Bellwether Education Partners is a national nonprofit focused on dramatically changing education and life outcomes for underserved children. We do this by helping education organizations accelerate their impact and by working to improve policy and practice.
Bellwether envisions a world in which race, ethnicity, and income no longer predict opportunities for students, and the American education system affords all individuals the ability to determine their own path and lead a productive and fulfilling life.
Our work focuses on five service areas:
1. Policy analysis and research
2. Strategy and growth planning
3. Organizational effectiveness and efficiency
4. Implementation support
5. Educational program evaluation
We believe that the only way to ensure all children have access to a high-quality education is to take a holistic approach by changing field-level policies and perceptions while strengthening and supporting individual organizations. Since many of the challenges organizations face are complex, they require multiple perspectives and areas of expertise.
Through our integrated offerings, we provide comprehensive, coherent, and lasting solutions to education’s most long-standing and complicated problems.
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 low‐income students. 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, and that our 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.
Bellwether’s Policy and Thought Leadership team provides skill- and knowledge-building opportunities to a select group of students and professionals developing their careers in education policy and program evaluation. We strongly encourage applicants with backgrounds and experiences that are typically underrepresented in the education sector, including, but not limited to, people of color and first generation college students.
Interns on our team work on substantive projects matched to their skills and interests, and are treated as core members of our team. Interns provide both quantitative and qualitative research support to Bellwether staff, working on both long- and short-term projects as needed. They also write memos, briefings, and blog posts on a range of education topics; participate in internal and external meetings; and attend policy forums, briefings, and other events around Washington, D.C. Interns have opportunities to set their own goals for their time on the Bellwether team, and receive feedback and guidance to help them advance their professional goals beyond the internship.
Interns must have:
- Demonstrated interest in Bellwether’s mission;
- Curiosity and willingness to learn more about key topics in education policy and/or program evaluation;
- Strong research, writing, and problem solving skills;
- A record of academic and personal accomplishment; including enrollment in or completion of an undergraduate degree;
- A self-motivated workstyle, including time management skills, attention to detail, and willingness to ask questions as necessary; and
- Competent computer skills, including database searching, slide creation, Microsoft Excel and word processing.
The following traits/skills are ideal, but not required:
- Current enrollment in a graduate degree program in education, public policy, or a related field, or an equivalent level of work/internship experience in education;
- Experience completing independent research projects in an academic or professional setting;
- Familiarity with key education issues in the United States; and
- For intern candidates interested in program evaluation, quantitative analysis experience and familiarity with statistical methods.
Internships on the Policy and Thought Leadership team are typically uncompensated, but applicants in need of financial assistance are strongly encouraged to apply, as stipends may be available for qualified candidates with demonstrated financial need. Many candidates have support from a third party fellowship or university program, which we are also happy to work with.
Dates and Hours
We accept applications for the fall, spring, and summer. Fall internships begin in September, spring internships begin in January, summer internships begin in June. Internships are typically 8-10 weeks long, for no less than 25 and no more than 40 hours per week, depending on an intern’s availability and Bellwether’s needs.
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.
Applications are reviewed on a seasonal basis. Applications should consist of a letter of interest, including indications of hourly and seasonal availability and financial need if applicable, along with a current resume. Please indicate “PTL Internship” in the subject line.
Applications should be submitted electronically. Applications or inquiries about the position should be directed to:
Bonnie O’Keefe, Associate Partner, firstname.lastname@example.org.