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Sullivan, Gregory; Chieppo, Charles; Gass, Jamie – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2019
As state leaders consider needed updates to the Commonwealth's school funding formula, they should remember just how well the approach taken by Tom Birmingham, former Massachusetts state Senate president, and co-author of the 1993 Education Reform Act worked. Beginning in 1993, Massachusetts' SAT scores rose for 13 consecutive years. The state's…
Descriptors: Educational Finance, Educational Trends, Funding Formulas, Budgets
Paxton, Rebekah – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2019
On average, only about 16 percent of annual union dues paid by members in 19 Massachusetts public school districts stayed with local union chapters. The remaining 84 percent of dues revenue went directly to the state (Massachusetts Teachers Association) and national (National Education Association) union affiliates. But what about public higher…
Descriptors: College Faculty, Unions, Union Members, Fees
Candal, Cara Stillings – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2019
In 2010, the Massachusetts Legislature lifted the cap on the number of charter schools that the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) can authorize in low-performing school districts. The "smart cap" requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to rank district performance (based on student outcomes)…
Descriptors: Growth Models, Access to Education, Charter Schools, Public Schools
Sullivan, Gregory W.; Stergios, Jim – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2019
In just the last 18 months, Massachusetts has seen the closure of small private liberal arts colleges Mount Ida and Newbury Colleges. The pressures on these types of institutions include technological disruption, changing student demands, and ever-escalating costs. To address this, the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education (BHE) and Department…
Descriptors: Private Colleges, Governing Boards, Liberal Arts, Risk
Earls, Eamon McCarthy – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2019
Fintech describes new technology aimed at improving and automating the delivery of financial services. The term encompasses a wide variety of finance industry segments, such as crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, payments, data collection, cryptocurrency, credit scoring, cybersecurity for finance, thematic investing, algorithmic asset management,…
Descriptors: Public Colleges, Financial Services, Information Technology, Technological Advancement
Sullivan, Gregory W.; Paxton, Rebekah – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2019
UMass Boston has been a campus in turmoil for the past 20 months. Internal upheaval first became public in January 2017 when the UMass Board of Trustees (BoT) refused to extend Chancellor Keith Motley's contract. In March 2017 the trustees disclosed that the campus was facing a budget deficit of up to $30 million with just three months remaining…
Descriptors: State Universities, Financial Exigency, Urban Universities, Educational Finance
Candal, Cara Stillings; Ardon, Ken – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2019
Massachusetts has one of the highest performing yet slowest growing charter school sectors in the nation. Since the Massachusetts Education Reform Act (MERA) included enabling legislation for charter schools in 1993, the Commonwealth has capped the number of charters that can operate, both statewide and in individual districts. The legislature has…
Descriptors: Charter Schools, Public Schools, Educational Finance, Funding Formulas
Effrem, Karen; Robbins, Jane – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2019
This paper analyzes the history, current practice, and dangers associated with Social-Emotional Learning (SEL). With roots in American progressive education and particularly in the movements for Outcome-Based Education and Self-Esteem, SEL is now pushed onto state and local education systems by the federal government and even international…
Descriptors: Social Development, Emotional Development, Elementary Secondary Education, Student Characteristics
Donovan, William; Wurman, Ze'ev – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2019
This paper looks at the popularity of after-school mathematics by focusing on the Kumon and Russian School of Mathematics models. In 1954, Toru Kumon, a high school math teacher in Japan, designed a series of math worksheets to help improve the test scores of his son Takeshi, a second grader. Toru's goal was to teach Takeshi how to learn…
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, After School Programs, Mathematics Instruction, Teaching Methods
Olson, Thomas; Perla, Stephen; Donovan, Bill; Sentance, Mike – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2018
For awhile thousands of children in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have been denied in fact (de facto) the special education services to which they, according to Federal Civil Rights Law (de jure), are entitled. According to the Massachusetts' Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), private schools are not entitled to federal…
Descriptors: Disabilities, Educational Legislation, Equal Education, Federal Legislation
Sentance, Michael; Chieppo, Charles – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2018
The public education system in Massachusetts enjoys a reputation of being "first" in the nation. This ranking is owed, in full or in part, to the performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) assessments. NAEP is also called "The Nation's Report Card," as it is designed to discern trends in state…
Descriptors: Public Education, National Competency Tests, Educational Quality, State Policy
Paxton, Rebekah; Connaughton, Mary; Emslie, Charlotte – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2018
UMass' flagship Amherst campus has become increasingly prestigious over the last decade and a half. The growing prominence of UMass Amherst has made the school competitive with the nation's most elite public universities. However, the policies that have largely driven the school's standings have controversial implications for Massachusetts…
Descriptors: State Universities, College Admission, Admission Criteria, Out of State Students
Hatch, Roger – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2018
The inter-district school choice law in Massachusetts was passed in 1991. Its two main goals were to provide education options to Massachusetts parents and children, and to spur competition among districts. School choice allows school districts to enroll non-resident pupils from other districts at a tuition cost that starts at $5,000 but averages…
Descriptors: School Choice, School Districts, School Law, Educational Cooperation
Randall, David; Robbins, Jane; Fitzhugh, Will – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2018
Serious history instruction in K-12 U.S. schools has been in decline for decades. History education in Massachusetts has, until now, fared somewhat better than in the nation at large. In 1993 the commonwealth enacted the Massachusetts Education Reform Act--a bipartisan plan to improve education--which mandated core standards and assessments in…
Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education, Academic Standards, History Instruction, State Legislation
Rebarber, Theodor; McCluskey, Neal – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2018
The Common Core curriculum standards represent the culmination of nearly three decades of federally driven centralization of curriculum--including content, pedagogy, and curriculum-based testing--in American K-12 education. Over the course of this period, decisions moved further away from schools and school systems upward toward higher levels of…
Descriptors: Common Core State Standards, School Choice, Educational Change, Educational Policy
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