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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
Lewis, Anders; Donovan, Bill – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2017
The purpose of this paper is to take a closer look at the states that have designed strong history standards and note what has made them exceptional so other states might do the same. They include Alabama, California, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, and South Carolina. The report draws on interviews with individuals from each state who sat on…
Descriptors: United States History, History Instruction, State Standards, Advisory Committees
Fraser, Alison L.; Donovan, William – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2017
Historically Catholic college preparatory and career vocational-technical schools have had contrasting approaches to secondary school education. Catholic schools have provided classical liberal-arts education, including religious instruction, with emphasis on the spiritual and intellectual potential of every student and an eye towards higher…
Descriptors: Catholic Schools, Educational History, Career Education, Technical Education
Heuer, William; Donovan, William – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2017
Although many may be surprised at the growth of homeschooling during the past few decades, the real surprise is probably how that growth happened and that it continues. Home school advocates and practitioners have succeeded despite a lack of funding, recruiting efforts, publicity, and grant money from philanthropic billionaires. They have faced…
Descriptors: Home Schooling, School Choice, Educational History, Parent Role
Donovan, William; Thielman, Jeffrey – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2017
A major factor in the overall enrollment decline in elementary and secondary Catholic schools during the past 50 years has been the migration of families from urban parish schools to suburban public education. Nearly 13,000 Catholic schools operated in the early 1960s. By 2016 that number was down to roughly 6,400. The enrollment decline coincided…
Descriptors: Catholic Schools, Religious Education, Models, School Effectiveness
Candal, Cara Stillings – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2017
Despite ample evidence that Massachusetts's charter public schools are among the highest performing schools--charter or traditional--in the country, a 2016 ballot initiative to open more of them failed by a large margin. Rhetoric on both sides of the issue was driven by emotion rather than data, and charter school detractors successfully advanced…
Descriptors: Best Practices, Charter Schools, Evidence Based Practice, School Effectiveness
Corvese, Lauren; Ardon, Ken – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2017
While there are many causes at the root of the academic achievement gap between high- and low-income students, one that is seldom acknowledged is summer learning loss, which disproportionally affects low-income and minority students. With a wide achievement gap across all regions of Massachusetts, private schools in the commonwealth should…
Descriptors: Summer Programs, Enrichment Activities, Costs, Tuition
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