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

  • Publication
    Michelle Croft
    Juliet Squire
    Alex Spurrier
    Andrew J. Rotherham

    Parents across the country continue to be concerned about their children’s academic and social-emotional well-being. Some parents are sufficiently satisfied with their children’s school and are content with a return to a pre-pandemic normal. Other parents are sufficiently dissatisfied and have already made a change, whether between schools, to home-schooling, or with supplemental learning opportunities. In between is a third group of parents — those who are frustrated and have not yet made a change, but are looking to policymakers and education leaders for solutions.

    New Solutions for Frustrated Parents: How Education Leaders Can Help offers four recommendations for policymakers and education leaders to address the discontent among parents as the 2021-22 school year comes to a close.

  • Publication
    Alex Spurrier
    Michelle Croft
    Juliet Squire
    Andrew J. Rotherham

    The Parent Perception Barometer brings clarity and context to conversations about what parents think about K-12 education. From parents’ high-level perceptions about their kids’ schools to concerns about academic progress and mental health, multiple data sources provide insight into these trends. Some of the data highlight topics about which parent opinion is more divided. There is no substitute for directly engaging with parents and families to understand what educational opportunities and support they need, but this tool serves as a starting point for those working to better understand aggregated parents’ views on K-12 education, the broader landscape, and how both are evolving as the pandemic progresses.

  • 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
    Andrew J. Rotherham
    Thomas Gold

    With a historic pool of federal education funds now available to help address the effects of the pandemic, school districts and states have a unique window of opportunity to transform education — including by diversifying their workforce through recruiting, training, and retaining more Black and Hispanic teachers. Window of Opportunity: How States and Localities Can Use Federal Rescue Plan Dollars to Diversify Their Teacher Workforce offers a roadmap of recruitment and retention strategies that states and districts can begin implementing today to ensure America’s public school teaching workforce better reflects its students and meets their educational needs.

  • Media
    Andrew J. Rotherham

    When it comes to education spending, we’re missing the fiscal forest for the most visible trees. This has been a golden era of education spending. Our aging population is about to put an end to it, whatever politicians do.

     

  • 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
    Andrew J. Rotherham
    Emmeline Zhao

    Bart Epstein has seen the education space through a previous role in which he helped build Tutor.com, the world’s largest online tutoring and homework help service. He’s also a parent trying to navigate homebound instruction for his two sons.

  • Media
    Andrew J. Rotherham
    Emmeline Zhao

    Jeb Bush was a widely regarded governor of Florida for eight years, is a successful businessman, was a 2016 presidential candidate and remains one of the most influential voices in education more than a decade after leaving office.

  • Media
    Andrew J. Rotherham

    Working with stakeholders around the country has made me certain only about uncertainty. The impact of COVID-19 in a few months or a few years seems to hinge on collective action and policymakers’ decisions.

  • Media
    Andrew J. Rotherham

    Working with stakeholders around the country has made me certain only about uncertainty. The impact of COVID-19 in a few months or a few years seems to hinge on collective action and policymakers’ decisions. 

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