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Learn more about Bellwether’s work by reading our publications, news articles, press releases, and case studies.

  • Publication
    Andrew J. Rotherham
    Ashley LiBetti Mitchel

    The past decade saw unprecedented progress on teacher quality. Policymakers came to embrace two key research-based ideas: teachers are the single most important in-school factor for student achievement, and traditional methods of measuring teacher quality have little to no bearing on actual student learning. ...


    In Genuine Progress, Greater Challenges: A Decade of Teacher Effectiveness Reforms, Andrew J. Rotherham and Ashley LiBetti Mitchel analyze what spurred the past decade of progress in teacher quality policy, today’s status quo, and what corrections and next steps policymakers and philanthropists should take.

  • Publication
    Andy Smarick
    Juliet Squire

    Thomas B. Fordham Institute's Flypaper Blog: When it comes to state education agencies (SEAs), ed-reformers have fallen into a sorry rut. As states have emerged as primary drivers of much-needed changes in K–12 practice and policy, the SEA has become the default agent-of-change for a vast number of initiatives concocted by policymakers in state capitals and Washington alike.

  • Publication
    By Chad Aldeman and Andrew J. Rotherham

    Saving for retirement is a nationwide problem — a recent study found that 92 percent of households do not meet retirement savings targets for their age and income. Yet for most workers, public policies are not the root cause of their lack of savings. For public school teachers, however, poorly structured policies put in place over the past few decades by states and cities can exacerbate their retirement insecurity.

  • Publication
    By Andrew J. Rotherham

    USA Today -- Most non-New Yorkers know only two things about Bill de Blasio, the city’s new progressive mayor: He eats pizza with a knife and fork, and Al Roker attacked him for sending students to school in a snowstorm. But parents should know a third: He's waging a Democrat vs. Democrat battle over education issues that could spill into the 2016 Democratic presidential primary and into your community.

  • Publication
    By Andrew J. Rotherham

    TIME.com -- What does the renewed push for vouchers mean for our education system? That is of course a matter of debate. Proponents and opponents make a lot of overblown claims about what vouchers will or won’t do. But with a number of programs already in force, we actually know quite a bit about how they work. So, if this debate comes to a school system near you, here are five claims every parent should be skeptical about.

  • Publication
    By Andy Smarick

    The nation’s first private school voucher program and first charter school law came into being at virtually the same time. But chartering took off quickly as state after state passed laws of their own, and before long there were thousands of charter schools scattered across the nation. But few public programs for private schools were created in the years after the Milwaukee experience. Of late, tax credit and scholarship programs have become resurgent. So what can advocates of such programs learn from charter schooling’s 20 years of experience and evolution — both its successes and struggles? Three strategies hold the most promise for enabling private school programs to thrive: the development of school networks, new-school incubators, and accountability via authorizers.

  • Publication
    By Andy Smarick

    In “A New Frontier: Utilizing Charter Schooling to Strengthen Rural America,” Andy Smarick examines the state policies that can hinder or foster the growth of rural charter schools and argues for a new approach to charter schooling in rural America—one that’s prudent and respectful of the unique characteristics of rural communities but more open to charter growth than in the past. The report examines statutes and regulations in five states with significant rural populations—Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, and Ohio—and brings to light policies and practices that prevent charters from opening in rural communities, constrain access to human capital, and create significant disparities in funding.

  • Publication
    By J.B. Schramm, Chad Aldeman, Andrew Rotherham, Rachael Brown and Jordan Cross

    As more students have attended and completed higher education, experts have repeatedly predicted this would create an over-abundance of college-educated workers. But the exact opposite has happened. Through economic upturns and downturns, including the recent recession, a college education remains the best insurance policy against shifting labor markets, unemployment, and under-employment.

  • Media
    Teach for America's "Blank Show Radio"

    Bellwether’s Andy Smarick was recently interviewed for the Teach for America weekly podcast “Blank Show Radio” about his book “The Urban School System of the Future.”

  • Publication
    By Andrew J. Rotherham

    TIME.com -- Why our policies for good students really aren't that smart.

  • Media
    Andrew J. Rotherham

    Bellwether Education's Andrew J. Rotherham is one of six education policy experts recently asked to comment on the Common Core Curriculum.

  • Media
    Colleen Walsh, Harvard Staff Writer

    During a discussion Thursday afternoon at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), two former members of the U.S. Marine Corps discussed how their rigorous training and military careers prepared them for their current roles in education, and how those lessons can translate more broadly to the teaching field.

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