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Bonnie O’Keefe

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Bonnie O’Keefe
Associate Partner
Policy and Evaluation

Background: Bonnie O'Keefe is an associate partner with Bellwether Education Partners in the Policy and Evaluation practice area. Since 2016, Bonnie has worked on a wide range of issues, including state education policies, accountability systems, and early childhood education. Prior to joining Bellwether, Bonnie spent two years on the assessment team at the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education. As PARCC coordinator, Bonnie led assessment policy development, offered training and technical assistance to schools, and served as co-chair of a multi-state working group on test policies and technology. Before that, Bonnie worked for DC Action for Children, a locally focused child advocacy organization, first as an Education Pioneers fellow, then as a policy analyst and senior policy analyst. There, Bonnie authored reports on topics such as child care, early intervention, and school attendance, and coordinated the DC KIDS COUNT project. Prior to her work in education, she served as political programs coordinator for She Should Run and the Women’s Campaign Fund, and interned in the U.S. Senate. Bonnie has a master’s of public policy from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Williams College.

Experience at Bellwether: policy research and analysis, data analysis, surveys, long- and short-form writing

Client segments served: foundations, policy organizations, advocacy groups, intermediaries

Sample clients: Council of Chief State School Officers, McKnight Foundation, Agenda for Children, InspireNOLA 

Why I do this work: I have been very lucky to have access to great educational opportunities throughout my life, starting with my hometown public schools. Too many children and adults cannot say the same thing. My interest in education comes from a social justice perspective, and even when tackling the most technical problems, I center my work on serving students.

Recent Media

Bonnie O'Keefe

Pesidential candidate Sen. Michael Bennet’s leadership as superintendent of Denver Public Schools from 2005 to 2009 was a major turning point in the city’s educational trajectory, marking the beginning of a reform strategy that fundamentally changed the shape of the school system and contributed to notable gains in graduation rates and student achievement.

So how does Bennet view those district reforms now, and how does he propose to translate the lessons from Denver to the national level?