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Kaitlin Pennington

By Elizabeth Cryan Photography with permission from Donnell-Kay Foundation at Rocky Mountain Prep school

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Kaitlin Pennington
Senior Analyst
Policy and Thought Leadership

Background: Kaitlin Pennington is a senior analyst with Bellwether Education Partners in the Policy and Thought Leadership practice area. Prior to joining Bellwether in 2015, Kaitlin worked as a policy analyst on the Education Policy team at the Center for American Progress, where she focused on human capital issues, specifically teacher and principal effectiveness. Before that, Kaitlin was a policy analyst at the education policy nonprofit Colorado Succeeds and an Urban Leaders Policy Fellow in the Office of Colorado Senator Mike Johnston. As a Teach For America corps member, Kaitlin taught middle school English and language arts in Washington, D.C. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Kaitlin holds a master’s degree from George Mason University and a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University.

Experience at Bellwether: policy research and analysis, long- and short- form writing, program evaluation, strategic advising, foundation advising

Client segments served: policy organizations, advocacy organizations, state education agencies, foundations, think tanks

Sample Clients: Collaborative for Student Success, College Achieve Public Schools, Commit! Partnership, Discourse Analytics, Foundation for Excellence in Education, McKnight Foundation, PARCC, Robertson Foundation, Stand for Children

Why I do this work: I believe in the power of an equitable education system to eradicate poverty and create a more just society.


Recent Media

Kelly Robson
Kaitlin Pennington
Juliet Squire

Teachers’ unions are a powerful force in local, state, and federal politics, but Janus vs. the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) could change that. At the heart of this case is a key source of union revenue: agency fees.

The deck begins with an overview of the history of public and private sector unions dating back to the early 1900s. It then provides a summary of the history and current status of teachers’ unions specifically: major successes related to collective bargaining, controversy and criticism surrounding their increasing political activities, and their response to the increasing accountability in federal education legislation. We then offer current data and information on the nation’s two largest teachers’ unions, including membership data, financial data, a description of their organizational structure and the services they provide, and an overview of recent activities including teacher strikes and walkouts. We conclude the deck by summarizing the Janus case and its potential impacts on teachers’ unions and offering questions yet to be answered about the future of teachers’ unions post-Janus.

This analysis offers an accurate and objective set of information to those wanting to inform their understanding of this historic case.

cover of Bellwether slide deck