All Writing | Bellwether Education Partners Skip to main content

All Writing

News and Press

You are here

All Writing

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

  • Publication
    Indira Dammu
    Alex Spurrier
    Bonnie O’Keefe
    Jennifer O’Neal Schiess

    Banner image for Splitting the Bill education finance inequity series

    Education finance sets the foundation for what is possible in every school in the country. Education finance equity is critical to leveling the playing field for underserved students in under-resourced schools. But in too many states, the education funding system remains inequitable, inadequate, and opaque to all but a few. How can advocates make these systems work more effectively in order to provide the necessary resources for all students?

    Bellwether Education Partners’ series Splitting the Bill: Understanding Education Finance Equity gives advocates a crash course in the fundamentals of education finance and in key questions to ask in their states and communities.

  • Publication
    Alex Spurrier
    Sara Hodges
    Jennifer O’Neal Schiess

    Cover page for Priced Out of Public Schools Report.

    Public schools are designed to provide every student with an equal opportunity to achieve the American dream. In reality, that ideal is removed from the lives of millions of K-12 schoolchildren. Geographic school district boundaries and the rental housing market limit options for students with the highest needs while benefiting more affluent families in far too many communities across the country.

    Priced Out of Public Schools: District Lines, Housing Access, and Inequitable Educational Options, a new report by Bellwether Education Partners, examines the relationships among rental housing access, per-pupil funding, and school district boundaries in the 200 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.

  • Publication
    Jennifer O'Neal Schiess

    The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) includes $123 billion to K-12 education through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) and $39 billion for higher education through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). What’s in the law? How can schools use the funding? And will it be enough to address the gaps that COVID-19 exposed and exacerbated? Despite variation in local context, in many places, ARPA will represent a windfall of funding for education. This brief provides a look at the K-12 and higher education-related provisions of ARPA, as well as an overview of other ARPA provisions related to families and children, including childcare, food, housing, and income supports.

  • Publication
    Jennifer O'Neal Schiess

    In alignment with national trends, public discourse about the role of charters in Texas’s public school system can be contentious – and one primary point of contention has been around differences in public funding for Texas school districts versus charter schools. In "On a Path to Parity: Equity and Impact of Texas School Funding Policy for School Districts and Charter Schools," we look at the differences in public funding between Texas school districts and charter schools, and offer three considerations for policymakers seeking to further level the funding playing field.

  • Publication
    Kelly Robson
    Jennifer O'Neal Schiess

    Work-based learning – including internships, youth and pre-apprenticeships, and cooperative education programs – allows students to gain work experience while in high school. "Working to Learn and Learning to Work" offers a state-by-state analysis of work-based learning policies.

  • Publication
    Bonnie O'Keefe
    Alex Spurrier
    Jennifer O'Neal Schiess
    Hailly T.N. Korman
    Melissa Steel King
    Allison Crean Davis
    Indira Dammu
    Juliet Squire
    Ashley LiBetti

    COVID-19 has presented new challenges for schools and families to grapple with when it comes to student learning — but the pandemic also has illuminated shortcomings and missed opportunities that have long been present in our education system. Now, nearly a year after schools across the country first shut down due to the pandemic —and as more communities eye the possibility of a return to full-time, in-person learning — a new series of briefs from Bellwether offers guidance on how the education sector can recenter and rebuild in the wake of COVID-19.

    "From Pandemic to Progress: Eight Education Pathways for COVID-19 Recovery" puts forth a suite of ambitious but achievable pathways for education leaders and policymakers to follow to re-engage in complex policy questions and rebuild education as the country begins to emerge from the pandemic. Drawing on the breadth of Bellwether's unique expertise and diversity of viewpoints, this series offers a take on what we'll need in the years ahead to create a sector that can provide students with the high-quality education and supports they need and deserve to be successful.

  • 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.

  • 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
    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
    Alex Spurrier
    Chad Aldeman
    Jennifer O'Neal Schiess
    Andrew J. Rotherham

    As a global pandemic interrupted purposefully designed systems of testing and accountability, we are left with critical questions: How does the underlying theory of standards-based accountability and its foundational goals of equity and transparency hold up decades later? What do key stakeholders need from these systems now? Given what we’ve learned from decades of successes and failures, how should these systems continue to evolve in the face of mounting political opposition?

    Bellwether's series takes a step back to examine the past, present, and future of modern school accountability systems. We've also added three short resources to help state policymakers, advocates, and school and district leaders apply the lessons and ideas from these briefs to their work. Read the newest brief and takeaways at the link below:

  • Media
    Jennifer O'Neal Schiess

    Now is not the time to roll back testing in Georgia. Milestones is the only data that provide transparency into how every public school is doing.

Pages