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Andrew J. Rotherham

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Andrew J. Rotherham
photo of Andrew Rotherham, partner
Co-Founder and External Relations Leader
Policy and Evaluation
External Relations

Background: Andrew J. Rotherham is a co-founder and External Relations leader at Bellwether, a national nonprofit focused on dramatically improving education and life outcomes for systemically marginalized young people and their communities. Rotherham also works in Bellwether's Policy and Evaluation practice area and serves on the Virginia Board of Education. He occupies a unique place in the U.S. education sector working across silos. He has been appointed to senior policymaking roles by Democrats and Republicans, works at the intersection of research and policy, media, and practice, and is a longtime champion of heterodoxy, empiricism, and pragmatism in education policy.

Rotherham writes the blog and newsletter In addition to Bellwether, he founded or co-founded two other education organizations and served on the boards of several successful education startups. He served at the White House as special assistant to the president for domestic policy during the Clinton administration, as a member of the Virginia Board of Education appointed by then-Gov. Mark Warner and recently by Gov. Glenn Youngkin, as an education columnist for TIME magazine, and as a contributing editor at U.S. News & World Report. He also taught in traditional and experiential settings at the K-12 and college levels.

Rotherham is the author or co-author of more than 450 published articles, book chapters, papers, and op-eds about education policy and politics, and is the author or editor of four books on education policy. He serves on the board of directors for The 74, a national education media organization, and on the international board of directors for Classroom Champions, a Canada-based nonprofit that pairs Olympic and Paralympic athletes with high-poverty classrooms as mentors. Rotherham advises a variety of companies and organizations, including Whiteboard Advisors; Upbeat, a data analytics company focused on teacher engagement and retention; ClearForce, a security and threat prevention company; and several nonprofit organizations.

Outside of his professional work, Rotherham raises tens of thousands of dollars each year to support the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, is an EMT, and he and his wife, a public high school English teacher, host a concert series featuring regional and national musical acts in a former one-room schoolhouse. A father of two daughters, he lives in Virginia.

Why I do this work: Individuals and society thrive when people have choice and self-determination in their lives. A more equitable and effective education system than we have today is integral to that opportunity and to a more inclusive America.

Experience at Bellwether: Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis; Survey Research; Data Collection and Analysis; Analysis; Teacher Evaluation and Development Systems; Grant Development and Implementation; Policy Research and Analysis; Writing; Research; Market Assessment; CMO/Charter School Operators; District Schools; Foundations; Think Tanks; Advocacy Organizations

Client segments served: K-12 Schools; Postsecondary/Higher Education; School Districts; CMO/Charter Schools; State Education Agencies; Government; Foundations and Grantees; Nonprofit Organizations; Policy Organizations; Advocacy Groups; Product and Service Providers

Sample clients: SEAs, LEAs, CMOs, Amplify, Google, “60 Minutes,” New Classrooms, Walton Family Foundation, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, National Indian Education Association

Recent Media

Michelle Croft
Juliet Squire
Alex Spurrier
Andrew J. Rotherham

Parents across the country continue to be concerned about their children’s academic and social-emotional well-being. Some parents are sufficiently satisfied with their children’s school and are content with a return to a pre-pandemic normal. Other parents are sufficiently dissatisfied and have already made a change, whether between schools, to home-schooling, or with supplemental learning opportunities. In between is a third group of parents — those who are frustrated and have not yet made a change, but are looking to policymakers and education leaders for solutions.

New Solutions for Frustrated Parents: How Education Leaders Can Help offers four recommendations for policymakers and education leaders to address the discontent among parents as the 2021-22 school year comes to a close.