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Kelly Robson

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Kelly Robson
Associate Partner
Policy and Evaluation

Background: Kelly Robson is an associate partner with Bellwether Education Partners. Since joining the Policy and Evaluation team in 2013, Kelly has worked on a variety of issues including public school choice, private school choice, city-level reform efforts, and policies impacting disrupted youth, in particular homeless youth. Her work has been featured in The 74, Philanthropy Magazine, and elsewhere. Prior to joining Bellwether, Kelly taught middle school English and history in Westerville City Schools in Westerville, Ohio and in the District of Columbia Public Schools. Kelly holds a B.A. with honors and a master’s degree in education from The Ohio State University and a doctorate in education policy from George Washington University.

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

Client segments served: foundations, intermediaries, think tanks, human capital organizations

Sample clients: Philanthropy Roundtable, Thomas B. Fordham Institute, BLUUM, Carnegie Foundation

Why I do this work: I went into education because I believe that a quality education is one of the most powerful tools a child can acquire; yet my five years in the classroom revealed firsthand the stark contrast in educational quality and experience that we offer to children in this country. I am passionate about ensuring that all kids have access to a quality education that meets their individual needs and prepares them for a successful future.

Recent Media

Publication
Kelly Robson
Juliet Squire
Marnie Kaplan

Business leaders play a critical role in ensuring that our education systems enable young people to gain the skills, knowledge, and experiences they need to be successful in the current and future economy. Business voices can be powerful tools to help shape policy, champion programs, and advocate for greater coordination and alignment among the early childhood, K-12, higher education, and workforce systems. Yet despite the long history of interaction between the education and business sectors, relatively little research has examined how business organizations successfully advocate on behalf of education policy priorities.

Making Education Everyone’s Business: Three Studies of Successful Education Advocacy seeks to fill this gap. We conducted in-depth case studies of three business advocacy organizations: Colorado Succeeds, Metro Atlanta Chamber, and Washington Roundtable. These case studies include an analysis of each organization’s history, mission, current policy agenda, staffing, and financials, as well as interviews with each organization’s leaders, members, and partners. Three key lessons surfaced through our research, which are important for all organizations considering the potential of the business community to drive change in education. In particular, successful business advocacy organizations:

  1. Tailor their agendas and value propositions to meet specific, local needs
  2. Are strategic in how they leverage staff, external supports, and funding sources
  3. Leverage both collective and individual voices to advance their agendas