Instructor: John Tanner
Kentucky Promise Cohort
A Path to Benefits-Based Accountability for Kentucky Schools
Join your colleagues in adopting a coherent, student-centric alternative for assessing critical school-based initiatives.
Meet Your Instructor
John Tanner is one of the nation’s foremost voices on school accountability. His bravEd Benefits-Based Leadership™ program and Benefits-Based Accountability Framework™ amounts to a multi-month journey designed to provide clarity and coherence to statewide initiatives, while helping schools embrace a localized system of performance that puts students and community stakeholders, and not test scores, first.
bravEd’s Benefits-Based Accountability System™ helps schools transition for a mindset of compliance to one of effectiveness. It is delivered in two phases: (1) for central office leadership (2) for site and school-based teams at scale.
#1 Benefits-Based Leadership™ program
Created specifically for central-office. Learn how Benefits-Based Accountability™ is different from test-based accountabilities, explore bravEd’s student benefits framework and experience how the right mindset and vocabulary improves your ability to communicate in terms stakeholders, including parents and policy-makers, both value and understand.
#2 Benefits-Based Accountability Framework™
With your leadership team on board as to what Benefits-Based Accountability™ is and why it’s important in schools, you’re ready to introduce select school building and site teams to the work and apply your Benefits-Based Accountability Framework™ to stakeholder conversations at scale.
The Benefits-Based Accountability Framework™ includes (4) key components (described below) and is conducted virtually over several months, with the goal (4) hours of committed work each month.
A Benefits-Based Accountability™ mindset starts with developing a model of school performance, by Kentuckians, for Kentuckians.
1. Support localized school accountability plans like L3 and others
2. Evolve from a compliance-based structure to a benefits-based system
3. Walk away with a practical roadmap to fuel and inform ongoing efforts
4. Benefit from regular collaboration with colleagues across the state
The result is a local accountability system that is good for students, understood by parents, and embraced by communities.
How to participate
For these efforts to be effective, they must be locally led. To get started, bravEd recommends launching a one-year pilot that consists (at minimum) of one central office (required) and at least one school or campus-based team. Pricing for Year 1 of the program is as follows:
The base price is $5,500 per central office team and $2,750 per subsequent school or campus-based team.
Full pricing and a sign-up form is below.
$5,500 – district (required)
Enroll a district leadership team (up to 5 members)
$2,750 – subsequent campuses
Enroll a school-based team (up to 5 members)
Key teachers and/or staff
Represent a small rural district or single campus? Inquire about additional discounts.
What people are saying...
“John Tanner has helped hundreds of school systems redesign antiquated accountability models to reflect evolving student and community needs. His Benefits-Based Accountability Framework represents a practical roadmap that Kentucky school leaders can use to complement local initiatives in this critical area.”
Jim Flynn, executive director
Kentucky Association of School Superintendents
Experience the power of
Benefits-Based Accountability™ in Kentucky today
2022 sessions kick off in September. Save your spot today.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the bravEd Benefits-Based Leadership Program and Benefits-Based Accountability Framework™?
Created by nationally recognized data scientist, writer and thought leader John Tanner, the bravEd Benefits-Based Leadership program and Benefits-Based 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. In Kentucky, the framework is being delivered as part of a statewide cohort experience. This two-year journey is designed to seamlessly “click in” to guide and inform the work districts and schools are doing locally to rethink school accountability through L3 and other initiatives.
Why adopt the bravEd Benefits-Based Accountability™ System?
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 Benefits-Based Leadership™ program and Benefits-Based 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 students and their future successes.
What’s included in this program?
The bravEd Benefits-Based Leadership™ program and Benefits-Based Accountability Framework™ includes a combination of guided and asynchronous professional learning opportunities, including structured conversations with school leadership, a series of collaborative learning sessions, and a timed small-group doing workshops. The process is designed to get educators talking about traditional accountability systems, to identify what’s working well and what’s not working as well as it should, and develop a new, more holistic system to more accurately measure and reflect modern-day school performance at the local level.
Who should participate?
The bravEd Benefits-Based Leadership™ program Benefits-Based Accountability Framework™ was designed specifically for school leaders and internal and external teams. District teams should include the district superintendent and two to three additional team members. Campus teams should include the building principal and two to three additional school-based team members.
How will this help my team?
The bravEd Benefits-Based Leadership program and Benefits-Based 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 Benefits-Based Accountability™ mindset, while workshopping problems of practice to implement a system that reflects the unique needs and challenges of their local communities.
Will this replace Kentucky's existing test-based system?
bravEd’s Benefits-Based Leadership™ program and Benefits-Based True Accountability Framework™ cannot replace these largely compliance-based systems, but 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 Benefits-Based Accountability™ to your school or district, you can sign your team up today. Simply follow the button at the top or bottom of this page. Once you submit your information, you’ll receive a message to confirm your participation and detail next steps.
How did the Benefits-Based Accountability™ movement start?
The movement began in earnest when John Tanner founded 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 entire process amounts to a two-year journey, but the frameworks produce impact right from the start. Your commitment to this cohort represents participation in Year 1 of the two-year program and includes a series of monthly team and weekly stakeholder engagements. Should you choose to continue with the program in Year 2, renewal pricing will be available to you.
What will my team achieve during this process?
School teams who participate in the Benefits-Based Accountability Leadership program™ and Benefits-Based Accountability Framework will achieve at minimum, the following:
- The development of a Benefits-Based Accountability™ mindset among district staff/teams
- The establishment of a Benefits-Based Accountability framework for each participating each school/district
- The capacity to aggregate and communicate their efforts, so that they are meaningful to policy makers and other stakeholders
Where else is this work being done?
Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, Ohio and Pennsylvania have active consortia. Our first national cohort, representing a half a dozen additional new states, is currently accepting registrations.
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, for example, the Secretary’s office and several state board members have asked to watch the process and learn from it. Here in Kentucky, grass-roots efforts like L3 and others are already garnering the attention of lawmakers. 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. Benefits-Based 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. Benefits-Based 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 bravEd and the Benefits-Based Accountability™ system?
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.
Still have questions about Benefits-Based Accountability™?
Fill out the form below to ask a question or request a free administrator and/or board informational session with the bravEd team.