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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 -- Ivanka Trump's child tax plan spreads subsidies broadly and thinly – and ultimately ineffectively.

  • Media

    WASHINGTON—Today marks the official launch of Promise54, a new, nonprofit talent solutions provider created to support the education field as it works to deliver on the promise of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision.


    Promise54 is led by former Bellwether partners Xiomara Padamsee and Monisha Lozier, who will continue to work with a variety of educational organizations to examine and refine their talent systems, structures, and behaviors.

  • Publication
    Chad Aldeman and Paulina S. Diaz Aguirre

    Years of irresponsible budgeting practices have left the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana (TRSL) almost $12 billion in debt. Without significant reforms, Louisiana’s pension problems are likely to get worse, with further negative consequences for workers and schools.

  • Media

    U.S. News & World Report -- Praising public education on social media doesn't equate with real support.

  • Media

    U.S. News & World Report -- Too often, 3-year-olds fall through the cracks in early childhood education.

  • Media

    The 74 Million --  At a time when our teacher workforce is going through the same aging process as the rest of our country, it’s worth asking why we still have pension plans in place that push out veteran teachers.

  • Media

    U.S. News & World Report -- The president almost never celebrates the U.S., instead griping about perceived ills.

  • Media

    The 74 Million --Rather than trying to get one accountability system to do everything, states should give parents the right tools for their job — supporting their child.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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