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Publications & Media

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

  • Publication
    Kelly Robson
    Juliet Squire
    Marnie Kaplan

    Business leaders play a critical role in ensuring that our education systems enable young people to gain the skills, knowledge, and experiences they need to be successful in the current and future economy. Business voices can be powerful tools to help shape policy, champion programs, and advocate for greater coordination and alignment among the early childhood, K-12, higher education, and workforce systems. Yet despite the long history of interaction between the education and business sectors, relatively little research has examined how business organizations successfully advocate on behalf of education policy priorities.

    Making Education Everyone’s Business: Three Studies of Successful Education Advocacy seeks to fill this gap. We conducted in-depth case studies of three business advocacy organizations: Colorado Succeeds, Metro Atlanta Chamber, and Washington Roundtable. These case studies include an analysis of each organization’s history, mission, current policy agenda, staffing, and financials, as well as interviews with each organization’s leaders, members, and partners. Three key lessons surfaced through our research, which are important for all organizations considering the potential of the business community to drive change in education. In particular, successful business advocacy organizations:

    1. Tailor their agendas and value propositions to meet specific, local needs
    2. Are strategic in how they leverage staff, external supports, and funding sources
    3. Leverage both collective and individual voices to advance their agendas
  • 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

  • Media

    The Hill -- Thirty years ago today, former president George H.W. Bush convened the nation’s governors in Charlottesville, VA for the nation’s first, and to date only, education summit. At this summit, the governors agreed to six national education goals. These goals have been the foundation for state and national education reform efforts over the last three decades.

    It’s time for a second summit.

  • Media

    Education Next--Despite substantial diversity in the schools’ models and contexts in which they operate, there are three common factors that seem to facilitate rural charter schools’ success.

  • Publication
    Kelly Robson
    Brandon Lewis
    Juliet Squire

    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

  • Media

    Atlanta Journal Consitution -- Looking at Georgia’s student enrollment and test score data, funders need to focus on the communities outside of metro Atlanta if they want to improve education for a lot of high-need kids.

  • Publication
    Kelly Robson
    Jennifer O’Neal Schiess
    Justin Trinidad

    Addressing the needs of students in this region requires deeper understanding and nuanced solutions that respond to the diversity of populations, geographies, urbanicity, and resources at work. "Education in the American South: Historical Context, Current State, and Future Possibilities", a comprehensive slide deck, aims to kick-start this discussion.

    Title image for Bellwether publication

  • Publication
    Kelly Robson
    Juliet Squire
    Lynne Graziano

    "Fairness in Facilities" takes a look at recent district and charter school construction projects in three Idaho communities and finds that charter schools are building facilities at a similar cost per square foot as district schools, but at a much lower cost per seat. Moreover, the facilities funding that public schools have access to is not equal across the sector.
    Title image for Bellwether publication

  • Publication
    Hailly T.N. Korman
    Kelly Robson

  • Publication
    Kelly Robson
    Kaitlin Pennington
    Juliet Squire

    Teachers’ unions are a powerful force in local, state, and federal politics, but Janus vs. the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) could change that. At the heart of this case is a key source of union revenue: agency fees. This analysis offers an accurate and objective set of information to those wanting to inform their understanding of this historic case.
    cover of Bellwether slide deck

  • Publication
    Kelly Robson
    Hailly T.N. Korman

    This report makes the case that the education system can serve as an effective through-line for children and youth experiencing traumatic life experiences by using two key levers for change: continuity of people and continuity of information.

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