Preparing Students for the Future by Turning Away from the Past

“Education winds up being something that's preparing kids for the past that no longer exists as opposed to a future that we can't yet predict or see.” --John Tanner

John Tanner has made it his life’s work to get to the bottom of problems facing the assessment and accountability of education. He points to a flawed, incomplete accounting that is analogous to looking at the smallest corner of a yard to determine if the whole yard has a weed problem. Despite its glaring inefficiencies, this use of partial accountings have become the de facto method across the country.

In the state of Texas, where John lives, partial accountings has been so pervasive, that education leaders have finally begun to come out the other end and question the validity of the system, wondering how the problems can be fixed.

John hatched an idea: Bring school superintendents together to work on solving the problems of school accountability. 55 superintendents in Texas jumped on board, and with the support of students, parents, and educators, they worked to create a complete and transparent accounting of schools. The superintendents represented districts comprising of 15% - 20% of the state - a substantial number for the initial project.

John is currently working with a variety of organizations including the Texas Performance Assessment Consortium (TPAC) in bringing community-based accountability systems to empower students, parents, and educators to create learning environments that support student achievement. It looks as if it is only a matter of time before more districts across the country catch-on to the significance of better K-12 accountings.

About John Tanner

John Tanner founder of Test Sense is a writer, educational thinker, and a passionate advocate for excellence in schools. He is the author of The Pitfalls of Reform: Its Incompatibility with Actual Improvement and an expert at understanding the unintended consequences of school accountability and explaining what schools need to be great.

John arrived at this point through a very unorthodox route. Armed with degrees in English and Rhetoric and Composition he set out to be an academic but landed in education, in particular working in the areas of standards and assessment. He has served in state government, non-profits, a national leadership group, and the corporate world including multiple executive positions. He brings a practical business savvy and the thoughtfulness of a teacher to the realities of what educators face on a day-to-day basis.

Follow John Tanner at Test Sense and on Twitter.

Further Reading:

Additional Reading:

Thought leaders in global education

Assessment platforms helping transparency in schools

Supporting the need for equity in education

About Rod Berger, PsyD.

Dr. Rod Berger is President and CEO of MindRocket Media Group. Berger is a global education media personality and strategic influencer featured in The Huffington Post, Scholastic, AmericanEdTV, edCircuit, EdTechReview India and Forbes.

Audiences have enjoyed education interviews with the likes of Sir Ken Robinson, Arne Duncan, Randi Weingarten, Sal Khan along with leading edtech investors, award-winning educators, and state and federal education leaders. Berger’s latest project boasts a collaboration with AmericanEdTV and CBS’s Jack Ford.

Follow Dr. Rod Berger on Twitter

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