Our Research

Our independent research explores a variety of cutting-edge issues facing public education to guide discussion and decision-making around education policy and practice.

June 2017
This brief explores policies to improve college graduation rates for opportunity youth and first-generation college students, looking at how colleges, community-based organizations, and the Commonwealth can systemize supports for these students.
January 2017
This annual status report looks at 25 state-level indicators of school performance to illuminate areas of success and areas for continued improvement across the education pipeline. This year’s report also features a guide urging a shift toward a student-centered approach to education.
December 2016
This report looks at the impact, implementation, and cost of using Individualized Learning Plans (ILPs) to prepare students for life after graduation. It highlights lessons learned from four Massachusetts districts utilizing ILPs and provides considerations for state policymakers on supporting the expansion of this work.
October 2016
In 2016, EdVestors released a report on the 2015 School on the Move winner, the Jeremiah E. Burke High School. Researched and written by the Rennie Center, this report examines the school's remarkable turnaround centered on addressing the needs of the whole child.
June 2016

Despite continual gains in the number of students graduating from Boston Public Schools, inequities remain in school discipline and dropout rates. These indicators, which are linked to incarceration rates, disproportionately affect young men of color. The school to prison pipeline refers to policies and practices that push our schoolchildren, especially our most at-risk children, out of classrooms and into the juvenile justice systems.

May 2016
In this 2016 policy brief, the Rennie Center examines ongoing work in Boston to advance the development of a formalized system for providing students with expanded learning opportunities for academic credit.
January 2016
The 2016 Condition of Education Action Guide, explores the critical role social-emotional learning plays at several stages of the schooling pipeline, noting where the state has made progress and how Massachusetts leaders can support a more comprehensive and research-based vision for social-emotional learning.
October 2015
This 2015 research report looks at how social-emotional learning policy, practice, and measurements are being effectively implemented in states and districts across the nation, including in three Massachusetts school districts.
October 2015
In honor of the 10th anniversary of EdVestors' School on the Move Prize, the Rennie Center looked back at 10 years of prize winners and finalists. This report takes a closer look at what happened to these rapidly improving schools over time – what factors contributed to sustained or continued improvement, and what impeded their progress.
April 2015
This 2015 case study documents the work of Boston's Youth Transitions Task Force in building a city-wide, cross-sector coalition to support dropout prevention and recovery in Boston.