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Urban Education

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

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Urban centers are home to many low-income children and children of color who are underserved by the existing education system. These students routinely lag their white, suburban peers on state and national assessments, as well as in long-term outcomes like completing high school and graduating from college. As a result, urban education is at the center of many conversations in education policy and reform.

Each team at Bellwether works extensively in urban education, helping to shape these conversations. Through rigorous analysis and thoughtful community and stakeholder engagement, our Strategic Advising team helps districts, charter management organizations, and others develop strategic plans to deepen and extend their impact. We also partner with city-based intermediaries and collective impact efforts to bring together stakeholders to improve outcomes for children in their communities. And our Policy and Evaluation team provides deep and nuanced analysis of many issues in urban education — from governance structures, to facilities and transportation, to the challenges and opportunities of school choice at scale.

The content below reflects our work on this issue:

Publications

February 26, 2019
Bonnie O'Keefe, Melissa Steel King, Chad Aldeman
An Uneven Path: Student Achievement in Boston Public Schools 2007-2017 finds that Boston students outperform their peers in other cities on...
January 22, 2019
Ashley LiBetti, Phillip Burgoyne-Allen, Brandon Lewis, Kirsten Schmitz
Charter schools currently serve 3 million students in more than 7,000 schools across 44 states and Washington, D.C. And their reach continues to grow...
October 23, 2018
Lynne Graziano, Jason Weeby, Tanya Paperny, Sara Mead
How do you build a continuously improving system of schools? Eight Cities is a new website from Bellwether Education Partners that provides stories...
May 9, 2018
Kaitlin Pennington, Alexander Brand
As school districts across the country report various kinds of teacher shortages, how to retain teachers has emerged as a key area of interest for...
February 27, 2018
Jason Weeby
Human-centered design is an approach to creating solutions for problems and opportunities through a focus on the needs, contexts, behaviors, and...

Blog Posts

May 9, 2019
Bonnie O'Keefe
In February, Bellwether published “An Uneven Path: Student Achievement in Boston Public Schools 2007-2017.” Boston was in the midst of a...
March 4, 2019
Chad Aldeman
My colleagues Bonnie O’Keefe, Melissa Steel King, and I have a new report out this week looking at recent educational trends in Boston...
November 12, 2018
Bonnie O'Keefe
In many cities across the country, school application and enrollment processes are built like high-stakes obstacle courses, where families...