Research and Reports

New Report!  NYC Charter Schools Report coverBoston Municipal Research Bureau report on “The True Cost of Boston’s Charter Schools.”

Today we know how to create effective schools, thanks to groundbreaking reports by the nation’s top education researchers.

Informing the Debate: Comparing Boston’s Charter, Pilot and Traditional Schools set a new standard in the search for effective schools. Now its rigorously controlled research methodology, designed by a team led by Thomas Kane, Professor of Education and Economics at Harvard Graduate School of Education, has been duplicated independently in New York City, confirming the power of charter schools to close the achievement gap for minority students in urban schools.

The Path Forward 
The Path Forward: School Autonomy and Its Implications for the Future of Boston’s Public Schools cover
 


 Autonomous schools within the Boston Public Schools are finding popular and academic success, but substantial hurdles must be overcome for the district to establish a fully developed system of successful schools, according to this report. 
   
 
Charter School Demand and Effectiveness:
A Boston Update
 
Charter School Effectiveness 13 cover   
   

A new report by researchers from the School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative at M.I.T. has found that Boston charter school students continue to significantly outperform Boston Public Schools students across the middle and high school grades on the MCAS.
   
 
Two recent reports assess the impact of
Race to the Top in Massacusetts

Mass RTTT Year 1 review cover Race to the Top
Massachusetts
Year 2 Report
 
Massachusetts
Department of Education January 2013
Massachusetts Report
Year 2: School Year
2011 – 2012

 U.S. Department of Education
February 1, 2013
Mass RTTT Year 2 review cover

 

  Boston Opportunity Agenda website
  Visit the Boston Opportunity Agenda website 
   
  Read about What’s Working to Close the Achievement Gap in Massachusetts:

What’s Working Overview

What’s Working: Level 3 Schools

What’s Working: Charter Schools

What’s Working: Turnaround Schools

What’s Working: Horace Mann Charters

Read Charter School Myths and Realities
 
  Read Stanford University's report from February 28, 2013 on the remarkable achievements of Massachusetts charter schools. 
   
  Education Research from
The Boston Indicators Project

Four-year graduation rates by school

 

 

Forum Videos

The Path Forward: School Autonomy and Its Implications for the Future of Boston's Public Schools

Greenhouse Schools in Boston: School Leadership Practices Across a High-Performing Charter Sector

Charter School Demand and Effectiveness:
A Boston Update
 







BOA 2nd Report Card 200 cover


   

UNDERSTANDING BOSTON EDUCATION REPORTS

     
Greenhouse Schools cover  

February 24, 2015

Greenhouse Schools in Boston: School Leadership Practices Across a High-Performing Charter Sector

What's happening in Boston's charter schools to make them so effective?  A new report from TNTP (formerly The New Teacher Project), examines a set of specific school leadership practices that cultivate environments that promote quality instruction.  This report discusses these practices and how more schools can adopt them.

     
Boston Opportunity Agenda 4th Report Card cover     January 16, 2015

Boston Opportunity Agenda 4th Annual Report Card

This report card marks a new chapter for the Boston Opportunity Agenda. For the first time, we are reporting student outcomes across Boston Public Schools and Catholic and charter schools. This provides a comprehensive baseline view of the education pipeline for the city’s K-12 students.
     
The Path Forward: School Autonomy and Its Implications for the Future of Boston’s Public Schools cover   June 3, 2014

The Path Forward: School Autonomy and Its Implications for the Future of Boston’s Public Schools

Autonomous schools within the Boston Public Schools are finding popular and academic success, but substantial hurdles must be overcome for the district to establish a fully developed system of successful schools, according to this report.
     
Taking Stock cover   March 20, 2014

Taking Stock: Five Years of Structural Change in Boston’s Public Schools

A new Boston Indicators Project special report on the growth of charter schools and other autonomous public schools in Boston and the impact that school autonomy has had on learning, student performance and the structures of the Boston Public Schools.
     
 Boston Opportunity Agenda Report Card cover 200   November 14, 2013

Boston Opportunity Agenda Report Card 2013

Boston students are making progress on key education goals, but larger action is needed, especially at the beginning of the “education pipeline,” according to the Third Annual Boston Opportunity Agenda Report Card.
     
Charter School Effectiveness 13 cover    October 24, 2013

Charter School Demand and Effectiveness: A Boston Update

This report by researchers from the School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative at M.I.T. has found that Boston charter school students continue to significantly outperform Boston Public Schools students across the middle and high school grades on the MCAS.
     
Charters and College Readiness cover    May 22, 2013

Charter Schools and the Road to College Readiness: The Effects on College Preparation, Attendance and Choice

This study from researchers from M.I.T. shows that  students at six charter high schools in Boston outperformed their peers in traditional public high schools between 2002 and 2009, scoring higher on the MCAS and SAT exams, taking more Advanced Placement Courses, and qualifying in greater numbers for merit-based Adams scholarships to Massachusetts universities and colleges.
     
Stepping Up cover    April 11, 2013

Stepping Up for Community Colleges: Building on the Momentum to Improve Student Success in Massachusetts 

Massachusetts community colleges can celebrate extensive progress over the past 18 months, but key opportunities for strengthening the community college system and better serving students remain if the Commonwealth is to meet its goal of creating a leading system, according to a new report commissioned by the Boston Foundation and released today.
     
 College Completion 13 cover  

January 17, 2013

 

Getting Closer to the Finish Line: The College Enrollment and Completion Experiences of Graduates of the Boston Public Schools

 

This report focuses on the college completion rates of Boston Public Schools graduates and the potential impact of a college completion initiative called Success Boston. The report finds that over the last decade, BPS graduates are enrolling in, persisting in and completing college at higher rates—and that we are on track to meet the ambitious goals of Success Boston.

 

     
BOA 2nd Report Card cover  

November 07, 2012

 

Boston Opportunity Agenda Second Annual Report Card

 

The second annual report card from the Boston Opportunity Agenda finds continued progress across Boston’s education pipeline in 2011/2012, including substantial gains in 10th grade MCAS scores, but still finds low scores in 3rd-grade reading.

 

     
Toward Closing the Achievement Gap: A One-Year Progress Report on Education Reform in Massachusetts
 

December 07, 2011

 

Toward Closing the Achievement Gap: A One-Year Progress Report on Education Reform in Massachusetts

 

Less than 2 years after Massachusetts passed sweeping reform legislation that led to a $250 million ‘Race to the Top’ award from the federal government, an examination of the state’s reform and innovation finds many schools benefitting from the new rules and tools created in the reform legislation in the city of Boston and other districts, but cautions that systemic efforts must be made to broaden and deepen the pace of reform. 

 

     
 Year 1 RTTT in Mass cover  

November 2011

 

Year 1: Race to the Top in Massachusetts

 

One year ago, Massachusetts celebrated a $250 million award as the highest-ranked state in the nation’s Race to the Top education grant competition. Race to the Top provides a unique opportunity to institute systemic changes rather than the incremental advances typical of many state-level initiatives. This is our chance to think beyond what can be done to what must be done to ensure a high quality education for every child. This report examines the first year of implementation.

 

     
The Case for Community Colleges: Aligning Higher Education and Workforce Needs in Massachusetts
 
November 18, 2011
 
The Case for Community Colleges: Aligning Higher Education and Workforce Needs in Massachusetts

This report offers a comprehensive set of recommendations for strategically revamping the Massachusetts community college system to better align it with the needs of a 21st-century workforce. The recommendations emerged from research that illustrates the challenges facing the Massachusetts community college system and the features of effective community college systems in other states.
     
 

June 08, 2011

 

How Students Are Making It: Perspectives on Getting Through College from Recent Graduates of the Boston Public Schools

 

Despite our region's higher than average demand for workers with post secondary degrees, college completion rates for Boston Public Schools graduates are low.  This report that reflects the experiences of Boston Public Schools graduates in college – in their own words – and explores the similarities and differences among those who are struggling and those who are making it.

 

     
Out of the Debate and Into the Schools: Full Report and Evidence  

May 12, 2010

 

Out of the Debate and Into the Schools

 

This new study uses the findings from 2009 report Informing the Debate as a launching point to delve deeper into the issues that may explain differences in student outcomes – thus moving us out of the debate and into the schools.

 

     
Who’s Making It: The Academic Achievement of Recent Boston Public School Graduates in the Early College Years
 
April 16, 2009
 
Who’s Making It: The Academic Achievement of Recent Boston Public School Graduates in the Early College Years

This report takes an in-depth look at the academic experiences of recent Boston Public School graduates during their first two years of college. It finds that students with more rigorous high school preparation had much higher rates of persistence, progress and performance.
     
The Arts Advantage: Expanding Arts Education in the Boston Public Schools
 

February 12, 2009

 

The Arts Advantage: Expanding Arts Education in the Boston Public Schools

 

This report contains new research about the state of arts education in Boston. It provides a detailed picture of current offerings in the schools as well as a set of recommendations advanced by School Superintendent Carol R. Johnson.

 

     
Informing the Debate: Comparing Boston’s Charter, Pilot and Traditional Schools
 

January 6, 2009

 

Informing the Debate: Comparing Boston’s Charter, Pilot and Traditional Schools

 

The Boston Foundation and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released this groundbreaking report that, for the first time, effectively compares student performance at charter and pilot schools against a similar group of students attending traditional public schools in Boston. The report uses an innovative research design based on school lotteries that made possible a direct comparison of charter and pilot school students with their peers, for the first time.

 

     
Boston’s Education Pipeline: A Report Card  
December 11, 2008
 
Boston’s Education Pipeline: A Report Card

This report for the first time examines in data-rich detail the entire arc of the educational experience in the city from early childhood through college or post-secondary training and on to the regional workforce. In addition to an unprecedented array of information provided for every school in the district system, the report presents a wealth of contextual information about factors that can inform the ability of Boston school children to make full and best use of what has been described as the best large urban school system in the country.
     
Getting to the Finish Line: College Enrollment and Graduation
 
November 14, 2008

Getting to the Finish Line: College Enrollment and Graduation

This report provides a detailed outline of the story of the Boston Public Schools (BPS) Class of 2000 as seen through the lens of college enrollment, graduation and continuing enrollment. This is a study of student experiences and tells us how many students from the BPS Class of 2000 enrolled in two and four year colleges over the seven years following high school graduation.
     
Preparing Our Kids for Education, Work and Life: Youth Aging Out of DSS Care
 

June 5, 2008

 

Preparing Our Kids for Education, Work and Life: Youth Aging Out of DSS Care

 

Children and teens in the Massachusetts foster care system are among the most vulnerable residents in our communities, but if they are given the supports they need while in foster care — and while ‘aging out’ of care — they can lead positive, fulfilling lives and become tremendous community assets.

 

     
A Four-Year Study of Boston’s Pilot High Schools
 

November 9, 2007

 

Strong Results, High Demand: A Four-Year Study of Boston’s Pilot High Schools

 

New research from the Center for Collaborative Education finds that students in Boston’s Pilot high schools outperform students from other non-exam Boston Public Schools on every standard measure of engagement and performance. This level of achievement holds for every racial, economic, and academic subgroup examined.

 

     
Massachusetts Community Colleges
 

February 27, 2007

 

Massachusetts Community Colleges

This report highlights the important role strong community colleges can contribute to an effective workforce development strategy and to a higher education system that reflects the needs and realities of the new global economy. It also details areas in which community colleges in Massachusetts—with a particular focus on Greater Boston—lag behind national standards in terms of student performance and state support, and identifies best practices that could be used to strengthen these institutions.

     
Opening Doors for Boston’s Children: Lessons Learned in Expanding School-Based After-School Programs Executive Summary
 
October 1, 2004
 

Opening Doors for Boston’s Children: Lessons Learned in Expanding School-Based After-School Programs Executive Summary

 

This mid-term report examines what the Boston After-School for All Partnership has accomplished to date and what they have learned about the opportunities and challenges of expansion at school-based after-school programs. 

 

     
Coming of Age in Boston: Out-of-School Time Opportunities for Teens  

April 1, 2004 

 

Coming of Age in Boston: Out-of-School Time Opportunities for Teens

The time has come to focus the same attention on the needs of Boston's teens. Coming of Age in Boston: Out-of-School Time Opportunities for Teens makes a compelling case for turning our attention to providing teens not only with something to do with their free time, but with the support they need to graduate from high school and launch themselves into constructive adult lives.




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