August 31, 2022

Bellwether launches Beta by Bellwether, a multi-issue, multi-year endeavor, to tackle systemic inequities in U.S. education

By Bellwether

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Bellwether launches Beta by Bellwether, a multi-issue, multi-year endeavor, to tackle systemic inequities in U.S. education

Aug. 31, 2022 — Today, Bellwether is launching Beta by Bellwether, a multi-issue, multi-year endeavor to uncover, conceptualize, and create solutions in U.S. education. Beta will initially dive into three challenges: building an equitable and customized education for students; expanding postsecondary pathways; and disrupting redlining in education. An initial set of resources focused on an “Assembly-based” approach to customized learning is available today with more policy briefs and resources to follow on this and other issues in the coming months.

“Beta by Bellwether deepens Bellwether’s focus on building the organizations, schools, and systems that can transform education to ensure marginalized young people achieve outcomes that lead to fulfilling lives and flourishing communities,” said Mary K. Wells, co-founder and managing partner of Bellwether. “We’re excited to showcase fresh thinking on the most urgent challenges in education from experts across the sector—and to follow those ideas to solutions.”

Each Beta project identifies structural challenges in American education and invites a diverse panel of Advisory Group experts — policymakers, education leaders, parent advocates, and more — to help think them through. From there, Bellwether promotes ideas and perspectives to the field, sharing solutions with the leaders and organizations best positioned to drive them forward.

“In American education, we often forget that no faction or perspective has all the answers, and truth and solutions often lie between divergent perspectives. Beta by Bellwether will bring together diverse groups of experts to find actionable solutions to the toughest challenges our schools face today,” said Andrew J. Rotherham, co-founder of Bellwether.

Today, in conjunction with the launch of Beta, Bellwether released three policy briefs outlining strategies to build an equitable and customized education for students:

  • Some Assembly Required: How a More Flexible Learning Ecosystem Can Better Serve All Kids and Unlock Innovation;
  • Not an Assembly Line: Current Practices and Emerging Trends of an Assembly-Based Education in K-12; and
  • A History of Public Education and the Assembly of Services.

These briefs kickstart an Assembly-based approach to education where students and families can access a diversity of learning experiences, services, and supports that encourage their well-being; ensure mastery of knowledge and skills; and pursue their interests, talents, and goals. Families with means have disproportionate access to these opportunities through supplemental and out-of-system learning, creating a “shadow inequity” in how, where, and when students learn.

To make Assembly a reality, Bellwether explores issues of accessibility for all students across different and diverse communities; infrastructure, human capital, and policy needs, including funding and costs; and quality, equity, accountability, data, and political roadblocks.

Join the #BetaByBellwether conversation on Twitter and sign up for our Beta newsletter to learn more.


About Beta by Bellwether
Beta by Bellwether is an initiative to jump-start bold solutions to structural problems in the education sector. Beta moves beyond imagining a new sector by bringing together viewpoint- and  experience-diverse teams from across education to create blueprints and tools for leaders around the United States. Our goal is to help build an education system that better serves all young people — particularly those from systemically marginalized communities — and models a new way forward for the sector. For more, visit

About Bellwether
Bellwether is a national nonprofit that exists to transform education to ensure systemically marginalized young people achieve outcomes that lead to fulfilling lives and flourishing communities. Founded in 2010, we work hand in hand with education leaders and organizations to accelerate their impact, inform and influence policy and program design, and share what we learn along the way. For more, visit

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