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Publications and Media

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Publications & Media

Learn more about Bellwether’s work by reading our publications, news articles, press releases, and case studies.

  • Publication
    Chad Aldeman
    Max Marchitello

    Following the first ESSA plan submissions to the U.S. Department of Education in April 2017, Bellwether Education Partners — in partnership with the Collaborative for Student Success — convened a group of 30 education experts to independently review 17 state accountability plans. During the review, the experts, who represented national and state perspectives from both sides of the aisle, identified best practices in providing a strong statewide accountability system that will help ensure a high-quality education for all students.

    Because the first round of reviews was designed to help provide important context for the remaining state plans being submitted in September 2017, we conducted interim reviews of draft plans released by California and New York, using the same rubric and a process that closely mirrored our first set of reviews. We recognize that these pre-reviews represent a snapshot in time and that the states may make revisions prior to formally submitting their plans to the U.S. Department of Education. Given the size of California and New York’s diverse student populations, as well as their geographic diversity, we felt that feedback on their draft plans was important in not only strengthening these state’s final submissions, but also in providing information for other states still writing their plans.

    We intend to conduct full reviews of all second-round states following their final submissions in September.

    Read our reviews of the draft California and New York state plans here.

  • Media

    U.S. News & World Report -- Education policymakers mustn't give up hope that schools can produce better results.

  • Publication
    Max Marchitello

    What effect does teacher pension spending have on school funding equity? In our new report, “Illinois’ Teacher Pension Plans Deepen School Funding Inequities,” we analyze 10 years of Illinois’ educator and school demographic data to track changes in funding equity.

    Our analysis shows that pension funding is yet another way in which states and districts invest fewer resources in the education of low-income students and students of color.

    Among our findings, the most alarming is that pension spending increases existing poverty-based inequities by over 200 percent, and race-based inequities by over 250 percent. These disparities are the product of Illinois’ pension system and cannot be fixed by pouring more money into the funds. In fact, the greater the contribution rate, the larger the inequities become.

    Given the magnitude of the effect, pension spending should be included in analyses of state school finance equity. Otherwise an important source of disparities can be masked, and efforts to make school funding fairer may be undermined.

  • Media

    The 74 Million -- Mathematica Policy Research released a study earlier this week looking at the effects of KIPP pre-K on student achievement. The results, which have gotten attention on The 74 and other outlets, are promising for proponents of pre-K. But there are some additional things you should know.

  • Media

    U.S. News & World Report -- Schools are doing students a disservice by shielding them from an amazing natural phenomenon.

  • Media

    U.S. News & World Report -- Civic and cultural institutions offer valuable learning experiences for children.

  • Media

    The 74 Million -- Thoughtfully creating coherent systems of support that enable all students to graduate from high school prepared to enter college or the workforce requires a wholesale rethinking of the ways in which education and social service agencies interact with one another, with the children in their care, and with families and caregivers.

  • Media

    U.S. News & World Report -- Disparities in learning begin even earlier than you think.

  • Media

    U.S. News & World Report -- There's no single reason people want more choice in education. 

  • Media

    U.S. News & World Report -- Safe spaces reinforce students' worldviews to their educational detriment. 

  • Media

    U.S. News & World Report -- Policymakers won't improve early childhood education by constraining their ideas to the existing system.

  • Media

    New America -- Without consideration of the developmentally critical early years, a school accountability system reflects a limited view of educational quality.

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