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Publications and Media

With permission from Democracy Prep Public School

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Publications & Media

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

  • Media

    U.S. News & World Report -- Organizational restructuring at Teach For America illustrates larger changes underway in the public education landscape.

  • Media

    Education NextOver the last 50 years, thousands of Catholic schools have closed, most in low-income urban neighborhoods. Many of the remaining schools struggle with maintaining enrollment, attracting and retaining top-tier educators, and making financial ends meet.

  • Media

    U.S. News & World Report -- Are charter schools public schools? At least one presidential candidate seems unsure: Sen. Bernie Sanders recently told an Ohio audience, “I believe in public education, and I believe in public charter schools. I do not believe in private – privately controlled charter schools.”

  • Media

    U.S. News & World Report -- Underneath the easy bromides about staying in school, absenteeism is a complicated collision of issues around personal economics, academic and other student needs, and the increasing desire of parents for more customization in schools. As such, it’s broadly illustrative of the larger challenges facing public schools. It’s also an opportunity.

  • Media

    U.S. News & World Report -- Here's an idea you won't likely hear from the 2016 presidential candidates, but probably should: The United States needs a new, cabinet-level federal agency focused on children and families.

  • Media

    U.S. News & World Report -- What we shouldn't do, though, on any issue is pretend there are not consequences to various choices. Bold ambition for impact later or incremental progress now? There are few win-wins and we do kids, especially the most vulnerable, no favors when we wish away the tradeoffs around various choices and strategies.

  • Media

    U.S. News & World Report -- With the recent passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act , states now have the opportunity to replace their No Child Left Behind accountability systems with new accountability systems that include multiple indicators of performance.

  • Media

    U.S. News & World Report -- Bottom line? You'll hear about education this year but it will have little impact on the election and only the most diehard advocates will pretend otherwise. The real action, though, will start after the voting in November and will matter to the education sector and America more than you might think from its treatment in the campaign.

  • Publication
    Leslie Kan, Daniel Fuchs, and Chad Aldeman

    One out of every four dollars that Illinois taxpayers send to Springfield goes toward pensions. The teacher pension system alone makes up over half of the state's pension debt, with a total unfunded liability of $57.9 billion. Legislators have already passed cuts to teacher retirement plans and will need to continue funneling revenue to pay off the debt.

  • Media

    U.S. News & World Report -- In its 25 years of existence, Teach for America has faced various challenges and become a better organization as a result.

  • Publication
    Chad Aldeman and Ashley LiBetti Mitchel

    Schools increasingly rely on new teachers to staff their classrooms. A generation ago, the modal teacher had 15 years teaching experience, meaning that, if you asked teachers how many years they had taught the most likely answer would be 15. Today, the answer would be five years of experience. And the proportion of teachers who are new to the field will increase as the Baby Boom generation retires: Some estimates forecast half the nation’s teachers could retire in the next ten years.

    This demand for new teachers creates some obvious challenges for the education field, but it also means that states have a unique opportunity to leverage their authority over teacher preparation and certification to raise the overall level of teacher quality and effectiveness.

    To that end, Bellwether has produced two new reports:

    * Peering Around the Corner, analyzes 11 states that have made substantial progress in linking teachers to the preparation programs that prepared them. For each state, we review the technical and practical decisions they made — like determining which outcomes to measure and how to define them, identifying the right sample size, and deciding if and how to use the data for accountability. We also take a more general look at the challenges states can expect to face, and the tradeoffs they’ll have to make, as they take on this work.

    * Policymakers are still looking for the right way to identify effective teacher preparation and predict who will be an effective teacher. Nothing tried so far can guarantee effective teachers. In No Guarantees, we recommend an alternative approach that relies on the best available evidence to date: initial teaching effectiveness has promise for predicting future effectiveness.

    Read more ...

  • Media

    U.S. News & World Report -- For decades, policymakers and researchers have debated whether Head Start "works." But that's the wrong question. … [T]he key question is not whether Head Start works, but how policymakers and practitioners can maximize its impact and get the most out of the $8.6 billion the federal government spends on Head Start each year.

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