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Learn more about Bellwether’s work by reading our publications, news articles, press releases, and case studies.

  • Publication
    Hailly T.N. Korman
    Bonnie O'Keefe
    Matt Repka

    It’s 2020. Do you know where 3 million students are?

    By mid-March 2020, most American schools had shut their doors, and about half remain fully or partially closed to in-person learning today. For approximately 3 million of the most educationally marginalized students in the country, March might have been the last time they experienced any formal education — virtual or in-person.

  • Publication
    Brandon Lewis
    Melissa Steel King
    Jennifer O’Neal Schiess

    Around the country, advocates for education equity are paying increased attention to the critical importance of early math skills. Driven by research showing that foundational math knowledge is even more predictive of later school success than literacy, a growing movement is focused on promoting young children’s math skills in both early care settings and at home.

  • Media
    Hailly T.N. Korman
    Justin Trinidad

    The more than 7,000 youth in foster care in the Los Angeles Unified School District experience significant obstacles in receiving an uninterrupted, quality education. Now, with COVID-19 cases rising and schools often starting the fall with distance learning, youth in foster care have fewer touchpoints from educators and case workers, leaving them even more vulnerable during this crisis.

  • Media
    Chad Aldeman

    Democrats are known for outlining detailed plans to address societal problems—so it’s no surprise that Joe Biden’s campaign has a plan to protect older Americans. Although it primarily covers health care and Social Security issues, it includes a couple features that would directly affect public school teachers. But who would it really affect, and how?

  • Publication
    Ashley LiBetti
    Lynne Graziano
    Jennifer O’Neal Schiess

    COVID-19 has altered education as we know it, and no one school has found the perfect approach to distance learning. However, some schools more quickly adopted promising practices in response to common challenges, offering lessons for other schools seeking to improve their distance learning models.

  • Publication
    Ashley LiBetti
    Juliet Squire
    Jennifer O’Neal Schiess

    Districts across the country play a crucial role in ensuring schools effectively serve students and families. Beyond federal requirements in the Every Student Succeeds Act and state-level accountability systems, locally developed school performance frameworks are a key lever for holding schools accountable, particularly for student learning and wellness. 

  • Publication
    Lynne Graziano
    Chad Aldeman

    As more schools prepare students for a high school diploma and college and career readiness, how are states tracking the effectiveness of these programs? Are states tracking the right measures, like whether students are taking and passing advanced courses, completing industry certifications, or pursuing other work-based learning opportunities?

  • Media
    Lauren Schwartze
    Nate Kellogg

    The last six months have posed an unprecedented level of instructional and operational challenge as school systems navigated closure and planned return. Through a networked-community called the 

  • Media
    Kelly Robson

    Some Democrats and Republicans have an unlikely alliance these days around one thing: their sudden rejection of the federal Charter Schools Program (CSP), which funds start-up costs for new, high-quality charter schools. Not only do both sides’ current arguments overlook long-standing bipartisan support, they also ignore the long history of charter schools serving some of the nation’s highest-need students and communities.

  • Publication
    Ashley LiBetti
    Jennifer O'Neal Schiess
    National Association of Charter School Authorizers

    Great charter school authorizers believe in the charter school promise and relentlessly pursue excellence to give every child an educational option that meets their needs.

    In the wake of COVID-19, authorizers have an opportunity to rethink approaches to measuring student success and wellness. In this new collection of resources, Bellwether worked with the National Association of Charter School Authorizers to look at what new and better measures charter school authorizers can use to ensure student learning, school performance, and quality,

  • Publication
    Ashley LiBetti
    Juliet Squire
    Justin Trinidad
    Amy Chen Kulesa
    Rebecca Gifford Goldberg

    One of the greatest promises of the charter school movement has been the potential to create diverse school models to meet the varied needs of children, families, and communities. As policy makers and charter leaders have recognized the need to hold charters accountable for strong performance, however, there has been a move towards more standardized ways of evaluating the potential and performance of schools. And now, COVID-19 has upended how charter schools across the country are operating and how authorizers hold schools accountable for outcomes. This report and related toolkits shed light on what authorizing looks like in practice when fostering a diversity of school models and holding them accountable for quality.

  • Publication
    Kelly Robson
    Juliet Squire
    Indira Dammu

    Over the last 25 years, the federal Charter Schools Program (CSP) has invested nearly $5.3 billion into the charter school sector, directing funds to schools in 43 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Approximately 60% of students in CSP grantee schools are from low-income backgrounds and 64% are Black or Hispanic. The CSP has played a critical role in helping the charter sector grow to its current size, serving 3.3 million students in 7,500 schools nationwide. This publication offers an in-depth analysis of the CSP and how it has evolved to better meet the needs of charter schools and the families and communities they serve.

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