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

  • Publication
    Alex Spurrier
    Juliet Squire
    Andrew J. Rotherham

    Families continue to struggle navigating a fluid K-12 education space since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and emergence of the Delta variant. Over the last 18 months, the parents of 10.8 million did not get what they wanted from their child’s school — representing nearly one in five U.S. schoolchildren. Many families’ early concerns over access to in-person, virtual, and hybrid forms of instruction persist with the start of the 2021-22 school year. These families are not a monolith. They live in a diverse range of communities found across America, come from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds, and span the socioeconomic spectrum. While some were more economically equipped to react, all have felt disruptions of the pandemic in their daily lives. The Overlooked analyzes the fundamental shift playing out among families across the country who are dealing with unresponsive systems and limited school choices this fall.

  • Publication
    Max Marchitello
    Andrew J. Rotherham
    Juliet Squire

    Teacher retirement plans are called “gold plated” by their proponents and critics alike, when in fact half of teachers will never see a pension at all. Only about one in five teachers gets a full pension. And in many cases retirement benefits shortchange teachers and make it harder for them to save for their retirement. In Teacher Retirement Systems: A Ranking of the States, Bellwether Education Partners ranks how state retirement systems serve U.S. teachers and taxpayers.

  • 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
    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
    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.

  • Media
    Juliet Squire

    The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the number of urban Catholic and other private schools that are closing amid financial pressure and dwindling enrollment. The right policy choices now can help ensure that private schools remain viable alternatives for families, even as all schools enter a period of newly constrained resources.

  • Media
    Juliet Squire

    Just as schools receive charters to run independently of districts, teachers could receive charters to run classrooms independently of schools. In addition to providing teachers with more autonomy, charter teachers would give families the opportunity to select not the school their child attends but the individual who guides their child’s learning and development.

  • Publication
    Rebecca Gifford Goldberg
    Alison Fuller
    Juliet Squire

    Many charter schools and networks have demonstrated game-changing results for low-income students and students of color. And many are eager to extend their impact to benefit more students. Typically, schools and networks have extended their impact by expanding enrollment to serve more students or replicating their model and opening new schools. 

  • Publication
    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.

  • 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
    Kelly Robson
    Brandon Lewis
    Juliet Squire

    When rural charter schools succeed, what conditions enable their results? “Local Roots Take the Lead: Lessons From Rural Charter Schools” is a new website from Bellwether Education Partners that offers school leaders, funders, and authorizers a starting point to answer this question.
    Title image for Bellwether publication

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