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With permission from Cristo Rey Network

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Policy and Thought Leadership

About Bellwether Education Partners

Bellwether Education Partners is a national, nonpartisan nonprofit of over 50 professionals dedicated to helping education organizations become more effective and achieve dramatic results, especially for underserved students. To do so, we work in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, and provide a unique combination of exceptional thinking, talent, and hands-on strategic support:

  • Our Policy and Thought Leadership practice works to shape the broader education landscape by conducting policy analysis, research and writing, and idea generation, and by advising education entities on policy and public affairs.
  • Our Talent Services practice has two complementary offerings. Talent Advising helps clients build talent-ready organizations where diverse teams can work, develop, and thrive. Executive Search identifies and places education leaders through comprehensive recruiting, supports organizational search processes, and conducts individual career coaching.
  • Our Strategic Advising practice works with leading education organizations on their most pressing strategic and operational issues. We partner to create bold but achievable plans, while ensuring that leaders and stakeholders are in alignment around the path forward.

Why bring all this together? Bellwether was founded on the belief that the only way to ensure that all children have access to high-quality schools is to take a holistic approach to education’s most pressing challenges. Having all three areas of expertise makes our work stronger by tying innovative thinking to perspectives regarding on-the-ground realities.

In this way, Bellwether has carved out a special and desperately needed niche in the education reform landscape. We aren’t just a think tank, a consulting firm, or a human capital organization. We are all of the above and more, providing comprehensive, coherent, and lasting solutions to education’s most long-standing and complicated problems.

Organizational Culture

Bellwether takes our mission of serving educators, students, organizations, and communities seriously. But we try not to take ourselves as individuals quite so seriously. We do challenging work, and we know how to have fun. From jumpsuits and talent shows at retreats, to PowerPoint presentations on werewolves and vampires at team meetings, we embrace our individuality — our quirks, talents, and diversity of viewpoints. We welcome different experiences and perspectives because we know that our team is stronger for having a variety of political, cultural, and educational beliefs represented. 

Bellwether strives to make the work rewarding and sustainable so we can find harmony between demanding jobs and full personal lives. We are proud that our team has poets, hockey players, food bloggers, activists, teachers, karate black belts, church leaders, cyclists, and much more. Our flexible work environment allows many of our team members to work where they like, and when they like (within reason, of course). This allows us to operate in ways that feel most productive to us and do more of what we love doing on our own time.

These qualities are clear in the core values that guide our work and reflect what is truly important to us as an organization:

  • Mission Mindset: We are dedicated to dramatically improving outcomes for lowincomestudents. Our nonprofit status allows us to focus on this mission, and it guides the people we hire and the clients and projects we support.
  • Tailored Excellence: We work with our clients to develop customized, innovative solutions. We direct our unwavering focus on quality toward successful outcomes for our clients.
  • Synergy: We believe the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Our Talent Services, Strategic Advising, and Policy and Thought Leadership teams make each other better.
  • Integrity: We exemplify the highest standards of individual and organizational ethics. We carefully balance client confidentiality with transparency to other clients and the public.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: We believe that to achieve our mission, we must be a diverse and inclusive organization broadly reflecting the various communities we serve.
  • Flexibility: We believe in the philosophy of “working smarter, not harder.” We trust our co-workers and teams to do excellent work in the manner they see fit.
  • No Drama: We have no tolerance for drama or the politics of education affecting our work. We respectfully and proactively deal with frustrations, disagreements, and unexpected hurdles.

Further, we value many forms of diversity and believe race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic issues play an especially acute role in the education sector and consequently our work. By actively seeking and hiring talent with diverse backgrounds and experiences, and maintaining an environment where divergent ideas and perspectives are freely expressed, we increase our collective ability to deliver thoughtful, relevant solutions and analyses for our clients and the education sector.

About the Position

Bellwether’s Policy and Thought Leadership team is looking to grow our team with a new Analyst who will work on education evaluation assignments, and will occasionally support other policy, research, and writing projects as needed. In turn, the Analyst will gain broad exposure to education policy issues, thought leaders, and research methodologies and will develop substantial expertise in 2-3 specific areas of education evaluation.

Analysts typically work on small internal teams, reporting to Bellwether Principals or Associate Partners who in turn guide their work and support their professional development. This particular opportunity is in the Policy and Thought Leadership practice within Bellwether, and will focus on supporting Bellwether’s growing evaluation work, led by Senior Adviser Allison Crean Davis.  Analysts periodically have the opportunity to work across the Bellwether practice areas to broaden their skills and perspectives, including providing support to Bellwether’s Strategic Advising team.

In that context, the Analyst’s primary responsibilities and duties will be to:

  • Support the implementation of research and evaluation studies, including coordinating logistics related to data collection, conducting interviews and observations, and synthesizing and managing datasets
  • Conduct research on education policy issues and independently identify, gather, review, and analyze relevant quantitative and qualitative data on education questions, using appropriate data sources and analytical techniques, including descriptive and inferential statistics
  • Analyze legislation, regulations, grant guidelines and proposals, and other documents to understand their implication’s for Bellwether and client work   
  • Draft memos, analyses, slide decks, and reports presenting the Analyst’s and/or Bellwether’s research, analysis, and evaluation findings for internal and client use
  • Serve as a thought partner with Bellwether colleagues in designing research studies and analyzing and developing solutions to policy and client challenges
  • Build knowledge of education policy issues and understanding of the education landscape


Bellwether is a good fit for professionals who possess strong personal drive and motivation, demonstrate exemplary professional behavior and values, and who are resourceful, responsible, tenacious, independent, and self-confident.

In addition, the successful candidate will have:

  • Exemplary research and writing skills
  • Familiarity with research design within the social sciences
  • Comfort with conducting descriptive and inferential statistics within Excel and other statistical software (e.g., SPSS)
  • A high attention to detail and a commitment to producing the highest-quality work
  • Strong problem solving skills, including demonstrated resourcefulness in the face of complex challenges or barriers
  • A record of academic and personal accomplishment, including at least a Masters degree with strong academic performance in social science, economics, political science, education, or a related field
  • A highly self-motivated work style and willingness to proactively take on projects
  • A well-rounded interpersonal skill set with the capacity to work well both independently and in a team environment
  • Flexibility and the ability to deal well with ambiguity and the fast-paced nature of a growing virtual organization
  • Strong ethics and personal responsibility 
  • Comprehensive computer skills including database searching, slide creation, word processing, and proficiency in Microsoft Excel
  • A desire and ability to engage and own the key intellectual challenges and tensions encompassed by Bellwether’s work in the area of education policy, politics, and reform

The following traits/skills are ideal but not required:

  • 2-5 years professional experience in a role requiring research skills, attention to detail, quantitative data analysis, and the ability to manage multiple, simultaneous, demanding deadlines
  • Demonstrated passion and commitment to working in the field of education reform
  • Familiarity with the challenges facing U.S. public schools and education reform efforts in the U.S.


Bellwether Education Partners provides competitive compensation and an attractive benefits package that includes a performance bonus based on individual and firm success, health care coverage, and a 401(k) plan with an employer matching contribution policy.


Our work is national in scope, and our team is primarily concentrated in two major cities: Washington, D.C. and Chicago. We prefer that this candidate be based in our Washington, D.C. office.

To Apply

Applications or inquiries about the position should be directed to:

Allison Crean Davis, Senior Adviser

The review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Applications should consist of a letter of interest and a current résumé or curriculum vitae and should be submitted electronically.

Bellwether Education Partners is committed to providing equal opportunities. It is our policy to ensure that all individuals with whom we are in contact are not discriminated against on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, color, disability, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran’s status. Further, as described above, Bellwether is committed to building a diverse team and strongly encourages individuals from all backgrounds to apply.