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

  • Media
    Andrew J. Rotherham

    Today's pension policy is making it extra hard for young teachers to save for retirement. Saving even a little in your 20s to make long time horizons work for you is one way to guard against risk. So why are we making it extra hard for 20-something teachers – America's largest group of college-educated workers – to do exactly that? Policymakers could offer more portable benefits or give teachers their employer contributions much sooner.

  • Media
    Andrew J. Rotherham

    Many schools with old Confederate names are also failing to adequately teach their students. All else equal, can we at least stipulate that it's hardly ideal to send black students to schools named for Confederate heroes? OK, maybe we can't. That's still a pretty controversial point for some. What about sending them to schools that are both named for Confederates and doing a poor job educating students of color? That happens every day in too many public schools. Now, one of them, Fairfax County's Stuart High School, is getting some national attention and pushback.

  • Publication
    Sara Mead
    Ashley LiBetti Mitchel
    Andrew J. Rotherham

    During the past decade, the number of students attending charter schools more than tripled to nearly 3 million, or 6 percent, of students nationally, and charters are playing an even more prominent role in educating students in some of nation’s largest urban communities.

    Despite this growing role in U.S. public education, the debate about charter schools continues to be plagued by outdated information, misconceptions, and myths.

    A new analysis from Bellwether Education Partners brings together the most recent data on charter schools from a variety of sources to provide a comprehensive picture of the current state of the charter school movement in the United States.

    Read more...

  • Media
    Andrew J. Rotherham

    Speculating about how many and what kind of students were opting out of standardized tests was a fun education parlor game this spring. Highly energized proponents claimed the opt-out movement was a diverse cross-section of public school students. Critics responded that, no, it was a movement of affluent white parents and not that many of them.

  • Media
    Andrew J. Rotherham

    An American spacecraft flew by Pluto on Tuesday morning to have a look around. That sentence was the stuff of science fiction when most of us were born. And that's not all. Last November, a European spacecraft landed on a comet. On a comet speeding through space! We've also been poking around Mars, and at the end of April a pathbreaking NASA mission to Mercury ended after four years of orbiting that planet. Meanwhile, here on Earth, there is a lot of head scratching about how to get more American kids interested in science, technology, math and engineering – the vaunted STEM subjects.

  • Media
    Andrew J. Rotherham

    An American spacecraft flew by Pluto on Tuesday morning to have a look around. That sentence was the stuff of science fiction when most of us were born. And that's not all. Last November, a European spacecraft landed on a comet. On a comet speeding through space! We've also been poking around Mars, and at the end of April a pathbreaking NASA mission to Mercury ended after four years of orbiting that planet. Meanwhile, here on Earth, there is a lot of head scratching about how to get more American kids interested in science, technology, math and engineering – the vaunted STEM subjects.

  • Media
    Andrew J. Rotherham

    Are charter schools – independently operated public schools – at an inflection point? While education advocates fought about Common Core and teacher evaluations charter schools continued to grow and now serve 6 percent of all American public school students. This growth, which is even more pronounced in some cities and states, is highlighting both the promise and challenges of charter schooling.

  • Media
    Andrew J. Rotherham

    Chris Christie, New Jersey's bombastic governor, made waves last Thursday when he announced that his views on the Common Core education standards had evolved. Once a vocal proponent of the standards more than 40 states have adopted, Christie now wants New Jersey to go its own way.

  • Media
    Andrew J. Rotherham

    It was like I was living an anti-testing blog post. My daughters were stressed and anxious about the upcoming state test. But here's the thing: They were first graders at the time, so they didn't even have to take the test for two more years. We live in a state where the elementary school tests don't start until third grade and are not consequential for kids anyway (and in practice carry little consequence for the adults, either). So why were my kids freaked out?

  • Media
    Andrew J. Rotherham

    The Senate's bipartisan education reform plan would undermine the goal of education equality.

  • Media
    Andrew J. Rotherham

    For a lot of young people spring weather is just another reminder that high school is basically over and it’s OK to check out. I attended a well-regarded suburban high school and still spent too much of my senior spring skipping school to ski, hike, hang out at a local waterfall and do some less wholesome things I’ll probably deny if my own kids ask about them. Meanwhile, at the other end of the educational chain a lot of parents are struggling; not with how to spend those first warm sunny days but how to afford high-quality preschool education for their 4-year-olds.

  • Media
    Andrew J. Rotherham

    What’s in this spring in public education? Apparently it’s students opting out of state standardized tests.

    If you just read hysterical press accounts you might think parents are refusing state standardized tests at a fantastic clip. In fact, for the overwhelming majority of schools and students it’s business as usual. In a few affluent communities opting out of the new Common Core tests is a thing. “Everyone is talking about it at Whole Foods” says one disgusted New York education figure. But so far the opt out craze is more noise than signal.

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