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COVID-19

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

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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

July 20, 2021
Andrew J. Rotherham, Thomas Gold
With a historic pool of federal education funds now available to help address the effects of the pandemic, school districts and states have a unique...
June 14, 2021
Nate Geller, Stephanie Spangler, Monique Payton
The COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on students from historically marginalized communities underscores the value of continuous...
April 28, 2021
Tresha Ward, Nate Geller, Stephanie Spangler
Educators and students across the country are wrapping up one of the most challenging and exhausting years of their academic careers. The ongoing...
February 8, 2021
Bonnie O'Keefe, Alex Spurrier, Jennifer O'Neal Schiess, Hailly T.N. Korman, Melissa Steel King, Allison Crean Davis, Indira Dammu, Juliet Squire, Ashley LiBetti
COVID-19 has presented new challenges for schools and families to grapple with when it comes to student learning — but the pandemic also has...
February 1, 2021
Tresha Ward, Indira Dammu
2020 was filled with unprecedented challenges for schools nationwide. In the midst of a global pandemic, educators had to balance prioritizing the...

Op-Eds

November 10, 2020
Seven school districts are participating in a national cohort that has been planning more equitable and resilient approaches to teaching and learning...
November 10, 2020
Schools need help bringing special-needs kids back to class. But if they can't, here are 3 paths for supporting learning online. Virtual learning, by...
November 5, 2020
When it comes to education spending, we’re missing the fiscal forest for the most visible trees. This has been a golden era of education spending....

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

June 14, 2022
Michelle Croft and Alex Spurrier
As another challenging school year winds down, parents are starting to reflect on what worked well for their child, what didn’t work well,...
May 12, 2022
Michelle Croft
In statistics, it’s often said that “all models are wrong, but some are useful.” When it comes to polling parents on K-12 schooling, it’s...
May 10, 2022
Paul Beach
Bellwether Education Partners, in partnership with the Walton Family Foundation, is excited to announce the Filling the Gap Fund. This new...