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Ideas matter. In addition to our work with clients, Bellwether Education Partners generates and gathers ideas and policy solutions, analyzes ongoing reform efforts, and writes about and discusses education and education reform. We believe that the work we do to improve education for all students benefits from thought leadership, analysis, and thoughtful discourse around emerging ideas, in order to help challenge leaders and leading organizations to think differently and improve, to coordinate efforts where possible, to inform policymakers and improve the political and policy context, and to share successful approaches with the public education field at large.

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The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided more than $100 billion in one-time funds for education—funds designated not just to patch holes in state and local budgets, but also to advance education reform. Based on data and interviews with organizations that worked with states and districts to help them make good use of ARRA funds, this paper identifies key themes and challenges in states' and districts' efforts to use ARRA to support reform, as well as implications for education policy and practice going forward.

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TIME.com -- High school graduation rates are one of education’s perennial bad-news stories.

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TIME.com -- What kind of credentials do you need to run a school district? Especially a really big one? Is a degree in education a better predictor of a superintendent’s success than, say, a track record of turning around distressed companies? These are hot questions in the education world right now.

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TIME.com -- Teacher pensions may not sound like a sexy or even high-profile issue, but keep reading: they’re threatening the fiscal health of many states and could cost you — yes, you — thousands of dollars.

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TIME.com -- A seasoned negotiator who in the past has succeeded in passing education laws, he could hold sway over policymaking in Washington. But in many ways, his views about education matter less than the question of what he can accomplish given the fractious caucus he will be leading.

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TIME.com -- America has spent decades trying different strategies to bring low-income students to good schools. Perhaps it’s time to acknowledge the limitations of those approaches and double-down on the most promising efforts to bring good schools to students who need them.

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TIME.com -- Effective principals can attract and retain good teachers while poor leadership has the opposite effect.

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TIME.com -- The best charter schools significantly and consistently outperform the averages, and they have a lot in common with each other in their ethos and operations.

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TIME.com -- Waiting for ‘Superman’ is a hard-hitting documentary that lays bare many of America’s education problems. But despite all the attention it’s bringing to education, there are still more reasons to bet against reform than for it.

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TIME.com -- If the Facebook founder wants his gift to make a real impact, he’d be wise to study up on all the education grantmaking that precedes him. It offers some sobering cautions and some big lessons. Here are the five biggest.

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