately need a reliable system and process by which to accurately measure school performance. But traditional accountability measures are broken — and have been for years. The bravEd True Accountability Framework™ exposes and systematically removes inherent biases found in traditionally compliance-based school accountability frameworks in favor of a benefits-based approach, with focus on future improvements.

    What’s included in this program?

    The True Accountability Framework™ includes a combination of guided and asynchronous professional learning opportunities, including scheduled strategic accountability conversations, a series of virtual project-based workshops, intimate coaching sessions and quarterly strategy sessions. Plus, 24/7 access to a growing knowledge base of school accountability resources. The process is designed to get educators talking about traditional accountability systems, to identify what’s working and what’s not, and develop a new, more holistic system to more accurately measure and reflect modern-day school performance.

    Who should participate?

    The True Accountability™ Framework was designed specifically for school leaders and internal and external teams. The program can be packaged and delivered to select members of a school district’s leadership team, or scaled out to teachers and staff and community leaders as part of a comprehensive district-wide implementation.

    How will this help my team?

    The True Accountability™ Framework helps school leaders by exposing long-held biases in traditional K-12 accountability frameworks and providing an alternative, benefits-based system that better reflects the future needs and circumstances of individual students, parents and other stakeholders. Team members have an opportunity to learn about and embrace a mindset of True Accountability™, while workshopping problems of practice to implement a system that reflects the unique needs and challenges of their local communities.

    What if my state already has a letter-based system?

    You’re not alone. Though bravEd’s True Accountability™ Framework cannot replace these largely compliance-based systems, it can give you a parallel mindset and approach by which to be accountable to your stakeholder community by focusing on the evidence, benefits and forward-thinking school performance measures that they expect and that you need to make real improvements.

    How can I participate?

    If you’re interested in bringing a system of True Accountability™ to your school or district, you can request more information, including a detailed syllabus and proposal for your team. Simply follow the button at the top or bottom of this page. Once you submit your information, you’ll receive a call from our partnership coordinator who can walk you through the registration process and answer any questions you may have.

    How did the True Accountability movement start?

    The movement began in earnest when John Tanner founded Test Sense (which is now bravEd) in 2009 as a vehicle for solving the the challenges associated with traditional school accountability. The goal was not to invent something new, but to observe how accountability works in a variety of organizations and draw out a set of frameworks that could be applied in schools. Schools and districts first started to take advantage of those frameworks in 2015, as part of a simple, grassroots approach. By late 2020, despite the challenges presented by a global pandemic, the number of districts across the country embracing these frameworks eclipsed 100, a watershed moment. BravEd anticipates a near doubling of districts engaging in this work next year and projects to replicate that growth over the next several years.

    What is the time commitment?

    This is not a program, but the establishment of a set of frameworks, so it takes time. The good news? Those frameworks have a positive impact right from the start. Your commitment includes a series of monthly student, board and community engagements.

    What will my team achieve during this process?

    School teams who participate in the True Accountability Framework will achieve at minimum, the following:

    • The development of a True Accountability mindset among district staff/teams
    • The establishment of a True Accountability system for each participating each school/district
    • The capacity to aggregated their efforts, so that they are meaningful to policy makers and other stakeholders

    Where else is this work being done?

    Texas, Georgia, Mississippi and Pennsylvania have active consortia. Ohio is currently accepting enrollments, as is our first national cohort, representing a  half a dozen additional new states.

    Will policy makers pay attention to this work?

    They already are. There is a general understanding in many states that current school accountability policies aren’t working. In Ohio, the Secretary’s office and several state board members have asked to watch the process and learn from it. History shows that policy makers must answer two questions en route to effective policy: (1) where is a field or profession likely to have issues and (2) where do these issues currently exist? Schools have historically not been able to answer either question, resulting in an ineffective collection of policies. True Accountability aims to solve this problem for schools.

    How do we avoid the policy mistakes of the past?

    Our greatest mistake has been to complain in hopes that policy makers will opt to course correct, rather than to present policy-makers with workable alternatives. At BravEd, our theory is to build a better system first. Only then can the right policy approach be determined.

    When will we start to see/feel the benefit of this work?

    Immediately. The Accountability mindset, once established, creates a new way of seeing and understanding where a school is or is not effective. That information, which is not currently a part of any state accountability program, is the prerequisite to meaningful change and improvement.

    What metrics or tests do you use?

    We get this question a lot given the approach to accountability taken in schools, but it is the wrong question. In fact, schools are the only place, profession, or field that starts accountability by asking what they will measure, rather than what needs to be accomplished. True Accountability is rich in evidence, far more so than the manner in which current school accountability is done, but it begins every conversation with what needs to be accomplished.

    School report cards and most local accountability efforts are mostly laundry lists of accomplishments which amount to a participation trophy. Is this another one of those?

    Those other methods, quite frankly, are not accountability. Accountability is a high-stakes affair, and it should be, especially in something as important as schooling. Accountability effectively  indicate where a school is effective and where it is not yet as effective as it should be. That is truth, and only with truth can a school improve, and its stakeholders understand the nature of its efforts. Lists of data and/or accomplishments aren’t accountability because they fail to reach that standard.

    What is the mission of True Accountability?

    To solve the school accountability challenge in a way that is meaningful to stakeholders, empowers educators, and creates the proper platform for effective educational policies.

    Experience the power of
    True Accountability™ today

    Fill out the form below to speak with someone on the bravEd team.