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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

May 2, 2017
Jennifer O'Neal Schiess, Phillip Burgoyne-Allen
Every day, nearly 25 million students ride a big yellow bus to school. These iconic vehicles are so entrenched in American school culture that their...
October 13, 2016
Juliet Squire, Allison Crean Davis
Tens of thousands of individuals across the United States volunteer their time, energy, and expertise as members of charter school boards. Yet as the...
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...

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...