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Publications

Ideas matter. In addition to our work with clients, Bellwether Education Partners generates and gathers ideas and policy solutions, analyzes ongoing reform efforts, and writes about and discusses education and education reform. We believe that the work we do to improve education for all students benefits from thought leadership, analysis, and thoughtful discourse around emerging ideas, in order to help challenge leaders and leading organizations to think differently and improve, to coordinate efforts where possible, to inform policymakers and improve the political and policy context, and to share successful approaches with the public education field at large.

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Do current state pension plans ensure a comfortable retirement for most teachers?

Insufficient: How State Pension Plans Leave Teachers With Inadequate Retirement Savings” establishes a framework to compare teacher retirement plans against an “adequate” annual retirement savings threshold. After defining those thresholds, the paper measures how the typical defined benefit (DB) plan covering public school teachers stacks up.

The authors find that the typical teacher pension plan provides only a small group of long-serving veteran teachers with adequate benefits. To afford a comfortable retirement, teachers who fall short of the adequacy targets will have to work longer, save more in their personal accounts, or rely on other forms of income in their retirement years.

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"Preparing Teachers for Diverse Schools: Lessons from Minority Serving Institutions" looks at how schools can revise policies, practices, and curricula to address the impact of race, gender, and class, and thereby better prepare educators to serve an increasingly diverse student population.

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Leading by Exemplar: Case Studies of Head Start Programs is an in-depth analysis of five high-performing Head Start programs from across the country.

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"Leading by Exemplar: Lessons from Head Start Programs" is a synthesis of findings drawn from an in-depth analysis of five high-performing Head Start programs from across the country.

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"An Uneven Path: Student Achievement in Boston Public Schools 2007-2017" finds that Boston students outperform their peers in other cities on performance tests, but that a decade of tight budgets, aging facilities, and persistent achievement gaps in the city have narrowed Boston’s lead over its peers.

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Bellwether pairs policy and practice to deliver durable solutions for our clients and bold ideas for the education field.

In our 2018 annual report, we look back at our best analysis, commentary, and projects during the last year and reflect on the impact our team has made in the education sector on a wide range of issues.

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National dialogue about teacher shortages is skewed by a flawed view that the issue is one generic problem. Reports in the 1980s and ’90s predicted a national teacher shortage crisis, but since then, teacher supply has actually kept up with student enrollment, creating a much less dire situation across subject areas. Today, shortages are a more localized issue.
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"The State of the Charter Sector" provides the latest available information on charter schools across the country, including updated data on growth, performance, and geographic trends. It also includes analyses of the challenges that charter schools face and how the sector is trying to address them.
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