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News & Press

Read the latest news articles and press releases about Bellwether below.

Andrew J. Rotherham

For education companies, the costs of going public often outweigh the benefits. Many analysts agree. "Unless you are huge and a publisher, or education is a smaller part of your business, like Apple, Microsoft or a big construction firm, it makes no sense to be public" says one longtime industry observer and investor. It's an ironic sentiment. A field that rightly respects public as an essential touchstone is populated by successful companies viewing private ownership as the best way to achieve their public goals and mission.

Andrew J. Rotherham

What Arne Duncan's resignation means for the education debate, 2016 election and beyond. The education world reacted with surprise to the early October announcement that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is stepping down, and former New York education commissioner and current acting Deputy Secretary John King Jr. is stepping into the role at the end of the year. As with any political transition, there's plenty of spin and speculation.

Andy Smarick
Kelly Robson

For 50 years, American K-12 Catholic education had been in a quiet retreat. Thousands of schools were shuttered. Enrollment plummeted by millions. Though heroic educators and generous donors stemmed the tide in many places, even creating exemplars of what was possible, forecasts were bleak. Education journals carried articles titled, “Can Catholic Schools Be Saved?” But thanks to an unprecedented wave of social entrepreneurialism and some innovative public policies — both fueled by philanthropy — we may be witnessing the dawn of a renaissance of Catholic K-12 education.

Andrew J. Rotherham

Today's pension policy is making it extra hard for young teachers to save for retirement. Saving even a little in your 20s to make long time horizons work for you is one way to guard against risk. So why are we making it extra hard for 20-something teachers – America's largest group of college-educated workers – to do exactly that? Policymakers could offer more portable benefits or give teachers their employer contributions much sooner.

Mr. Andy Smarick

For 50 years, inner-city Catholic schools have been shuttering, victims of shifting city demographics, changes in the workforce, the advent of charter schooling, and much more. Impoverished families have too few accessible school options to begin with, but this phenomenon has been especially painful. A substantial body of evidence shows that Catholic schools have an unusual ability to help underserved kids succeed. Newer research suggests that longstanding urban Catholic schools foster social capital outside their walls, helping decrease crime and other societal ills.

Sara Mead

Here are 7 key things to know about charter school quantity and quality. Love them or hate them, charter schools are here to stay. But public and policy debates about them continue to be plagued by outdated information, myths and misunderstandings.

Andrew J. Rotherham

Many schools with old Confederate names are also failing to adequately teach their students. All else equal, can we at least stipulate that it's hardly ideal to send black students to schools named for Confederate heroes? OK, maybe we can't. That's still a pretty controversial point for some. What about sending them to schools that are both named for Confederates and doing a poor job educating students of color? That happens every day in too many public schools. Now, one of them, Fairfax County's Stuart High School, is getting some national attention and pushback.

Sara Mead

Research linking maternity leave to children's early development or longer-term outcomes is limited and mixed, in part because many studies of maternity leave policies use data from other developed countries that start with a higher baseline level of parental leave than the United States. But some research suggests that maternity leave is correlated with improved long-term educational outcomes for their children, particularly those whose mothers would otherwise take very little maternity leave.

Andrew J. Rotherham

Speculating about how many and what kind of students were opting out of standardized tests was a fun education parlor game this spring. Highly energized proponents claimed the opt-out movement was a diverse cross-section of public school students. Critics responded that, no, it was a movement of affluent white parents and not that many of them.

Sara Mead

The emerging teacher shortages in California and other states offer a warning about the future of the teaching profession. But they also create an opportunity for policymakers and preparation programs to fundamentally rethink how our nation recruits and trains teachers. Let's hope they rise to the challenge.

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