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

With permission from IDEA Public Schools

We Have Six Service Areas

Publication
Kelly Robson
Jennifer O’Neal Schiess
Phillip Burgoyne-Allen

Cover image for Bellwether publication Staking Out the Middle Ground: Policy Design for Autonomous Schools February 2020

Autonomous school policies are becoming increasingly prevalent in school districts and states, and currently exist in 24 states nationwide. These policies provide school leaders with greater decision-making power over their budget, staffing, or curriculum and sometimes include governance innovations, such as when a district delegates operational authority to an independent nonprofit.

Our colleagues recently published a deep dive into the autonomous school policies being implemented in San Antonio, Texas. However, that’s just one example. Across the nation, autonomous school policies vary widely in terms of their goals, the flexibility they provide to schools, and the ways in which schools are held accountable for student performance. In some states, for example, autonomy is available only to schools meeting certain performance thresholds. In others, any school is eligible to apply for autonomy. Some states explicitly name the policies from which all autonomous schools are exempt, while others allow school leaders to choose which policies to waive.

"Staking Out the Middle Ground: Policy Design for Autonomous Schools" provides state and local leaders with key insights into the various contours of autonomous school policies. Two research briefs drawing from the full report provide specific summaries of Recommendations for State Leaders and Recommendations for Local Leaders. The report also surfaces lessons and recommendations from in-depth Profiles of Autonomous School Policies in Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, and Massachusetts.

Blog Post

Bellwether Education Partners was just chosen as one of the 50 best places to work (find us on page 93) in the Washington, D.C. area by Washingtonian, the iconic lifestyle magazine. The publication releases its Great Places to Work list every two years and has, in the past, highlighted D.C.-based companies like NASA, Vox Media, […]

Publication
Kelly Robson
Phillip Burgoyne-Allen
Juliet Squire
Jeff Schulz

"Wide-Open Spaces: Schooling in Rural America Today” provides education policymakers with a factbase on America’s rural schools and communities: the economic and academic challenges they face, their unique assets, and opportunities for improvement.

Title image for Bellwether publication

Publication
Chad Aldeman

In "Social Security, Teacher Pensions, and the ‘Qualified’ Retirement Plan Test," Aldeman outlines the history of Social Security benefits in the public sector, describes the current rule and how it is intended to work, and then shows its limitations.

Title image for Bellwether publication