Skip to main content

Publications

News and Press

You are here

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.

Publication

Autonomous district schools (sometimes called “in-district charters”) use some of the same freedoms that public charter schools enjoy while remaining part of the district. Enabled by innovative policies that support school-level autonomy, Springfield, Massachusetts; Indianapolis, Indiana; Denver, Colorado; and San Antonio, Texas, are experimenting with these types of schools. While these efforts are too new to have clear student impact data, autonomous district schools could be a promising strategy to improve districts’ ability to meet families’ and students’ needs and to improve outcomes.

Autonomous District Schools: Lessons From the Field on a Promising Strategy" summarizes Bellwether’s work with San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) over the past 18 months. The district has authorized three networks of autonomous district schools using a law that supports and incentivizes the creation of these schools. Bellwether provided program design support, strategic advice, and capacity building to SAISD’s Network Principal Initiative, and this deck offers an overview of the initiative and the lessons we learned about the launch of autonomous district schools.

This slide deck is accompanied by a tool kit, “Autonomous District Schools: Tools for Planning and Launching," which offers concrete resources for leaders interested in planning an autonomous school or network.

Title image for Bellwether publication

Publication

School Performance Frameworks: Lessons, Cases, and Purposeful Design is a deep dive into how local education leaders can create, implement, and sustain effective SPFs. The report details established, locally focused SPFs in New York City, Chicago, Denver, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C., and draws on research and interviews with SPF experts across the country.

Title image for Bellwether publication

Publication

SchoolPerformanceFrameworks.org is a new website from Bellwether Education Partners designed to help local education leaders design, use, and sustain an effective school performance framework (SPF).

Title image for Bellwether website

Publication

Unfinished: Insights From Ongoing Work to Accelerate Outcomes for Students With Learning Gaps,” synthesizes a broad body of research on the science of learning in order to inform efforts to help students close gaps and meet grade-level expectations. This deck argues that helping students catch up is not about rigor or personalization — classrooms need both.

Title image for Bellwether publication

Publication

When rural charter schools succeed, what conditions enable their results? “Local Roots Take the Lead: Lessons From Rural Charter Schools” is a new website from Bellwether Education Partners that offers school leaders, funders, and authorizers a starting point to answer this question.
Title image for Bellwether publication

Publication

America’s fleet of roughly 480,000 school buses drives nearly 3.5 billion miles every year transporting students to and from school. About a third of students ride the bus, and more than half of students travel to school in personal vehicles, contributing millions more miles for school transportation.

Publication

In “Intersection Ahead: School Transportation, School Integration, and School Choice,” we identify three school choice models that focus on creating integrated schools, provide case studies for each, and examine their implications for school transportation and offer key recommendations for policymakers and other education leaders include:

Cover of "Intersection Ahead: School Transportation, School Integration, and School Choice" by Bellwether Education Partners, August 2019

Publication

In 1969, more than half of students walked or biked to school, a little more than a third rode on a school bus, and relatively few rode to school in a car. Today, approximately a third of students still rely on a yellow bus, but only one out of 10 walk or bike, and more than half ride in a car.

Publication

In this publication, we found that juvenile justice facilities fail to provide adjudicated youth with sufficient access to the courses they need to graduate high school. For example, students in juvenile justice facilities are 25 percent less likely to have access to Algebra I, a foundational class required for graduation. Moreover, these facilities offer only limited access to credit recovery programs, which are critical to helping students recoup course credits that they missed or failed to complete earlier in their academic careers.

Publication

In this publication, we sought to understand the landscape of private schools working to provide an affordable education by looking at the approaches they are taking and how they are revisiting traditional operating models. We profile a variety of strategies used by schools to improve access for middle- and low-income families. Some schools rely on reducing the costs to families (i.e., tuition) by providing significant financial aid or partnering with scholarship programs, some have found inventive new revenue streams, and some have streamlined operations and leveraged technology to reduce their per-pupil expenditures.

Pages