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Cara Candal – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2024
In 1993, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts dramatically overhauled its K-12 education system and created a new school finance formula, building an educational accountability structure to ensure every child has access to a high-quality education. The Massachusetts Education Reform Act (MERA) established academic standards in core subjects, mandated…
Descriptors: National Competency Tests, State Legislation, Educational Change, Kindergarten
Robinson, Gerard; Candal, Cara Stillings – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2023
The United States has been cultivating STEM talent for decades with great success, but that robust talent pipeline is threatened by a growing STEM teacher shortage. Left unaddressed, that shortage could curtail employment in STEM professions and the many related careers that increasingly require some degree of scientific and technological…
Descriptors: STEM Education, Teacher Shortage, STEM Careers, Teacher Effectiveness
Candal, Cara Stillings – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2023
In Spring 2022, Pioneer Institute published "The Boston Publics Schools' Road to Receivership," which detailed the findings of the 2019 state-commissioned, third-party report evaluating outcomes and operations in the Boston Public Schools (BPS). The report was scathing, citing years of declining enrollment, low test scores, financial…
Descriptors: Educational Improvement, Elementary Secondary Education, School Districts, Educational Change
Olson, Tom; Hellman, Ariella; Fleming, Russell – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2023
As the most recent reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides to public and private school students and schools wide-ranging academic and educational supports. This paper provides a historical review of: (1) the federal government's role in education; (2) the creation and…
Descriptors: Federal Legislation, Elementary Secondary Education, Educational Legislation, Educational History
Ardon, Kenneth – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2023
In 2008 and 2012, Pioneer Institute published reports documenting declines in enrollment in Massachusetts' public schools. At the time, enrollment had fallen by about 35,000 students over a decade, or roughly 0.5 percent per year, with especially large drops in western Massachusetts and parts of Cape Cod. This paper examines enrollment trends…
Descriptors: Public Schools, Declining Enrollment, Enrollment Trends, COVID-19
Candal, Cara Stillings – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2023
Despite a strong track record of success and parent demand, charter school growth has slowed considerably in recent years in Massachusetts and nationwide. In the Commonwealth's large urban school districts--especially Boston--this lack of growth is attributable to charter school caps that prevent the state from authorizing new charter school…
Descriptors: Charter Schools, School Expansion, Urban Areas, Politics of Education
Candal, Cara Stillings – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2023
Since 2020, the federal government has distributed almost $2 billion to American school districts to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 pandemic school closures. Released in three separate tranches through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund, the Trump and Biden administrations outlined parameters for spending this…
Descriptors: COVID-19, Pandemics, School Closing, Grants
Donovan, William – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2022
This report focuses highlights turnarounds at two Massachusetts schools, Worcester Technical High School and the Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy in Springfield, that were once known for high dropout rates and low graduation rates. The report shows that these schools now excel due to new leadership, community investment, and committed…
Descriptors: School Turnaround, Vocational High Schools, Educational Change, Educational Improvement
Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2022
This toolkit that can empower state leaders to transform their vocational-technical schools for the better. It builds on "Hands-On Achievement," a book detailing the Massachusetts model that Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research published earlier in 2022. The toolkit describes three keys to success, provides a brief history of…
Descriptors: Vocational Education, Educational History, Program Content, Access to Education
Bedrick, Jason – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2022
Over the last quarter-century, tax-credit scholarship (TCS) policies have helped hundreds of thousands of American families provide their children with the learning environment that meets their individual needs. Although less well-known than school vouchers, TCS policies are the most-used form of private school choice. Now available in 23 states,…
Descriptors: Tax Credits, Scholarships, Private Schools, School Choice
Stillings Candal, Cara – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2022
This report summarizes the findings of MA DESE's 2020 review of the Boston Public Schools, highlighting key findings around the teaching and learning, operational, financial, and enrollment challenges the state identified. It also describes why, according to the report, BPS persistently struggles in these areas and how its struggles negatively…
Descriptors: Public Schools, School Administration, School Effectiveness, School Districts
Young, Julie; Donovan, Bill – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2022
After schools closed in March of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students, families and teachers had to shift learning from in-class to online. But the switch to remote learning was hasty and disorganized in many school districts. Families struggled with the technology and coordinating schedules at home, while teachers tried to shift the…
Descriptors: COVID-19, Pandemics, School Closing, Online Courses
Young, Julie; Donovan, William – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2022
Digital learning, the use of computers and the internet to study courses taught in the classroom, is viewed by many educators as a breakthrough to helping those at-risk students stay in school and earn their diplomas. The flexibility afforded by digital learning, with students working on their own time at their own pace, is a way for students to…
Descriptors: Educational Technology, Technology Uses in Education, At Risk Students, Online Courses
Candal, Cara Stillings – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2022
This report finds that Massachusetts provides fewer options for students to be educated outside their assigned school districts than most other states do, and educational savings accounts (ESAs) offer an effective tool for giving students additional opportunities. Author Cara Candal proposes two potential ESA programs for Massachusetts.
Descriptors: Money Management, Banking, Educational Vouchers, School Choice
Randall, David – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2022
This report, intended primarily for civics reformers considering how best to defend and improve traditional American civics education, surveys a selection of different civics offerings, both the traditional and the radical. Surveyed providers include organizations such as the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, We the People, and Hillsdale…
Descriptors: Civics, Citizenship Education, Educational Change, Partnerships in Education
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