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The Foundation's research contributes to greater understanding among educators, practitioners and policymakers of the change required to reshape our education system.

Revere High School

We support building a knowledge base by funding projects that help provide evidence of student-centered learning's success in achieveing the goal of providing every student with the skills and knowledge they need for the future.

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Personal Opportunity Plans

Carol Miller Lieber

July 2014

Personal Opportunity Plans can help increase school attendance and achievement, graduation rates, and even postsecondary program enrollment and persistence.

Tags: Personalization

Policy Barriers to School Improvement: What's Real and What's Imagined?

Lawrence J. Miller and Jane S. Lee

June 2014

Are policy barriers to school improvement real or imagined?

Tags: Governance & Finance, Policy

Student-Centered Schools Study: Closing the Opportunity Gap

Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE)

June 2014

How can student-centered learning help close the opportunity gap?

Tags: College & Career Readiness, Curriculum & Instruction, Equity

Leadership in Action: What Are Personal Learning Plans?

New England Secondary School Consortium

May 2014

Personal learning plans can bring greater focus, direction, and purpose to the decisions students make about their high school education.

Tags: Curriculum & Instruction, Personalization

The New Opportunity to Lead

Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE) and Brightlines

March 2014

This report offers a vision for education in Massachusetts in the next 20 years.

Tags: Governance & Finance, Policy

Ready for College and Career?

Karin Hess, Brian Gong, and Katie Bayerl

March 2014

What does it really take for today’s students to succeed in college and career?

Tags: 21st Century Skills, College & Career Readiness, Curriculum & Instruction

Leadership in Action: What is Proficiency-Based Grading?

New England Secondary School Consortium

February 2014

Proficiency-based grades incentivize students to work harder and learn more because progress and effort are recognized and rewarded.

Tags: Assessment, Competency-Based Education

Student-Centered Learning: City Arts and Technology High School

Heather Lewis-Charp and Tina Law

January 2014

At City Arts and Technology High School in California, college readiness isn’t just a goal—it’s an expectation.

Tags: College & Career Readiness, Curriculum & Instruction, Equity

Student-Centered Learning: Dozier-Libbey Medical High School

Diane Friedlaender

January 2014

How can student-centered learning help close the opportunity gap?

Tags: College & Career Readiness, Curriculum & Instruction, Equity

Student-Centered Learning: Impact Academy of Arts and Technology

Channa Mae Cook-Harvey

January 2014

In order for students to retain knowledge, they have to apply it.

Tags: College & Career Readiness, Curriculum & Instruction, Equity

Student-Centered Learning: Life Academy of Health and Bioscience

Nickole Richardson and Joe Feldman

January 2014

What does student voice and choice look like?

Tags: College & Career Readiness, Curriculum & Instruction, Equity

College Readiness Meets Global Competence

Katie Bayerl and Eve Goldberg

January 2014

How can a global curriculum help close the achievement gap?

Tags: 21st Century Skills, College & Career Readiness, Curriculum & Instruction, Equity

Gateway Cities Vision for Dynamic Community-Wide Learning Systems

Benjamin Forman, Julianne Viola, and Caroline Koch

November 2013

Massachusetts cities envision community-wide learning systems as the key to successful students, a competent workforce, and a thriving economy.

Education Indicators for Maine 2013

Tanna Clews and Michael E. Dubyak

November 2013

Can all Mainers have a post-secondary degree by 2023?

Tags: College & Career Readiness, Community Voice & Engagement

High Tech High Network: Student-Centered Learning in Action

David Stephen and Eve Goldberg

August 2013

High Tech High is using student-centered approaches to equip students with 21st century skills.

Tags: 21st Century Skills, Competency-Based Assessment, Curriculum & Instruction, Personalization

Weaving Skill Ropes: Using Metaphor to Enhance Understanding of Skills and Learning

Michael Erard

March 2013

How does weaving ropes resemble the process of learning? This report from FrameWorks Institute uses this explanatory metaphor to explore how the public talks about learning and the acquisition of cognitive and emotional skills.

Tags: Community Voice & Engagement, Youth Development

The Promise of Extended Learning Opportunities: New, Powerful, and Personalized Options for High School Students

Nicholas C. Donohue

February 2013

NMEF President & CEO Nicholas C. Donohue describes the potential that expanded learning opportunities can bring to a learning ecosystem.

Tags: Community Voice & Engagement, Learning Time, Personalization, Youth Development

Necessary for Success: Building Mastery of World-Class Skills – A State Policymakers Guide to Competency Education

Susan Patrick and Chris Sturgis

February 2013

A modern education system should center on mastery rather than ticking off hours spent at a desk. This issue brief shares insights into re-engineering the policy and practices of the K-12 system to be more student-centered.

Tags: Competency-Based Education, Governance & Finance, Policy, Teachers & School Leaders

Re-Engineering Information Technology Design Considerations for Competency Education

Liz Glowa and Susan Patrick

February 2013

This brief examines components and elements of effective competency-based information systems.

Tags: Competency-Based Education

Leadership in Action: How Does Proficiency-Based Learning Work?

New England Secondary School Consortium

December 2012

Every year, high schools give out thousands of grades, report cards, and diplomas, but students are still unprepared. Can we do better?

The Learning Edge: Supporting Student Success in a Competency-Based Learning Environment

Laura Shubilla and Chris Sturgis

December 2012

Competency-based education requires a system of supports that meet students’ individual needs as they work toward proficiency.

Tags: Competency-Based Education, Policy

How Media Portray Learning Space and Time

Moira O'Neil, Nathaniel Kendall-Taylor, and Abigail Haydon

December 2012

In this report, researchers dive into how learning space and time is framed in mainstream news outlets.

Tags: Community Voice & Engagement, Governance & Finance, Learning Time, Policy, Technology

More Efficient High Schools in Maine: Emerging Student-Centered Learning Communities

David L. Silvernail and Erika K. Stump

December 2012

This study finds that high-performing and efficient high schools can also be student-centered to enable all learners to obtain the skills, knowledge, and supports necessary to succeed in a 21st century economy.

Getting Down to Dollars and Cents

Larry Miller, Betheny Gross and Monica Ouijdani

November 2012

Does it cost more to implement student-centered learning?

Making Mastery Work

Nora Priest, Antonia Rudenstine and Ephraim Weisstein

November 2012

Best practices from K-12 schools implementing personalized approaches to learning.

Tags: Competency-Based Education

Cognitive Media Analysis of Skills and Learning

Moira O’Neil

November 2012

In this report, researchers dive into how skills and learning are framed in mainstream news outlets.

Tags: Community Voice & Engagement, Learning Time, Youth Development

Cognitive Media Analysis on Assessment

Moira O'Neil, Nathaniel Kendall-Taylor, and Tia Remington-Bell

November 2012

In this report, researchers dive into how assessment is framed in mainstream news outlets.

Tags: Assessment, Community Voice & Engagement, Technology

Mapping the Gaps on Assessment

Eric Lindland, Michael Baran, Moira O'Neil, and Nathaniel Kendall-Taylor

November 2012

Researchers map the gaps between the ways that the public and experts think and talk about assessment.

Tags: Assessment, Community Voice & Engagement, Technology

Mapping the Gaps on Where and When Learning Takes Place

Nathaniel Kendall-Taylor, Eric Lindland, and Michael Baran

November 2012

Researchers map the gaps between the ways that the public and experts understand about the spaces and time where learning takes place.

Tags: Community Voice & Engagement, Curriculum & Instruction, Learning Time

Overarching Media Coverage of Education Issues: A Cognitive Media Analysis

Moira O’Neil

November 2012

In this report, the FrameWorks Institute identifies dominant media frames that cut across education issues.

Tags: Community Voice & Engagement, Governance & Finance, Policy, Youth Development

Leadership in Action: What are Learning Standards?

New England Secondary School Consortium

October 2012

Have you ever wondered what learning standards are, what they are not, how they actually work in schools, and why they matter?

Tags: Assessment, Curriculum & Instruction, Teachers & School Leaders

Education for Life and Work: Developing Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century

James Pellegrino

October 2012

Deeper learning—a process by which students acquire critical thinking, self-management, and communication skills, among other 21st century competencies—is positively tied to future health, education, and work.

Tags: 21st Century Skills, College Readiness, Competency-Based Education

The Art and Science of Designing Competencies

Chris Sturgis

July 2012

Competencies, learning objectives that foster lifelong skills and opportunities for growth, facilitate deeper knowledge and assessment than traditional time-based measurements.

Tags: Competency-Based Education, Teachers & School Leaders

Motivation, Engagement, and Student Voice

Eric Toshalis and Michael J. Nakkula

July 2012

What motivates students to engage in learning? This report finds that the more that educators use student-centered approaches to learning to reinforce student agency, the more likely students are to be engaged.

Tags: Curriculum & Instruction, Student Voice & Agency, Youth Development

Mind, Brain, and Education

Christina Hinton, Kurt W. Fischer, and Catherine Glennon

July 2012

What does brain research tell us about how we learn and how learning, in turn, shapes the architecture of the brain?

Tags: Curriculum & Instruction, Youth Development

Latino/a and Black Students and Mathematics

Rochelle Gutierrez and Sonya E. Irving

July 2012

Many students, particularly underserved students, feel disconnected from mathematics, which is often taught without context or relation to everyday life. This 2012 report reviews research on the scope of mathematics in an effort to broaden understanding of where, when, and for whom math happens and the implications for teaching and learning.

Tags: Curriculum & Instruction, Equity, Personalization

Personalization in Schools

Susan Yonezawa, Larry McClure, and Makeba Jones

July 2012

Student-teacher relationships are at the heart of personalization in schools, and play an important role in learning, especially for underserved students.

Tags: Curriculum & Instruction, Personalization, Youth Development

Literacy Practices for African-American Male Adolescents

Alfred W. Tatum

July 2012

Just 38% of 12th graders performed at or above a proficient level in reading in 2009. Despite efforts to close the achievement gap, African-American boys fare even worse in literacy, and schools should deepen efforts to ensure they develop as readers, people, and citizens.

Tags: Curriculum & Instruction, Equity, Youth Development

Steps Toward Valuing Education

Adam F. Simon, Moira O’Neil, and Nathaniel Kendall-Taylor

May 2012

What effect do reframing tools have on issues such as skills and learning, learning time, and assessment?

Tags: Assessment, Learning Time

Leadership in Action: What are Professional Learning Communities?

New England Secondary School Consortium

April 2012

It turns out that we don’t just need more great teachers—we need strong communities of teachers working together to help all students succeed.

Tags: Curriculum & Instruction, Governance & Finance, Policy, Teachers & School Leaders

Assessing Learning

Heidi Andrade, Kristen Huff, and Georgia Brooke

April 2012

Student-centered assessments should be individualized, motivate and engage students, and focus on learning and growth.

Tags: Assessment, Competency-Based Education, Governance & Finance, Policy

Mapping the Gap on Skills and Learning

Eric Lindland, Nathaniel Kendall-Taylor, Michael Baran, Moira O’Neil, and Adam Simon

April 2012

Researchers map the gaps between the ways that the public and experts think and talk about issues of skills and learning in education.

Tags: Community Voice & Engagement, Teachers & School Leaders, Youth Development

Curricular Opportunities in the Digital Age

David H. Rose and Jenna W. Gravel

March 2012

New digital technologies can be used to design curricula that are flexible enough to adapt to individual differences.

Tags: Digital, Education, Learning, Technology

Changing School District Practices

Ben Levin, Amanda Datnow, and Nathalie Carrier

March 2012

Districts play an important role in education, from connecting communities and schools to managing budgets, making them an equally important player in education reform and the push for student-centered learning.

Teachers at Work: Six Exemplars of Everyday Practice

Barbara Cervone and Kathleen Cushman

March 2012

How do we challenge students to do their best? This report highlights six deeper learning schools where teachers and school practices address this question.

Tags: Curriculum & Instruction, Learning Time, Personalization, Teachers & School Leaders

Quality Performance Assessment: Harnessing the Power of Teacher and Student Learning

Christina Brown and Pascale Mevs

February 2012

Quality performance assessments can provide a deep portrait of student mastery for schools and educators. This 2012 report details examples of schools using performance assessment systems and provides a framework and essential elements for implementation.

Tags: Assessment, Competency-Based Education, Curriculum & Instruction

It Takes a Whole Society: Opening Up the Learning Landscape in the High School Years

Robert Halpern

February 2012

Rethinking the high school experience to engage out-of-school partners can provide more effective and personalized learning experiences for students.

Tags: Community Voice & Engagement, Governance & Finance, Policy, Youth Development

Talking about Skills and Learning: A FrameWorks MessageMemo for the Core Story of Education Project

Susan Nall Bales, Nathaniel Kendall-Taylor, Eric Lindland, Moira O'Neil, Adam Simon

February 2012

What obstacles prevent education reformers from engaging in meaningful public conversations?

Tags: Community Voice & Engagement, Curriculum & Instruction, Youth Development

Cracking the Code: Synchronizing Policy and Practice for Performance-Based Learning

Susan Patrick and Chris Sturgis

July 2011

Just as there are multiple pathways for students to learn, there are multiple pathways for states to create room for innovation in education policy.

Tags: Competency-Based Education, Governance & Finance, Learning Time, Policy

Integrating Technology with Student-Centered Learning

Babette Moeller and Tim Reitzes

July 2011

43% of students feel unprepared to use technology as they look ahead to higher education or work life.

Tags: Curriculum & Instruction, Technology

It's Not a Matter of Time: Highlights from the 2011 Competency-Based Learning Summit

Chris Sturgis, Susan Patrick, and Linda Pittenger

July 2011

This report summarizes the key issues discussed at the March 2011 Competency-Based Learning Summit.

Tags: Competency-Based Education, Curriculum & Instruction, Learning Time

Leadership in Action: Education, Prosperity, and Economic Competitiveness

New England Secondary School Consortium

June 2011

Across countries and time periods, education has been a universal gateway to greater prosperity, a stronger economy, and a better quality of life.

Tags: College & Career Readiness, Governance & Finance, Policy, Youth Development

Roadmap for Next-Generation State Accountability Systems

Council of Chief State School Officers

June 2011

This roadmap presents a vision for next-generation state accountability systems to support college and career readiness for all students.

Tags: College & Career Readiness, Governance & Finance, Policy

Leadership in Action: What are Real-World Learning Experiences?

New England Secondary School Consortium

June 2011

If we want to know what today’s students need to succeed, we should listen to those who will be preparing and employing them after they graduate.

Tags: Assessment, College & Career Readiness

Leadership in Action: What are Personalized Learning Pathways?

New England Secondary School Consortium

May 2011

Internships, technical programs, college courses, hands-on science, accelerated study—a new generation of high schools is redefining the learning experience.

Leadership in Action: What is a Proficiency-Based Diploma?

New England Secondary School Consortium

May 2011

Some students leave high school knowing calculus, while others still struggle with basic math. How can we make sure every student graduates prepared?

Tags: College & Career Readiness, Competency-Based Education, Learning Time

Leadership in Action: What Should a 21st Century High School Look Like?

New England Secondary School Consortium

April 2011

Textbooks, chalkboards, and desks were the hallmarks of 20th century schooling. Today’s best schools are borderless community learning centers.

Tags: 21st Century Skills, College & Career Readiness, Personalization

Leadership in Action: What Can the World’s Best Schools Teach Us?

New England Secondary School Consortium

April 2011

National borders no longer define the knowledge and skills needed for success. Lessons from other countries are helping us more effectively prepare our students.

Tags: Curriculum & Instruction, Governance & Finance, Policy, Teachers & School Leaders

Leadership in Action: How Do Today's Students Learn?

New England Secondary School Consortium

March 2011

How can we use what we know about the way the brain works to inspire and engage students?

Tags: College & Career Readiness, Curriculum & Instruction, Youth Development

Leadership in Action: What Do Today’s Students Need to Know?

New England Secondary School Consortium

March 2011

Every day, the world is growing more complex and demanding. Today’s students need new skills that will equip them for success in the global economy.

Tags: 21st Century Skills, College & Career Readiness, Curriculum & Instruction

Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century

Robert B. Schwartz, Ronald F. Ferguson, and William C. Symonds

February 2011

Roughly half of all young Americans arrive in their mid-twenties without the skills or labor market credentials essential for success in today’s increasing demanding economy.

Tags: College & Career Readiness, Equity

Securing the Dream

Maria Idali Torres, et. al.

January 2011

This collection of reports tells the story of the continuing growth of the Latino population in Massachusetts, and offers policy recommendations aimed at improving educational opportunities and outcomes for this population.

Tags: Equity, Governance & Finance, Policy

The Strengths and Challenges of Community Organizing as an Education Reform Strategy: What the Research Says

Michelle Renee and Sara McAlister

January 2011

Community organizing for education reform has the potential to create equitable changes in schools and districts.

Tags: Community Voice & Engagement

When Success is the Only Option: Designing Competency-Based Pathways for Next Generation Learning

Chris Sturgis and Susan Patrick

November 2010

Competency-based education has the potential to re-engineer education systems so that failure is no longer an option for students.

Tags: Competency-Based Education, Governance & Finance, Policy

A New Era of Education Reform: Preparing All Students for Success in College, Career and Life

Jill Norton, Lisa Famularo, Michael Bennett, and Ivy Washington

October 2010

How are school and district leaders supporting the integration of 21st century skills into public education?

Tags: 21st Century Skills, College & Career Readiness

Massachusetts' Forgotten Middle Skills Jobs

Michelle Wilczynski

July 2010

Middle-skills jobs—those that require more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree—are critical to the state’s economic growth.

Tags: Governance & Finance, Policy

Disconnected Young Adults in New England

Ephraim Weisstein and Flora Traub

June 2010

Too many young adults, particularly those from ethnic minorities and lower socioeconomic groups, are leaving high school without the skills necessary to succeed in post-secondary education and the emerging workforce.

Tags: College & Career Readiness, Equity, Policy

Ready for the Future: The Role of Performance Assessments in Shaping Graduates' Academic, Professional, and Personal Lives

Laurie Gagnon

June 2010

How can performance assessments help high school students prepare for success in college and beyond? Through a series of interviews with Boston public school graduates, this study analyzes how performance assessment systems prepared students for future academic, professional, and personal endeavors.

Tags: Assessment, College & Career Readiness

Including Performance Assessments in Accountability Systems

Rosann Tung

January 2010

Performance assessments, often used for individual student evaluation, are effective measurements, but rarely incorporated into accountability systems at the district and state levels.

Tags: Assessment, Finance & Governance

Meaningful Linkages between Summer Programs, Schools, and Community Partners

B. McLaughlin and T.L. Phillips

November 2009

What do effective summer learning partnerships look like? This report offers guidance and examples for schools and communities looking to develop and manage successful summer learning partnerships.

Tags: Community Voice & Engagement, Learning Time, Youth Development

Beyond the School Yard: Pre-K Collaborations with Community-Based Partners

Albert Wat and Chrisanne Gayl

July 2009

Pre-K is proven to improve educational outcomes, but not all students have access to high-quality programs.

Tags: Community Voice & Engagement, Equity, Governance & Finance, Policy

Many Sizes Fit All

April 2009

Tags: multiple, past, pathways, work

Building Multiple Pathways: Approaches, Relevant Programs and Implementation Considerations

Ephraim Weisstein and Dr. David Jacobson

April 2009

To increase the number of young people who gain the credentials necessary to succeed in the 21st century, we need to establish “multiple pathways” for learners that lead to a variety of high-quality postsecondary options.

Tags: College & Career Readiness, Equity, Finance & Governance, Policy, Youth Development

What It Takes to Succeed in the 21st Century—and How New Englanders Are Faring

Jobs for the Future

October 2008

As New England’s population changes, the region must rework its policies and practices to meet the increasingly demanding expectations of today’s economy for underserved learners.

Tags: College & Career Readiness, Equity, Governance & Finance, Policy

The Learning Season: The Untapped Power of Summer to Advance Student Achievement

Beth M. Miller

June 2007

Students from different socioeconomic backgrounds learn at the same rate, but without access to quality summer learning opportunities, low-income students often fall behind their peers.

Tags: Community Voice & Engagement, Equity, Learning Time

Adults Must Be College Ready Too

Blenda J. Wilson

December 2006

Although “college-readiness” is usually associated with teenagers, adult learners often struggle with this issue. This article reflects on the difficulties and successes of adult learners who participated in adult basic education (ABE)-to-college programs.

Tags: College & Career Readiness

New England 2020: A Forecast of Educational Attainment and Its Implications for the Workforce of New England States

Stephen P. Coelen and Joseph B. Berger

June 2006

New England’s changing demographics and varying levels of educational attainment demand support for and improvement of the region’s higher education institutions.

Tags: College & Career Readiness, Equity, Finance & Governance, Policy

New England After 3 PM

The Afterschool Alliance

May 2006

Afterschool programs provide students with opportunities for learning and exploration, but too few children have access to quality, well-funded programs. This 2006 report highlights the need for afterschool programs and the work being done in the New England states to increase availability and public demand.

Tags: Community Voice & Engagement, Learning Time, Youth Development

Transfer Access to Elite Colleges and Universities in the United States:

Alicia C. Dowd and Glenn Gabbard

April 2006

Community colleges can offer low-income students a path to higher education, but transferring to elite, four-year schools often proves to be more challenging than earning an associate’s degree.

Tags: College and Career Readiness, Equity, Governance & Finance, Policy

State Merit Scholarship Programs and Racial Inequity

Don Heller and Patricia Marin

October 2004

For minority and low-income students, unmet financial need—the gap between the costs of attending college and the resources available to students—presents a major barrier to attending college.

Tags: College & Career Readiness, Equity, Governance & Finance, Policy

Critical Hours: Afterschool Programs and Educational Success

Beth Miller

June 2003

What role can afterschool programs play in helping students navigate early adolescence to successful adulthood? This report explores the links between out-of-school time and educational success for middle school students.

Tags: Equity, Learning Time, Youth Development

Diversity Among Equals

Stephen Coelen, Patricia Crosson and Joseph Berger

October 2001

Higher education institutions in New England have made significant investments in equitable access using affirmative action strategies to increase minority student representation—but significant policy barriers continue to impede educational access for low-income and minority populations in the region.

Tags: College & Career Readiness, Equity, Governance & Finance, Policy

Getting Through College: Voices of Low-Income and Minority Students in New England

Colleen O'Brien and Jessica Shedd

February 2001

Financial, academic, and social support are key factors in supporting low-income and minority students to succeed in postsecondary institutions.

Tags: College & Career Readiness, Equity, Governance & Finance, Policy