School Districts | Page 2 | 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

September 8, 2020
Ashley LiBetti, Jennifer O'Neal Schiess, National Association of Charter School Authorizers
Great charter school authorizers believe in the charter school promise and relentlessly pursue excellence to give every child an educational option...
August 25, 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...
August 11, 2020
When EightCities.org first launched in 2018, it documented the stories of leaders in school systems across the country working to drive rapid...
August 6, 2020
Max Marchitello, Hailly T.N. Korman
The coronavirus pandemic will have a profound, lasting impact on students, particularly those who are already marginalized. This includes students in...
August 5, 2020
Bill Durbin, Sherri Geng, Jeff Schulz
With school opening just weeks away in many parts of the country, leaders need a detailed level of support — and a plan — to start the school year in...

Op-Eds

July 13, 2020
Districts are calling the shots during COVID shutdowns. So why hold schools alone accountable for student learning? Districts control factors, such...
July 8, 2020
To ensure that students aren’t left behind as schools continue educating during a pandemic, policymakers must ensure that accountability systems are...
July 6, 2020
The pandemic will decide when schools can reopen. Educators must start building robust online learning systems for next year. We need schools to be...

Blog Posts

October 12, 2021
Malcom Glenn, Guest Blogger
As part of the Priced Out of Public Schools: District Lines, Housing Access, and Inequitable Educational Options release, Bellwether asked...
October 4, 2021
Brian Robinson
As spring 2021 state assessment results come in across the country, the academic impacts of COVID-19 are no longer theoretical. The...
September 1, 2021
Nate Geller
As the 2021-22 school year begins across the country, we asked a few education leaders to share their insights on where we’ve been, where...