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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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TIME.com -- As for-profits evolve they may just change the entire sector of higher education.

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TIME.com -- Maggie Gyllenhaal’s decision to star in a schmaltzy takedown of teachers unions just might move education reform into the mainstream.

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Education reformers and state policymakers have rushed to enact new teacher evaluation policies. While changes in teacher evaluation are clearly needed, recent efforts have often paid insufficient attention to fundamental tensions in the design, implementation, purposes, and use of teacher evaluations, including trade-offs between local flexibility and centralized control, different purposes and uses of evaluations, and the role that evaluation should play in an evolving system. Ultimately, smart educator evaluation policies must be based in a much more nuanced consideration of what it means to evaluate teachers as professionals than is included in our current debates. By raising and discussing these trade-offs and tensions, this paper seeks to advance the debate on teacher evaluation.

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TIME.com -- A Georgia kindergarten teacher has made more than $1 million selling her lesson plans online. Can U.S schools crowdsource their way to better student performance?

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The Atlantic -- Education policy has long featured two players—the government and teachers unions. But in recent years, a new generation of activists has stepped up to lobby legislators and drive the conversation. A rundown of worthy upstarts.

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The Washington Post -- The Chicago teachers strike, which tentatively ended Friday, thrust teachers unions into the national spotlight this past week. In Chicago and around the country, some see unions as saving public education and others as driving it into the ground. But the reality of how teachers unions operate is more complicated than the rhetoric about them.

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The Diane Rehm Show -- Chicago teachers on strike: How the union’s fight over merit pay and job security highlights a broader national struggle.

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TIME.com -- With city officials and the Chicago teachers’ union at an impasse, both sides should heed Louis Brandeis’ call and start negotiating in the open.

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The Washington Post -- [W]hen Education Secretary Arne Duncan allowed states to set new performance targets earlier this year, Virginia, along with many other states, jumped at the chance. Unfortunately, rather than taking the opportunity to focus more on underserved students, the state took the stunning step of adopting dramatically different school performance targets based on race, ethnicity and income.

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From 2010-2012, more than 20 states passed legislation designed to address educator effectiveness by mandating annual evaluations based in part on student learning and linking evaluation results to key personnel decisions. This report surveys more than 20 states' laws and rates each on the law's strengths and weaknesses in teacher evaluation design requirements, transparency and public reporting of evaluation data, principal autonomy over teacher hiring and placement, and the extent to which the law links teacher evaluation results to key personnel decisions, including tenure, reductions in force, dismissal of underperforming teachers, and retention.

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