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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.

Kelly Robson

The Supreme Court has yet to announce its decision in Janus v AFSCME, the case that will decide the fate of agency fees — fees paid to unions by non-members to support collective bargaining activities. So while you’re waiting (and studying up on the history of unions using our recently released slide deck), here are […]


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


Interesting Linda Greenhouse essay on Janus. Traces the history and the politics in play here. Also makes the case for the difference between the legal legitimacy and sociological legitimacy of government actions and implies that the court will undermine it’s legitimacy with a nakedly political play here.

I’m not so sure, that seems overwrought on the specifics of this case. Besides, the court has done nakedly political things, just ask President Gore, and yet it endures because it’s an instrumental institution to our democracy.

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.

Kirsten Schmitz

The state pension plan funding gap is well-documented -- according to Pew, the gap between the promises states have made for public employees’ retirement benefits and the money they have set aside to pay these bills was at least $1.4 trillion in fiscal year 2016. For a blog dedicated to providing high-quality analysis and information on teacher pensions, it’s clear that there is a problem. 

Let’s talk solutions.

While traditional, back-loaded pension plans fall short of providing adequate retirement benefits to all members, there are better options. And, contrary to a public debate that often pits pensions against 401ks, there are other alternatives that would better balance the needs of employers and employees.