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Kelly Robson

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

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Kelly Robson
Associate Partner
Policy and Thought Leadership

Background: Kelly Robson is an associate partner with Bellwether Education Partners. Since joining the Policy and Thought Leadership 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
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