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

  • Media
    Chad Aldeman

    Students lose learning even during brief school closures for snow days. The harm from COVID will be multiplied many times over. During particularly harsh winters when schools are closed, states require students to make up any days they miss. So why aren’t states requiring students to make up the learning time they lose due to COVID-19?

  • 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.

  • Media
    Jennifer O'Neal Schiess

    South Carolinians, like the rest of Americans, are under a lot of stress and anxiety. For schools, it could get worse. State Superintendent Molly Spearman is seeking a waiver from standardized testing to “relieve anxiety.”

    But what about the anxiety produced by uncertainty? Spearman’s proposal would leave students, parents and communities in the dark on how students are doing during a pandemic that is here to stay in the near-term.

  • Publication
    Katie Rouse

    Families, teachers, and communities all have varying perspectives on what the school year can and should hold for students. School leaders need to balance these voices in decision-making through effective and authentic stakeholder engagement.

  • 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
    Chad Aldeman

    As we make our way through the coronavirus pandemic, Bellwether’s Chad Aldeman has been looking back at past educational disruptions to help us understand what disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic might mean for children today. A wave of teacher strikes in Argentina began in the early 1980s. These strikes caused students to miss large chunks of educational time, which had lasting consequences.

  • Media
    Jennifer O'Neal Schiess

    If New York does receive a waiver, its schools will lose another year of data that represents the only available measure of performance for every student in every school — data that can expose inequities in outcomes for students and drive decisions about where to target resources.

  • Media
    Jennifer O'Neal Schiess

    Information about how schools support students is more critical now than ever as we navigate a pandemic that has already upended two school years. Why stop measuring schools’ progress toward high expectations for student learning?

  • Publication

    When EightCities.org first launched in 2018, it documented the stories of leaders in school systems across the country working to drive rapid improvement in student achievement by empowering school leaders, providing families with multiple school options, and replacing persistently low-performing schools with high-quality options. While each city’s path looked a little different, they all deployed a common suite of strategies and achieved measurable progress for their students.

    The reaction to these stories has been incredible, helping to make EightCities.org Bellwether's most-visited publication of 2018. There’s a real appetite for tangible examples of how communities can make significant and systemic improvement for kids — a desire that is even more urgent after the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools across the nation.

    So in 2020, Bellwether is offering an enhanced and updated version of EightCities.org. Learn more about the new site features by clicking below:

  • Publication
    Max Marchitello
    Hailly T.N. Korman

    The coronavirus pandemic will have a profound, lasting impact on students, particularly those who are already marginalized. This includes students in foster care, those in juvenile detention facilities, or those experiencing homelessness.

  • Publication
    Bill Durbin
    Sherri Geng
    Jeff Schulz

    With school opening just weeks away in many parts of the country, leaders need a detailed level of support — and a plan — to start the school year in the midst of a global pandemic. Our complementary new resource includes all of the components of a reopening plan, offers questions school leaders should address, and links to concrete resources and examples of completed plans as guides.

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