SOURCE: Solution Tree

Solution Tree, a professional development company

November 23, 2015 14:33 ET

Powerful New Collection Identifies Skills Necessary for 21st Century Success

BLOOMINGTON, IN--(Marketwired - November 23, 2015) - Solution Tree, a premier educational publisher and professional development provider, has announced the release of a powerful new collection of essays that identify key personality traits as well as a multiplicity of academic and nonacademic skills necessary for success in the 21st century.

Edited by Yong Zhao, Counting What Counts: Reframing Education Outcomes advocates for educational reform that develops qualities and skills to support lifelong learning rather than merely championing high test scores. They argue that, left untethered, a preoccupation with test scores is potentially harmful to the educational system, diminishing teachers' professional autonomy and discouraging students from pursuing talents and interests that do not factor into raising test scores. The writers draw on research as well as their own experience to propose a new paradigm of educational assessment and evaluation that balances academic and noncognitive qualities. They conclude that a high-quality educational system requires a revised, research-based look at the traits and skills that contribute to school and life successes.

"In Counting What Counts, Dr. Yong Zhao and his coauthors are freedom fighters for a more humane and effective educational system," said Milton Chen, senior fellow at the George Lucas Education Foundation. "They employ the weapons of history and research to overcome the tyranny of the test. They advocate for a new world order, with assessments based on human talents and diversity."

Sharon L. Nichols, associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at San Antonio, concurred, "This book is a timely challenge to our cultural obsession with data and is a must-read for anyone interested in the future of our education system, but especially for politicians and business-minded backers whose worship of tests have fundamentally and unquestioningly failed our students."

Heidi Hayes Jacobs, president and founder of Curriculum Designers and creator of Curriculum21, added, "The [book's] chapters are intellectually rich, reflecting vibrant topics ranging from valuing diversity, personality development, entrepreneurialism, global competence, to personal motivation. It will not be possible for any educator, parent, or policymaker to look at a standardized test in the same way upon reading Yong Zhao's latest contribution to developing new solutions for the contemporary learner."

Counting What Counts: Reframing Education Outcomes is now available at

About the Editor

Yong Zhao, PhD, is an internationally known scholar, author, and speaker whose works focus on the implications of globalization and technology on education. He is presidential chair and director of the Institute for Global and Online Education in the College of Education at the University of Oregon and a professor in the Department of Educational Measurement, Policy, and Leadership.

About Solution Tree

Solution Tree delivers comprehensive professional development to schools and districts around the world. Solution Tree has empowered K-12 educators to raise student achievement through a wide range of services and products including educator conferences, customized district solutions for long-term professional development, books, videos, online courses, and more.

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