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Our team blogs regularly on a broad range of topics related to education reform and provides a blend of leading-edge perspectives. One of Bellwether’s greatest strengths is that diversity of viewpoint is encouraged among the partner team and throughout the organization. Everyone at Bellwether is committed to dramatic improvements in our public education system, but internally there are different views about how to accomplish that work. As a result, the views expressed in these blogs should be considered to be those of the writers rather than organizational viewpoints of Bellwether or of any organizations or individuals with whom Bellwether works. Likewise, outgoing links do not constitute any type of endorsement of other websites or organizations.

Ahead of the Heard

The Bellwether team blog, Ahead of the Heard, features regular commentary, analysis, and original insights from our staff.

Kirsten Schmitz

This week, Bellwether staff share their perspectives on family and parent engagement. Follow Ahead of the Heard from now until Friday for a series of blog posts that tackle common misconceptions about engaged parents, working with multilingual families, and more. Click here to read other posts in the series thus far.   We know that […]


Andrew Rotherham provides education news, analysis, and commentary through his widely read blog, 


Bonnie O’Keefe on teacher turnover and school improvement work.

Phillip Burgoyne-Allen on Constitution Day and civic ed.

Ashley Mitchel and Chad Aldeman on ESSA plans. (Plus other ESSA takes).

New documentary on the digital divide – premieres on Nat’l Geo on 9/26. Preview here.

Teacher Pensions, a project of Bellwether Education Partners, provides high-quality information and analysis to help stakeholders – especially teachers and policymakers – understand the teacher pension issue and the trade-offs among various options for reform.


South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster wants to shift all new teachers into district-run, portable, 401k-style retirement accounts. Although the details aren't fully available yet, the state already offers its teachers the choice to enroll in a well-structured defined contribution plan. That plan offers immediate vesting, a 5 percent employer match on contributions, and plenty of low-fee investment options. 

Compare that to how bad South Carolina’s standard defined benefit plan is for teachers and taxpayers. Here are the basic stats on South Carolina's current plan: