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

  • 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.

  • Media
    Phillip Burgoyne-Allen
    Bonnie O'Keefe

    Students need a way to get to school safely and on time each day, whether by yellow bus, public transit, personal vehicle, biking, or walking. These options come with vastly different environmental implications that affect students and communities.

  • Media
    Justin Trinidad

    Youth in foster care experience significant obstacles in their lives, and the pandemic will only exacerbate the challenges of frequent transitions between homecare placements and schools and unmet physical and mental health needs. For a choice system to be effective, that system must prioritize the children who have the greatest barriers facing them.

  • Media
    Chad Aldeman

    What a 2005 earthquake in Pakistan can teach American educators about learning loss after a disaster. Distance learning efforts have gone poorly and amplified inequities. If nothing changes, prepare for large and inequitable learning losses to hit the COVID generation of students, and for those effects to carry on into the future

  • 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. 

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