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Case Studies

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Case Studies

Bellwether Education Partners particularly values innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to solving education problems. The following case studies highlight examples of the work we have completed and the impact we have achieved.

  • Policy & Evaluation

    El Dorado County, a small, rural community in northern California, partnered with Bellwether Education Partners over a two-year period to better support children who are experiencing significant barriers to their education due to foster care placement, homelessness, involvement in the juvenile justice system, unmet mental/physical health needs, or other drivers of chronic instability.

  • 2020
    Strategic Advising

    Logo for Galileo Learning

    In 2019, Galileo Learning, which offers fun and educational Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) summer programming for students in California and Illinois, announced that they had reached a record-breaking scholarship goal, offering scholarships to upwards of 15% of their campers. In an online posting, CEO Glen Tripp thanked Bellwether Education Partners for our critical role in helping shape their model so more low-income students can attend these innovative summer camps, which have been shown to “improve kids’ persistence and collaboration skills” and help participants persevere “in the face of failure.”

    This all started in 2016, when Galileo engaged Bellwether as they devised a strategy to make their programs significantly more accessible to low-income students. Over the next several months, we worked together to develop a three-pronged strategic plan: 1) increase scholarships to attend Galileo camps, 2) build strategic partnerships to extend Galileo’s approach to new educational settings, and 3) leverage Galileo’s existing corps of teachers to infuse innovation thinking into their school-year classrooms. As of 2019, Galileo has increased the percentage of students receiving scholarships and is on track to provide scholarships to 22% of campers in 2020, equaling about 20,000 kids.

    Read more about our collaboration with Galileo in this conversation with Glen Tripp on our blog, Ahead of the Heard.

  • Strategic Advising

    Over six months, Bellwether collaborated with Kansas City Teacher Residency's senior leadership team, Board, and key advisers to address some of KCTR’s key priorities: reducing the ongoing fundraising need, strengthening partnerships with schools and universities, optimizing KCTR's expenditures, exploring new earned revenue opportunities, and scaling the number of residents to increase impact. Kansas City Teacher Residency logo

  • Strategic Advising

    It’s a question the education sector grapples with every day: how do we equip teachers to engage students in deep, meaningful learning on a broad scale?

    Unfortunately, the answer is — with some exceptions — we don’t really know.

    Even the best instructional materials are often not enough. Schools and districts spend a fortune investing in professional development for teachers.

    One organization is piloting a new approach to professional development for teachers, taking a bet that an intensive, job-embedded approach paired with a specific, rigorous, engaging curriculum — and training around implementing that curriculum — can meaningfully improve teaching and learning. If it succeeds, it will be at a scale that will really matter not just for one or two schools, but for teachers and students across the country.

  • Strategic Advising

    How do you encourage and prepare talented, committed people to engage in a teaching career? There are a number of promising teacher preparation organizations tackling this challenge, but few have solved the puzzle of building a quality program and a sustainable business model to support it. Urban Teachers is one exception.

  • 2014
    Strategic Advising

    Having successfully implemented its previous growth plan, Harmony partnered with Bellwether to develop a strategic plan for its next five years, focusing on balancing continued growth with deepening impact in cities with already-established schools.

  • 2013
    Policy & Evaluation

    In 2012, the Walton Family Foundation asked Bellwether to conduct an analysis of the pipeline of school leaders for new schools to inform its investment strategy in educational leadership.

  • 2011 to 2012
    Strategic Advising

    Given rapid changes to the data-driven instruction landscape (including the advent of Common Core), The Achievement Network partnered with Bellwether to develop a five-year strategic plan that responds to market and customer needs and builds on existing core competencies.

  • 2011 to 2013
    Strategic Advising

    In the last three years, Bellwether supported IDEA Public Schools in developing a five-year strategic plan to broaden and deepen impact by opening more schools, partnering to develop successful Race to the Top District and i3 applications, yielding over $35 MM, supporting Race to the Top and i3 implementation and project management, and developing a detailed financial model to support IDEA’s growth.

  • Policy & Evaluation

    In 2009, the Foundation Trustees decided to establish a new Strategic Initiative to drive greater impact in an area of particular priority for the foundation and selected education as the focus for that initiative. Bellwether worked with Stranahan Foundation staff and trustees to help them identify and articulate the Foundation’s priorities for strategic investment in education, attract a high-quality pool of potential grantees, select the most promising grantees from that pool, and monitor the impact of their grantees' work and overall foundation investment strategy.