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Aldeman, Chad; Aguirre, Paulina S. Diaz – Bellwether Education Partners, 2017
Years of irresponsible budgeting practices have left the Teachers' Retirement System of Louisiana (TRSL) almost $12 billion in debt. Without significant reforms, Louisiana's pension problems are likely to get worse, with further negative consequences for workers and schools. This report shows that schools participating in the TRSL already must…
Descriptors: Teacher Retirement, Retirement Benefits, Teacher Salaries, State Programs
Kaplan, Marnie; Mead, Sara – Bellwether Education Partners, 2017
Head Start comprises a substantial share of the early childhood workforce. Given this, changes in Head Start workforce policies impact the broader early childhood ecosystem--and changes in the larger ecosystem in turn affect Head Start. This paper seeks to inform efforts to strengthen the early childhood workforce by documenting the current state…
Descriptors: Early Childhood Education, Preschool Teachers, Teaching Skills, Educational Policy
Squire, Juliet; Robson, Kelly – Bellwether Education Partners, 2017
Rural schools make up a considerable portion of Oklahoma's public education system. These schools are an integral part of community life for many rural towns. They are also a critical part of Oklahoma's economy, responsible for training the next generation of thinkers, workers, builders, and leaders. Unfortunately, data suggest that many of…
Descriptors: Rural Schools, Focus Groups, Interviews, Community Surveys
Aldeman, Aldeman; Mitchel, Ashley LiBetti – Bellwether Education Partners, 2016
The single best predictor of who will be a great teacher next year is who was a great teacher this year. Some great teachers are seasoned veterans, while some are new to the field. Experience matters, of course, particularly in the early years of a teaching career, but it's no guarantee of teacher effectiveness. There is a wide variation in…
Descriptors: Teacher Competencies, Teacher Effectiveness, Teaching Experience, Teacher Education
Mead, Sara; Mitchel, Ashley LiBetti – Bellwether Education Partners, 2016
Head Start is a valuable federal program that improves the lives of our nation's most vulnerable children and their families. Research shows that Head Start programs improve children's learning at school entry and have a positive impact on long-term life outcomes. Research also suggests that Head Start could have a stronger impact on children's…
Descriptors: Early Intervention, At Risk Students, School Readiness, Child Development
Aldeman, Chad – Bellwether Education Partners, 2016
Why aren't teacher salaries rising? This puzzle can be explained by three trends eating into teachers' take-home pay: rising health care costs, declining student/teacher ratios, and rising retirement costs. Retirement costs are the most hidden of these three factors. The result is that most teachers are getting the worst of both worlds. Teachers…
Descriptors: Retirement Benefits, Teacher Salaries, Educational Trends, Trend Analysis
Mitchel, Ashley LiBetti; Aldeman, Chad – Bellwether Education Partners, 2016
States, programs, and schools have long focused on the inputs of teacher preparation--the rules for candidates and the preparation programs they attend--because inputs were thought to predict teacher effectiveness, and because they were often the best option available. But in the early 2000s, policymakers began trying to evaluate preparation…
Descriptors: Teacher Education Programs, Outcomes of Education, Accountability, Program Effectiveness
Kan, Leslie; Fuchs, Daniel; Aldeman, Chad – Bellwether Education Partners, 2016
Illinois' pension plans have sent the state on a downward spiral. One out of every four dollars that state taxpayers send to Springfield goes toward pensions, and the vast majority of these contributions go toward paying down large pension debt, not the actual retirement benefits given to state and local workers like teachers. The teacher pension…
Descriptors: Retirement Benefits, Teacher Retirement, Debt (Financial), Educational Policy
Robson, Kelly; Squire, Juliet – Bellwether Education Partners, 2016
To better understand charter leaders' experiences acquiring facilities, the authors conducted a survey of all charter school leaders in the state of Idaho. The leaders of 26 brick-and-mortar charter schools responded, representing 65 percent of all such charter schools in the state. The survey gathered a number of facilities-related data points,…
Descriptors: Charter Schools, Educational Opportunities, Educational Facilities Improvement, Educational Facilities
Mitchel, Ashley LiBetti; King, Melissa Steel – Bellwether Education Partners, 2016
Every year, new teachers collectively spend about $4.8 billion on their training requirements, nearly all of which goes to teacher preparation programs. Unfortunately, it is unclear whether that is money well spent. Despite decades of research and ongoing calls to improve the quality of teacher training, we still do not know how to sculpt an…
Descriptors: Teacher Education Programs, Action Research, Program Improvement, Evidence Based Practice
Hyslop, Anne; Mead, Sara – Bellwether Education Partners, 2015
A small but growing number of schools and districts across the country are experimenting with personalized learning, an innovation that customizes students' experiences to their individual needs and strengths. Through new kinds of environments, technologies, and ways to demonstrate their knowledge, personalized learning aims to meet students where…
Descriptors: Individualized Instruction, Accountability, Summative Evaluation, Academic Standards
Kelly, Andrew P. – Bellwether Education Partners, 2014
The creation of the massive open online course (MOOC), a new form of digital learning, has enthralled some, infuriated others, and changed the conversation about higher education in the United States and abroad. To some, MOOCs herald the dawn of a new era in human capital, one that will mean the end of college as we know it. Enthusiastic observers…
Descriptors: Online Courses, Electronic Learning, Educational Policy, Policy Formation
Mead, Sara – Bellwether Education Partners, 2014
Since Head Start's last reauthorization in 2007, the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees Head Start, has implemented significant reforms that are improving the program. In "Renewing Head Start's Promise: Invest in What Works for Disadvantaged Preschoolers," Sara Mead offers several recommendations to enable…
Descriptors: Early Childhood Education, Federal Programs, Preschool Children, Disadvantaged Youth
Chuong, Carolyn; Mead, Sara – Bellwether Education Partners, 2014
This report is designed to help state and local policymakers identify the policy changes needed to expand access to quality personalized learning in their states and communities, and to give them the tools to make those changes. Each of the 15 policy ideas, or "plays," in this playbook provides background context on the challenges it is…
Descriptors: Educational Policy, Policy Formation, State Policy, Local Government
Schulz, Jeff; Sud, Gunjan; Crowe, Becky – Bellwether Education Partners, 2014
There is a growing belief that students can provide valuable feedback on a teacher's performance in the classroom. Student perception surveys are increasingly seen as a low-cost and reliable tool for gathering data and feedback on the quality of teaching in individual classrooms. However, incorporating student surveys into formal, high-stakes…
Descriptors: Student Surveys, Student Evaluation of Teacher Performance, Data Collection, Teacher Improvement
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