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Massachusetts Collaboratives: Making the Most of Education Dollars

BY M. CRAIG STANLEY, ED.D. Foreword by E. Robert Stephens Institute for Regional Studies in Education Educational service agencies (ESAs)—known as “educational collaboratives” in Massachusetts—have proven very efficient at providing high-quality education support services. By assuming many of the routine support functions required to run a public education system, educational service agencies free up the Commonwealth’s Department of Education to provide leadership and Massachusetts school districts to provide quality student instruction. Studies that compare the cost of the services provided by regional agencies to the cost of services provided by individual school districts demonstrate that regional ESAs produce substantial savings. Massachusetts Collaboratives: Making the Most of Education Dollars

Parents, Choice, and Some Foundations For Education Reform in Massachusetts

Author: William G. Howell, Harvard University Drawing from a telephone survey of 1,000 public school parents in the ten largest school districts in Massachusetts, this paper critically examines public school parents’ knowledge of and interest in alternative schooling options. From the analysis, three basic findings emerge: First, while parents claim to be familiar with NCLB, the vast majority of those who in fact qualify for NCLB’s choice provisions do not know that their child’s school is on the state’s list of underperforming schools. Second, parents with children in underperforming schools are especially interested in pursuing alterna- tive schooling options; this interest, however, does not derive from pointed dissatisfac- tion with their current schools, and it is regularly directed toward options […]

Parents, Choice, and Some Foundations for Education Reform in Massachusetts

Author: William G. Howell, Harvard University Drawing from a telephone survey of 1,000 public school parents in the ten largest school districts in Massachusetts, this paper critically examines public school parents’ knowledge of and interest in alternative schooling options. From the analysis, three basic findings emerge: First, while parents claim to be familiar with NCLB, the vast majority of those who in fact qualify for NCLB’s choice provisions do not know that their child’s school is on the state’s list of underperforming schools. Second, parents with children in underperforming schools are especially interested in pursuing alterna- tive schooling options; this interest, however, does not derive from pointed dissatisfac- tion with their current schools, and it is regularly directed toward options […]

A ‘No Excuses’ Look at Education Reform

Pioneer Institute held a forum December 19, 2003, with the authors of No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning. Abigail Thernstrom is a former member of Pioneer’s Board of Academic Advisors and Stephan Thernstrom is a professor of government at Harvard University. Arguing that the poor academic performance (on average) of black and Hispanic students is a civil rights crisis, the Thernstroms call for the replication of charter and other innovative schools “with great leaders and great teachers who have high academic and behavioral standards.” Two respondents, Brett Peiser, founder and executive director of South Boston Harbor Academy Charter School, and Michael Contompasis, chief operating officer of the Boston Public Schools, gave their perspectives. The remarks of each speaker are excerpted below.

Getting Home: Overcoming Barriers to Housing in Greater Boston

Author: Charles C. Euchner, Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. With Elizabeth G. Frieze, Harvard University Affordable housing is important to the vitality of Massachusetts communities, but the state needs to encourage the marketplace to create a broader range of housing types. The first step is to identify the factors that raise the cost and reduce the supply of housing in the Commonwealth. Both state and local governments have a legitimate interest in regulating certain aspects of housing development to assure reasonable safety and health standards and allow for the overall well-being of the community and its character. Some regulations are clearly necessary. Government support of affordable housing may also require grants, tax […]