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Publications & Media

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

  • Media

    The 74 Million -- Schools should stay open over the summer this year, for the good of students, teachers & schools themselves. If there ever was a year to hit pause on a full-throated summer, this is it. It might be what we have to do to live up to the promise we made to students what seems like an eternity ago — last fall, when this school year started.

  • Media

    Education Post: Too often, education leaders think of schools and programs serving students who have gaps in their education, who are early parents, who are incarcerated or recently have been, who need to work while they finish school, or who don’t fit in our mostly cookie-cutter schools as a distraction or a drag on performance. This excludes millions of kids from the education reform conversation.

  • Publication
    Hailly T.N. Korman
    Max Marchitello

    Each year thousands of youth in America are uprooted from their schools and communities and sent to a juvenile justice detention center. The majority of these confined youth are there for nonviolent offenses, including technical violations, such as failing to complete treatment or violating probation. Even youth awaiting foster care placement can be placed in a detention center. Over the course of a year, we estimate between 90,000 and 170,000 youth spend at least one day in a short-term detention center, and over 40% are detained for more than a month.

    While in these facilities, young people are entitled to the same educational opportunities that they would have in the outside world. However, there is little research or data about this population. In “Educating Youth in Short-Term Detention,” we found that youth’s educational experiences in these facilities often compound, rather than alleviate, the challenges they face.

  • Media

    Traditional teacher pension plans really only work well for about one-fifth of teachers. Jay Mathews, columnist at The Washington Post, highlights Bellwether's work on making pensions more equitable in his latest column. Read it here.

  • Publication
    Chad Aldeman

    In response to financial pressures, the New York State Assembly has created new, less-generous retirement plans for teachers and other educators. Employees are assigned to a benefit tier depending on their hire date. There are now six tiers, and each one offers workers less-generous benefits than the prior version.

    How far have the benefits fallen, and does the current tier structure provide sufficient retirement benefits?

  • Publication

    Title image for Bellwether 2020 Annual Report

    As we reflect on our impact during the last decade, we're proud to have worked with the most diverse cross-section of organizations in the field, attracted or developed deep expertise on a range of issues, and built a talented team to deliver the nuanced and stress-tested results we're known for.

    In Bellwether's 2019 annual report, we celebrate some of the projects, publications, and commentary that best highlight our past year — and our decade of diverse, nuanced takes on education's thorniest questions.

    Title image for Bellwether 2020 Annual Report

    Learn more about our impact in 2019 and over the last 10 years at 2019.bellwethereducation.org.

  • Publication
    Kelly Robson
    Jennifer O’Neal Schiess
    Phillip Burgoyne-Allen

    "Staking Out the Middle Ground: Policy Design for Autonomous Schools" provides state and local leaders with key insights into the various contours of autonomous school policies. Two research briefs drawing from the full report provide specific summaries of Recommendations for State Leaders and Recommendations for Local Leaders. The report also surfaces lessons and recommendations from in-depth Profiles of Autonomous School Policies in Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, and Massachusetts.

    Cover image for Bellwether publication Staking Out the Middle Ground: Policy Design for Autonomous Schools February 2020

  • Publication
    Kelly Robson
    Phillip Burgoyne-Allen
    Juliet Squire
    Jeff Schulz

    "Wide-Open Spaces: Schooling in Rural America Today” provides education policymakers with a factbase on America’s rural schools and communities: the economic and academic challenges they face, their unique assets, and opportunities for improvement.

    Title image for Bellwether publication

  • Publication
    Chad Aldeman

    In "Social Security, Teacher Pensions, and the ‘Qualified’ Retirement Plan Test," Aldeman outlines the history of Social Security benefits in the public sector, describes the current rule and how it is intended to work, and then shows its limitations.

    Title image for Bellwether publication

  • Publication
    Mary K. Wells
    Tresha Francis Ward

    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
    Bonnie O’Keefe
    Brandon Lewis
    Jennifer O’Neal Schiess
    Jason Weeby

    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
    Bonnie O’Keefe
    Brandon Lewis
    Jennifer O’Neal Schiess

    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

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