COVID-19 | Bellwether Education Partners Skip to main content

COVID-19

By Elizabeth Cryan Photography with permission from Donnell-Kay Foundation at Rocky Mountain Prep school

You are here

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted American education in myriad ways: Nearly every school system across the country shut down, school leaders and districts tried to quickly pivot to online instruction, and organizations grappled with how to support students’ and families’ basic needs. Looking forward, nearly every aspect of education faces uncertainty: School operations and instruction are being fundamentally reconsidered, an unfolding recession will have a profound impact on state budgets, and policies on everything from school accountability to student grades must adapt to the consequences of the novel coronavirus. Schools must also be attentive to students’ general health and well-being.

The pandemic is exposing the deep inequities in every corner of the American education system. The painful consequences of COVID-19 will be felt most acutely by the students and families furthest from opportunity — the same students who were chronically underserved by public education even before the crisis took hold, due to race, socioeconomic status, or geography. At Bellwether, our goal throughout this uncertain time is to find solutions, amplify best practices and successful models, and work with the partners who will help rebuild a better system in the long run.

Since the crisis began, Bellwether has consistently worked to understand what is happening, what is coming, and what is needed across the education system. Within days of school doors shutting, we made our time available pro bono to school districts and charter school networks and published resources and analyses to support those in the field. As the education system resets and rebuilds — a process we anticipate taking several months — we’ll be defining solutions on content delivery, distance learning, quality child care, and school operations, among others.

The content below reflects the resources and research we’ve put out in response to the novel coronavirus. We’ll be updating this regularly.

Publications

June 30, 2020
Alex Spurrier, Chad Aldeman, Jennifer O'Neal Schiess, Andrew J. Rotherham
For nearly two decades, state and federal policymakers have built standards-based accountability systems as a way to improve educational outcomes and...
May 14, 2020
Tresha Francis Ward, Stephanie Spangler
In April, we released a four-phase strategic planning tool to support the COVID-19 education response, providing a framework for leaders responding...
May 11, 2020
Indira Dammu, Max Marchitello, Hailly T.N. Korman
This document will be updated regularly with new resources and materials. With schools closed due to COVID-19, online learning and instruction are...
April 17, 2020
Sara Mead
Check back for further updates as the Department of Education releases additional information on these programs. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and...
April 13, 2020
In March 2020, the U.S. Congress passed a series of three laws intended to strengthen the capacity of federal, state, and local governments and...

Op-Eds

May 25, 2020
Though we can guess at the academic effects of the COVID-19 school shutdowns, the full impact of the lost learning time won’t be known for decades....
May 20, 2020
Measuring how much students learn over time is the most equitable measure of student performance we have, revealing trends and patterns that status...
May 19, 2020
Working with stakeholders around the country has made me certain only about uncertainty. The impact of COVID-19 in a few months or a few years seems...

Issue Experts

To speak to one of our teammates with expertise on running a school or organization in light of COVID-19, contact us here.

Blog Posts

May 26, 2020
Alex Spurrier
The scale, speed, and severity of the coronavirus crisis is unlike anything we’ve seen in our nation’s history. In a matter of a few weeks...
May 20, 2020
Beth Tek
Earlier this year most colleges and universities shuttered and moved to virtual classes. Dormitories closed, study abroad programs were...
May 19, 2020
Tresha Ward and Stephanie Spangler
Planning to reopen schools in the fall is going to be complex, but it does not have to feel defeating. It should not mean spinning through...