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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.

Publication -- Here are five things to know about this particularly mysterious aspect of college admissions.

Publication -- Lately it’s become fashionable — especially among the highly credentialed — to question whether it’s really “worth it” to go to college.


Although public education sorely needs innovation, the funding that accompanies it – whether through public agencies, philanthropic sources or private investors – rarely encourages such innovation to flourish. In this paper, education entrepreneur Kim Smith and innovation writer Julie Petersen explore the ways in which the public, private, and nonprofit sectors might steer their capital toward products, services, and approaches that improve educators’ productivity and students’ learning outcomes. By analyzing the way capital markets operate and drawing inspiration from social change efforts in other fields and countries, Smith and Petersen illustrate what a more “innovation-friendly” capital market would feature, such as agreed-upon goals and metrics for success, effective use of research and development (R&D), an emphasis on evidence-based decision making, and diverse sources of investment capital.

Publication -- These two tectonic issues—our rocketing Hispanic population and the inadequate education of Hispanic students—are on a collision course that could either end in disaster or in another story of successful assimilation in America. The stakes are clear: How we meet this challenge will impact our politics, economy, and our society itself.

Publication -- An enormous amount of energy and anxiety is expended in trying to get into college, but the truth is that the admissions process is much more haphazard than people like to think. The good news? In the long run, it’s generally less important too. Here are the five biggest myths about this annual angst-a-thon.

Publication -- A new report being released today will add to the debate about the Knowledge Is Power Program or KIPP schools — a highly influential non-profit network of public schools serving low-income students.

Publication -- Teacher effectiveness matters more to student learning than anything else schools do, and there are substantial differences between teachers.

Publication -- Mark Twain famously cautioned us to take from an experience only the wisdom that is in it and to stop there. That sensible admonition is routinely ignored in our overheated debate over education.

Publication -- The attention to low-graduation rates among some athletic programs should not distract us from the more systemic problem of low graduation rates for college students overall.

Publication -- Cheating in school became education topic No. 1 this week, except this time it wasn’t students cheating on tests — it was adults cheating for them.