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With permission from Democracy Prep Public School

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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.

Evan Coughenour

Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. —Mike Tyson It’s July. You are enjoying some well-deserved vacation after another intense year as leader of your school. The past year has wrapped up, and along with it, your latest round of long-term strategic planning. You feel good. In fact, you feel great. […]


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

Kirsten Schmitz

When I was six years old, my parents decided that our present situation was not enough, that our family deserved better. They made the decision to leave our extended family, our friends, and our memories for a better future for their two little girls: my sister and me.

My parents sacrificed what was once considered home for the American Dream: a life full of hardships, struggles and sacrifices. The American Dream was everything for them, regardless of the sleepless nights, double shifts and little time with their children. They left everything behind to give us the opportunity to obtain an education.

Throughout the years, I noticed the work ethic of my parents – they worked twice as hard as most people. They were so strict about our education, getting good grades, and attendance. At first I didn’t understand why, but it became clear in 8th grade.

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.


Stagnant teacher salaries have been a source of political consternation in recent months. Striking teachers in five states have pointed to low salaries as a key reason for walking out. Meanwhile, Los Angeles teachers are threatening to strike as well, and Miami voters will be deciding on a big increase for teacher salaries this fall.