The bravEd Center Membership

The Soul of Our Community 

The bravEd Center Membership...

...is a blatant attempt to complete the bravEd mission, which is:

Replace the compliance-driven test-based accountabilities that cannot identify effectiveness nor contribute to continuous improvement, with a system that can account for all the things that matter. 

When we started we thought we would first need a policy change to make that happen, but that proved false. What we first need are committed educators and advocates willing to do the right thing. We'll never get to a better policy until we prove that there are far better ways to account for what we do.

That doesn't mean doing accountability well is easy or that we shouldn't fight the policy fight (see the call to action below). Just that the deck in education is stacked against doing the right thing and so we'll all need partners in the process. Sometimes just knowing where to start can be a challenge.

The Center was created to bring together those who want to do the right thing. It includes educators, policy makers, business people, parents, students, board members, etc. interesting in building and supporting systems that empower school leaders to account for what matters. We do that well and the world will start to take notice. 

Bringing all these voices together creates the chance for an educational accountability that is good for everyone.

 Come be a part of the dialogue. You'll be glad you did. 

The parts to a Membership 

1. Monthly Lunch and Learns. We'll convene for an hour on the 2nd Friday of most months to build our capacity to deal with the seemingly impossible-to-wrestle topic of educational accountability. It needs to be tamed and can be.

2. Regional Convening. Thanks to business and other sponsors we convene regionally in June and July of each year. These are day-and-a-half min-conferences with 30-50 of your colleagues interested in going deeper into these topics.

3. Access to the Center Community. We run a highly interactive on-line community that will regularly reach out for your input, questions, and participation. If you have an interest we'll create a space for it. And our Ambassadors and Coaches will regularly convene forums, online sessions and meetings, and create other opportunities on the topics that matter most to you.

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A renewed sense of urgency and a call to action

Four decades ago a national education commission brought us A Nation at Risk which concluded, despite evidence to the contrary, that American public education was an unmitigated disaster. Two decades ago another commission formed and brought us No Child Left Behind, which is the first accountability document ever to claim that compliance and effectiveness are the same thing, when that has never been the case.

These two commissions had several things in common:

  1. Educators were not invited to either effort due to the assumption that they had little to offer when it came to accountability.
  2. Public education had real issues that needed to be resolved at a policy level. Instead, the attention was diverted elsewhere and many of those issues persist to this day.
  3. The impact of each commission has done more harm than good, and that impact seems to last about twenty years.

Multiple thought leaders in education are now convinced that another commission is imminent. And just like the first two, educators are again perceived as having little to offer on the topic of accountability.

Here at bravEd we are determined to alter that perception, and we'll use the Center to do just that. Assuming a commission happens, we need to be ready with tools, frameworks, solutions, and answers. We are fortunate in that we have school and district partners across the country that are accounting for what they do such that they can serve as a model for what should happen, with more moving towards a better way to account for what they do each year.

What must happen now is to combine thousands of voices into one that can carry the message. That one voice needs to include parents, students, teachers, educational leaders, religious leaders, policy makers, advocates, business people, and anyone else that cares about public education's future.

We can't afford another two decades under a set of policies that cannot, by design, and no matter how well-intentioned, account for what matters regarding a public education. Which is what will happen if we do nothing. But if we do something, and something big, anything is possible.

John Tanner
Founder, bravEd

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