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Jennifer O’Neal Schiess

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Jennifer O’Neal Schiess
Partner
Policy and Evaluation

Background: Jennifer O'Neal Schiess is a partner on the Policy and Evaluation team. Since 2014, she has worked with a range of clients, including national and state advocacy organizations, nonprofits, policy think tanks, and foundations. She advises clients on state and national education policy, covering a range of topics. Jennifer has led work on personalized learning, school finance, school transportation, rural education, and governance. Prior to joining Bellwether, she worked with the Texas Legislature for a decade in a non-partisan role, serving as a senior adviser on the public education budget, school finance, and the fiscal and policy implications of a range of other public education issues including standards, assessment, and accountability; educator quality, compensation, and benefits; and charter schools and school choice policy. She also worked in university and governmental relations for Vanderbilt University and taught English in a public high school in Nashville. Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Duke University, a master’s degree in education from Vanderbilt University, and a master’s degree in public policy from Duke University.

Experience at Bellwether: policy and strategy advising, research

Client segments served: policy research and advocacy organizations, think tanks, nonprofits, foundations, policymakers 

Sample clients: Stand for Children, TNTP, Alliance for Excellent Education, the Walton Family Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Why I do this work: I benefited from a high-quality public school experience that prepared me well for my college and career goals, and I believe it is our duty and obligation to ensure that all children have equitable access to the education and support they need to prepare them for success.

Recent Media

Publication
Ashley LiBetti
Lynne Graziano
Jennifer O’Neal Schiess

COVID-19 has altered education as we know it, and no one school has found the perfect approach to distance learning. Every school struggles with the dual priorities of sustaining student learning and ensuring students are safe, fed, and well, all outside of the school building.

However, some schools more quickly adopted promising practices in response to common challenges, offering lessons for other schools seeking to improve their distance learning models.

Promise in the Time of Quarantine: Exploring Schools’ Responses to COVID-19 highlights 12 district and charter schools from across the country:

  • Breakthrough Public Schools (Ohio)
  • Gentry School District (Arkansas)
  • Hamilton Grange Middle School (New York)
  • Impact Public Schools (Washington)
  • Kairos Academies (Missouri)
  • KIPP Columbus High School (Ohio)
  • Nampa School District (Idaho)
  • Rocketship Public Schools (California, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and D.C.)
  • Steel City Academy (Indiana)
  • Summit Sierra High School (Washington)
  • Treasure Valley Classical Academy (Idaho)
  • Uncommon Schools (Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York)