Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Logo
Office of Planning and Research

For Researchers

The Office of Planning and Research (OPR) is the first point of contact for any external researchers wishing to use DESE data, whether on a contract with the DESE or for their own research purposes.

Public data are readily available from the DESE website. OPR can direct researchers to various sources of publicly available data. For help in understanding these data, please email the Office of Planning and Research .

Confidential, personally identifiable data may also be made available in limited circumstances using the research exemption contained in the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act. However, DESE does not share personally identifiable information with:

  • Research entities that have been hired as evaluators outside of a public bidding process run by DESE
  • Advocacy groups or nonprofit programs, or the research entities that represent them
  • Graduate students

Researchers are encouraged to review DESE's research agenda to see the current topics of interest before inquiring.

Researchers who are interested in obtaining confidential data should email Matt Deninger , Chief Strategy and Research Officer. Please include a 1-page overview of the proposed research that specifies:

  1. the purpose of the research,
  2. any research question(s), and
  3. how this research is relevant to the policies or activities of DESE.

The research team meets the 3rd Thursday of every month to review new proposals and will respond to inquiries after those meetings.

Helpful Guidance

Last Updated: June 18, 2024

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway, Everett, MA 02149

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.