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.

May 2018
The winners of the 2017 Pozen Prize for Innovative Schools—the Winter Hill Community Innovation School in Somerville, MA and the Paul Revere Innovation School in Revere, MA—excel in attending to the social, emotional, and intellectual needs of all students in the richly diverse communities they serve. This case study looks at the key practices these schools used to meet student learning needs and the influence school-based decision-making can have on accelerating school improvement.
February 2018
Students who cannot read proficiently by the end of third grade struggle to learn through text as they progress through school and life. The cascading effects of third grade reading, including widening academic achievement gaps and social-emotional challenges, extend into adulthood. We teamed up with Stand for Children on this policy brief, which examines the influence of literacy on individual, societal, and economic well-being.
January 2018
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 for continuous improvement in classroom, schools, and districts.
January 2018
This report examines the way in which the Bay State Reading Institute, a small group literacy model, improved teacher capacity to differentiate instruction for diverse learners in Everett, MA.
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.