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Office of Planning and Research to Close Proficiency Gaps

ESE Research Update

Research from ESE

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Evaluation of the MassONE Online Learning Platform. WestEd conducted an evaluation of the Massachusetts Online Network for Education (MassONE), a set of web-based tools for communication, collaboration, and curriculum planning, designed to support K-12 standards-based teaching and learning. The evaluators interviewed ESE staff, teachers, district administrators, and technology leaders in order to help define the future direction of Massachusetts' investment in online collaboration and learning tools. Overall, interviewees valued many features of MassONE. However, the landscape of educational technology and e-learning has changed dramatically in the past five years, and interviewees acknowledged the competition from commercial and open-source tools and programs, some of which offer more features than MassONE.

Legislative Reports from ESE

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Behavioral Health and Public Schools Task Force
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Boston Pilot Nutrition Program - Chefs in Schools
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Kindergarten Development Grants
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School-Based Nutrition and Child Hunger Relief Programs

Research on Massachusetts Education Policy

  • Act Out, Get Out? Considering the Impact of School Discipline Practices in Massachusetts. In this policy brief, the Rennie Center examined discipline data from the 2007-2008 school year. The data revealed that disciplinary removal among Massachusetts' students of color and students from low income families was disproportionally high. For example, Black/African American students represented 8 percent of the student population but accounted for 19 percent of the long-term disciplinary removals. Based on their research, the authors proposed that the state should hold districts accountable for the appropriate use of disciplinary removal, require districts to report details on the nature of unassigned offenses, and provide alternative education programs for students suspended and/or expelled.

  • A Revolving Door: Challenges and Solutions to Educating Mobile Students. The Massachusetts' Gateway Cities were the focus of this study conducted by the Rennie Center. In the 2008-2009 school year, 35 percent of Massachusetts' mobile students were enrolled in these 11 cities, with Holyoke, Springfield, Fitchburg, and Lawrence having the highest rates. When asked what kinds of assistance are needed to overcome challenges related to mobility, district and school leaders expressed, among others, the need to improve the in-take and placement process, a more flexible funding system, and mechanisms for obtaining and sharing promising practices.

  • Toward a New Grand Bargaining: Collaborative Approaches to Labor-Management Reform in Massachusetts. In this report, the Boston Foundation suggested a new collective bargaining framework that they believe could improve public education. The new framework includes an expanded use of interest-based bargaining (e.g. problem solving), fixed timetables, joint decision-making, shared responsibility, and a shared vision for educational innovation. In order to implement such a framework, the authors proposed creating a statewide "academy" to train parties in interest-based bargaining, a multi-stakeholder oversight commission to monitor and review progress, and an online Massachusetts Learning Network to share experiences with common issues and innovative labor relations efforts.

New Additions to the ESE Library

Located outside Carrie Conaway's office on the 5th floor

  • Center for American Progress. (2011). Turning Around the Nations Lowest-Performing Schools.
  • Education Resource Strategies. (2011). Restructuring Resources for High-Performing Schools: A Primer for State Policymakers.
  • Education Resource Strategies. (2010). Turnaround Schools: District Strategies for Success and Sustainability.
  • Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy. (2011). A Revolving Door: Challenges and Solutions to Education Mobile Students.
  • The Boston Foundation. (2011). Toward a New Grand Bargain: Collaborative Approaches to Labor-Management Reform in Massachusetts.


Last Updated: December 27, 2011
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