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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.

Kate Keller

When the Biden administration announced required state standardized testing this spring, I was angry. We’re in the middle of a pandemic. A vast majority of students at the charter school I teach at in Boston plan to stay remote the rest of the year. What would testing look like in this context? And what could […]

The post A Teacher’s Perspective on Testing in a Pandemic (and Beyond) appeared first on Ahead of the Heard.

Eduwonk

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

arotherham

Nuclear power is an interesting issue. The fear of it is real. A 2007 Zogby poll found that only 17% of Americans knew no one was killed in the Three Mile Island accident. In fact, the president, Jimmy Carter, visited the site shortly after the accident. Carter was a nuclear engineer for the Navy and had assisted in a previous accident in Canada, he knew what was up. When you ask people how many people died in Three Mile Island you get a wild range of answers.

Yet nuclear has a lot of benefits, many of the biggest challenges of nuclear in the U.S. are political not substantive. It’s still intensely controversial.

In this interview in Persuasion Mark Lynas discusses nuclear power in the context of climate change and environmentalism. If you’re the kind of person who wants to see less reliance on coal and gas, doesn’t want to see wild rivers dammed and coastlines and ridges full of windmills, or fields of solar farms everywhere, you don’t have a lot of places to go other than nuclear. Lynas likens it to a magic wand.

Lynas makes the point that in some circles in the environmental world supporting nuclear can be career distorting or ending. The other day I mentioned that I try to encourage young people to cultivate a social circle broader than their work for exactly this reason.

But we should ask here in eduland, what are our magic wands? What are things that people think would radically change the education landscape but are reticent to speak up about? Fiscal equity in school finance, school choice, phonics based reading instruction, a constriction of collective bargaining in K-12 public education, are four that come to mind. I know different people who agree with those sorts of reforms but say that they do not speak up because their fellow travelers don’t, and it would cost them.

Obviously, there are no magic wands in education (or silver bullets as everyone is fond of saying) but there are policies that might have real positive impact.

What are they for you?

Teacher Pensions

Teacherpensions.org, 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.