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We are a national nonprofit focused on dramatically changing education and life outcomes for underserved children.

With permission from Democracy Prep Public Schools

We Have Six Service Areas

Kelly Robson
Juliet Squire
Marnie Kaplan

Business leaders play a critical role in ensuring that our education systems enable young people to gain the skills, knowledge, and experiences they need to be successful in the current and future economy. Business voices can be powerful tools to help shape policy, champion programs, and advocate for greater coordination and alignment among the early childhood, K-12, higher education, and workforce systems. Yet despite the long history of interaction between the education and business sectors, relatively little research has examined how business organizations successfully advocate on behalf of education policy priorities.

Making Education Everyone’s Business: Three Studies of Successful Education Advocacy seeks to fill this gap. We conducted in-depth case studies of three business advocacy organizations: Colorado Succeeds, Metro Atlanta Chamber, and Washington Roundtable. These case studies include an analysis of each organization’s history, mission, current policy agenda, staffing, and financials, as well as interviews with each organization’s leaders, members, and partners. Three key lessons surfaced through our research, which are important for all organizations considering the potential of the business community to drive change in education. In particular, successful business advocacy organizations:

  1. Tailor their agendas and value propositions to meet specific, local needs
  2. Are strategic in how they leverage staff, external supports, and funding sources
  3. Leverage both collective and individual voices to advance their agendas
Tresha Francis Ward
Stephanie Spangler

As leaders consider reopening schools in the fall, there are numerous versions of what schooling could look like in different communities. But leaders can begin planning right away even amid uncertainty. This new resource zeroes in on the three most strategically and operationally distinct scenarios: all in-person learning, all distance learning, or a hybrid. Given the virus’ unpredictability and the high possibility of “rolling closures,” leaders will be in a strong position if they have plans that cover these core scenarios and are ready to move between them.

Hailly T.N. Korman
Max Marchitello

Each year thousands of youth in America are uprooted from their schools and communities and sent to a juvenile justice detention center. While in these facilities, young people are entitled to the same educational opportunities that they would have in the outside world. However, there is little research or data about this population. In “Educating Youth in Short-Term Detention,” we found that youth’s educational experiences in these facilities often compound, rather than alleviate, the challenges they face.


Title image for Bellwether 2020 Annual Report

As we reflect on our impact during the last decade, we're proud to have worked with the most diverse cross-section of organizations in the field, attracted or developed deep expertise on a range of issues, and built a talented team to deliver the nuanced and stress-tested results we're known for.