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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.

Sara Mead

Idris Elba should be the next James Bond. But even as the “sexiest man alive” teased that prospect in recent appearances, his latest role — as a failed DJ who becomes a nanny for his successful friend’s daughter in Netflix’s Turn Up Charlie — seems an odd choice for a prospective 007. Or maybe not: […]

The post Is Idris Elba the Reason You Can’t Find Affordable Child Care? appeared first on Ahead of the Heard.


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


This is just a great picture. Happy angler, mountains, big fish…

It’s the Commodore’s daughter Anabel fishing a few weeks ago in Idaho.

The Roza family are not strangers to fish porn.

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.


Merely vesting in a pension plan is not sufficient to guarantee a decent benefit, and many vested teachers would be better off withdrawing their contributions than waiting to collect a pension. 

That reality has taken me a while to grasp, because it's counter-intuitive, and because vesting in other types of plans matters much more. So let me start by explaining how vesting works in defined contribution, 401k-style plans. In a defined contribution plan, the employer makes a contribution as a percentage of the employee’s salary. Employees qualify for those employer contributions after they reach a certain number of years of service, called the vesting period. Employees who leave before vesting forfeit their employer's contributions.