Skip to main content

Sara Mead

You are here

Sara Mead
Partner
Policy and Thought Leadership

Background: As a partner with Bellwether Education Partners, Sara Mead directs the organization’s early childhood work and leads teams analyzing policies and advising clients on a variety of early childhood, elementary, and secondary education issues. Her areas of expertise include preschool, Head Start, charter schools, and teacher quality across the P-12 continuum. Since joining Bellwether in 2010, Sara has provided strategic advising support to foundations, advocacy organizations, and early childhood operators. Her work has been featured in media outlets including The Washington Post, The New York Times, Slate, and USA Today, and she is a regular contributor to U.S. News & World Report’s Knowledge Bank vertical. Before joining Bellwether, Sara directed the New America Foundation’s Early Education Initiative. She has also worked for Education Sector, the Progressive Policy Institute, and the U.S. Department of Education. From 2010-2017, Sara served on the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board, which authorizes charter schools in Washington, D.C. Sara currently serves on the board of the National Association for Charter School Authorizers (NACSA). She holds a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Vanderbilt University.

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

Client segments served: foundations, early childhood providers, advocacy organizations, intermediary organizations, charter school authorizers

Sample clients: Stranahan Foundation, New Orleans Early Education Network, Sesame Workshop, National Association of Charter School Authorizers, Teach For America, Walton Family Foundation

Why I do this work: As the daughter, granddaughter, and sister of public school educators, I grew up with a deep appreciation for the importance of public education and the opportunities it has provided to me and my loved ones. Through my work at Bellwether I seek to extend these same opportunities to our nation’s neediest youngsters — particularly in the early years that are such a crucial time in children's cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development. 

Recent Media

Publication
Lynne Graziano
Jason Weeby
Tanya Paperny
Sara Mead

How do you build a continuously improving system of schools? Eight Cities is a new website from Bellwether Education Partners that provides stories from education leaders in eight cities who have moved more students into better schools.

Title image for Bellwether website

These eight multimedia stories combine the voices, portraits, and stories of real leaders, along with compelling data visualizations, to surface actionable and practical lessons for leaders, other cities, and the field. The most important lesson for current and future superintendents, members of boards of education, and state education leaders is that systemic change that benefits all students is possible.

Visit Eight Cities to see the lessons and share the journey of school leaders in Oakland, California; Chicago, Illinois; Denver, Colorado; Washington, D.C.; Newark, New Jersey; New Orleans, Louisiana; New York City, New York; and Camden, New Jersey.