School Districts | Bellwether Education Partners Skip to main content

School Districts

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

You are here

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) sought to return responsibility for educational decision-making to the local level and give school districts greater flexibility in many areas, including how they respond to chronically low-performing schools, how they evaluate their teachers, and even how they spend federal dollars. Districts can use this flexibility to innovate and improve student learning, but there is also the risk they will maintain a status quo that underserves some student populations.

Bellwether has a deep understanding of the challenges that districts and their students face and extensive experience with supporting work at the district level. Our Policy and Evaluation team conducts research and analysis on many of the key challenges and opportunities facing school districts, including teacher evaluation, changing student demographics, personalized learning, education finance, pensions, and portfolio approaches that increase quality school options available to students and families. Bellwether’s Strategic Advising teams has significant experience in supporting mid-size to large high-need urban districts as they develop strategies in response to new demands and opportunities, structure their organizations to implement those strategies effectively, and deliver quality services and oversight to students and schools. We support comprehensive strategic planning efforts, financial analysis, initiative design and implementation, regulation development, and grant writing.

The content below reflects our work on this issue:

Publications

April 1, 2022
Kelly Robson Foster, Lynne Graziano, Juliet Squire
Click HERE to download the report, or read it in the viewer below. School districts across the country have long been finding ways to give greater...
October 21, 2021
In October 2020, “Missing in the Margins: Estimating the Scale of the COVID-19 Attendance Crisis” estimated that as many as 3 million K-12 students...
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...
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...
September 22, 2020
Ashley LiBetti, Lynne Graziano, Jennifer O’Neal Schiess
COVID-19 has altered education as we know it, and no one school has found the perfect approach to distance learning. Every school struggles with 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...
September 12, 2020
The last six months have posed an unprecedented level of instructional and operational challenge as school systems navigated closure and planned...
August 1, 2020
Students need a way to get to school safely and on time each day, whether by yellow bus, public transit, personal vehicle, biking, or walking. These...

Blog Posts

March 9, 2022
Indira Dammu
English learners (ELs) are an incredibly diverse group of students, representing about 400 languages spoken, and a wide range of ages and...
November 16, 2021
Bonnie O'Keefe
Bellwether Education Partners’ series Splitting the Bill: Understanding Education Finance Equity gives advocates a crash course in the...
November 2, 2021
Bonnie O'Keefe
Bellwether Education Partners’ series Splitting the Bill: Understanding Education Finance Equity gives advocates a crash course in the...