Evidence-Based Local, State, and Federal Policies
Achieving more equitable outcomes for students requires a deeper understanding of what works, why, and how we can better scale good policies and practices. Bellwether helps stakeholders understand what data matters, what it’s showing, and how to use that knowledge to create better experiences for students.
We’ve spent more than a decade analyzing accountability systems, advising government leaders, supporting advocacy organizations pushing for higher standards and better assessments and working with assessment providers — all the while helping practictioners understand and navigate the broader policy environment. When the federal Every Student Succeeds Act was passed in 2015, Bellwether’s independent review of each state’s plan framed the national conversation on school accountability.
We also do hands-on work building data-grounded systems for continuous improvement and change management in districts and states, including innovative assessments and evidence-based interventions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Accountability frameworks set a baseline for what students should know, but are also an equity tool, creating the same expectations for all students regardless of their ZIP code, wealth, race, or ethnicity. Evidence clearly shows when states leverage uniform standards, assess whether students are meeting those standards, and use that information to improve outcomes, they get better results for students from systemically marginalized backgrounds. In order to function well, standards must be high, the information must be meaningful to parents and educators, and systems must be designed to create the right incentives for schools and educators.
Bellwether’s team includes multiple former state and federal policymakers who bring deep expertise in designing and implementing accountability policy. Our team members have been engaged in the national conversation around standards and accountability for decades; Bellwether was at the forefront of helping states and school systems respond to the Common Core and Race to the Top. In addition to experts in accountability policy, our team brings deep expertise in assessment measurement and design, building evaluation systems to measure impact, capacity building for organizations and foundations, and in operationalizing data-driven change management.
Double Punished: Locked Out of Opportunity
Improving Education Finance Equity for English Learners in the Southeast
Window of Opportunity: How States and Localities Can Use Federal Rescue Plan Dollars to Diversify Their Teacher Workforce
American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: Analysis of Funding for Education, Children, and Families
Partner With Us
We've partnered with a diverse array of equity-focused clients — from large-scale foundations to school districts to nonprofits to mission-driven companies. Let's work together to transform education.