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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 Thought Leadership 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:


August 17, 2016
American Enterprise Institute -- School suspensions don't address the root cause of misbehavior.
July 19, 2016
Jennifer Schiess, Kelly Robson, Carolyn Chuong, Kaitlin Pennington
To ensure that the public education system delivers on its promise of great outcomes for all kids, we need a shared understanding of the facts to...
May 30, 2014
Andy Smarick
Fifty years ago, President Johnson clearly articulated a collective goal—“to give every citizen an escape from the crushing weight of poverty.” But...
November 26, 2012
New York Daily News: The new teachers contract in Newark has caused widespread celebration. It has earned praise from New Jersey’s governor and...

Blog Posts

December 1, 2016
Max Marchitello
Donald Trump’s election made clear that the division between rural and urban communities is widening. Although social media and other...
August 10, 2016
Max Marchitello
You can also read my colleague Hailly Korman’s coverage of the Movement for Black Lives’ education platform in this post from yesterday....
June 9, 2016
Jason Weeby
The Michigan legislature passed a bill last night that provides $617 million in debt relief and restructuring for Detroit Public Schools;...