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All Writing

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

  • Media
    Lina Bankert
    Jeff Schulz

    The U.S. education system was fraught with obstacles for first-generation college students long before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the path to a college degree has become even more perilous for millions of middle- and low-income students in the last few months.  Policymakers and school leaders in more places must address the immediate pressures while also building a more innovative and tenable college advising solution for the future.

  • Publication
    Justin Trinidad
    Hailly T.N. Korman

    More than 400,000 youth are currently in foster care in the United States, many of whom experience significant obstacles in their lives, ranging from frequent transitions between homecare placements and schools to unmet physical and mental health needs. Youth in foster care experience a number of common obstacles in accessing school choice: lack of transportation to remain in their school of origin, narrow definitions of sibling preference that leave out children in foster care, and insufficient information available to adults in their lives.

  • 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.

  • Media
    Chad Aldeman
    Anne Hyslop

    Districts are calling the shots during COVID shutdowns. So why hold schools alone accountable for student learning? Districts control factors, such as access to technology and decisions about school calendars and time, that determine whether students can learn during the pandemic. Meaning most of the country is holding the wrong entity — schools — accountable. If districts are making many of the decisions that affect student learning during the pandemic, they, not schools alone, should bear responsibility for the results.

     

  • 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. 

  • Media
    Chad Aldeman
    Alex Spurrier
    Jennifer O'Neal Schiess

    To ensure that students aren’t left behind as schools continue educating during a pandemic, policymakers must ensure that accountability systems are adapted and sustained rather than sidelined during this critical moment for kids.

  • Media
    Mary K. Wells

    The pandemic will decide when schools can reopen. Educators must start building robust online learning systems for next year. We need schools to be realistic about the coming year and use this summer to prepare to address the academic and social-emotional needs of every student virtually. Instead of re-spacing desks, teachers should concentrate on delivering high-quality, content-rich instruction online. Instead of focusing on complicated transportation scenarios, districts can implement innovative new virtual roles for teachers

  • Media
    Chad Aldeman
    Ashley Darcy-Mahoney

    Data shows that children are at the lowest risk for catching or spreading COVID-19 so its time to get them back to school.

  • Media
    Chad Aldeman

    Since school buildings shuttered across the country in mid-March, some in education have warned that we need to take dramatic steps to address the lost learning time.

    Others have argued that the learning losses may be exaggerated, and that school shutdowns didn’t actually set students back all that far academically.

    So which side is right? 

  • Publication

    Schools and education organizations need good information about their programs to understand what works, for whom, and why. Obtaining and acting on that information, through program evaluation, is what transforms good organizations into great ones.

  • 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.

  • Publication
    Lina Bankert
    Jeff Schulz
    Rochelle Dalton
    Alison Fuller
    Liz McNamee

    Postsecondary education dramatically increases the likelihood of employment and economic success. But many young people, especially those furthest from opportunity and from underserved communities, are not accessing postsecondary pathways or realizing the benefits that come with a degree. To disrupt this inequity, we must better support students to identify, pursue, and complete college.

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