News

An effective public agenda is best shaped by including policymakers and the public in the process of generating, reviewing, and sharing new information. The Rennie Center is dedicated to widely disseminating its independent research to enrich policy conversations on key educational issues and, in service of this goal, available as a valuable resource to national and local media. 

For media inquiries please contact Catherine Rauseo at (617) 354-0002.

In the News

Most teachers are women. But male educators take a ‘glass elevator’ to leadership positions

Stephanie Ebbert
The Boston Globe

Ever notice that school systems are typically led by male superintendents while the teaching staff predominantly consists of women? A new report confirms that disparity, finding that women represent 76 percent of teachers in Massachusetts’ largest public schools but only 39 percent of the superintendents.

Chelsea Ranks Among Top School Districts For Gender Parity in K-12 Education

Chelsea Record

A study released last week by the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy and the Women’s Power Gap Initiative of the Eos Foundation reveals never-before-seen data on racial and gender inequities in Massachusetts education leadership. Among the 180 school districts analyzed, Chelsea was found among the top ten who are leading the way for gender parity in the superintendency and other leadership positions.

Greenfield School Department ranks No. 1 in study on female leadership

Mary Byrne
Greenfield Recorder

Out of 180 school districts with more than 1,500 students, the Greenfield School Department ranked No. 1 in representation of women at the administrative level. The report, released by the Boston-based Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy, was based on a scoring system that factored in whether a district has had a female superintendent in the last 10 years, as well as percentages of female principals in the district and the makeup of the district’s school board.
 

Only 5% of Massachusetts superintendents are people of color, one-eighth the percent of students of color in the state

Will Katcher
MassLive

Despite representing 43% of Massachusetts students, people of color hold only 5% of school superintendent jobs in the state, and are underrepresented across school administrative and teaching positions, a new report found. The review of state employment records by the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy and the Eos Foundation’s Women’s Power Gap Initiative highlights widespread disparities in the hiring of people of color for school positions in Massachusetts.

Report says Foxboro ranks among top school districts for gender parity

The Foxboro Reporter

A study recently released by the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy and the Women’s Power Gap Initiative of the Eos Foundation reveals never-before-seen data on racial and gender inequities in Massachusetts education leadership. Among the 180 school districts analyzed, Foxboro was found among the top 10 districts that are leading the way for gender parity in the superintendency and other leadership positions.

Only 5% of Mass. school superintendents are people of color, report finds

Stephannie Joseph
GBH News

People of color are underrepresented in public school leadership across Massachusetts, holding just 5% of superintendent posts, according to a new report from the Eos Foundation and Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy. Researchers presented their findings in a webinar Tuesday to highlight the challenges people of color and women face as they pursue top leadership positions in public schools.

Learning with COVID: How educators and students are finding a 'new normal'

Carrie Jung
WBUR

After more than 250 school days, full-time in-person learning in Massachusetts public schools finally resumed in early September. For many, being back in the classroom was reason for celebration, and a highly anticipated return to some sense of normalcy since the COVID-19 pandemic shut school buildings down in March of 2020. But while going to school and sitting inside a physical classroom are routines that most people are familiar with, the start of this school year still feels different.
 

It's Time to Reimagine MCAS

Chad d'Entremont 
Commonwealth Magazine, Op-Ed

Should we, or should we not, eliminate the MCAS test? It’s a question as old as the test itself. The debate has been raging for decades, and is coming to a head as schools navigate pandemic learning loss. It’s time to shift the conversation — and the question. The question we should be debating is how can we make the MCAS better? That’s the aim of a policy brief we recently issued at the Rennie Center. We are in the midst of the biggest crisis to face student learning in generations. We can all agree that it’s critical to understand where students are in their learning so that we can address learning gaps. But, as the leader of an education research organization, I can tell you with confidence that MCAS scores do very little to inform classroom teaching.

We need vital data, but we need to rethink the MCAS to collect it

Chad d'Entremont
Boston Globe, Letter to the Editor

As the leader of an organization committed to using data and evidence to improve student learning, I read the article “MCAS scores plunge in pandemic” with a sense of resignation and a desire for change. For 18 months, we have wrung our hands over the impact of school closures and the inadequacies of remote learning. It’s neither surprising nor illuminating that test scores declined. While it is absolutely critical to know where students stand academically, how is this information helpful right now? The school year has started, and educators have already spent months preparing.

On MCAS, we need to fundamentally rethink our approach to testing

Chad d'Entremont
The Republican/MassLive

It’s been nearly three decades since the Massachusetts Education Reform Act laid the groundwork for MCAS testing. This focus on outcomes in education propelled Massachusetts to first in the nation in academics. And, more importantly, it identified inequities in our education system, delivered resources to underfunded schools, and gave parents information to advocate for their children. The organization I lead, the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy, was named for Jack Rennie, who was a prime force behind the Education Reform Act of 1993. As researchers, my team and I continue to use MCAS data to track educational progress. I believe the MCAS has given us valuable information and helped Massachusetts come a long way. But it’s time to start looking toward the future.

Press Releases

New Report Tracks Progress, Areas for Improvement in Mass. Education

The Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy released its annual status report to an audience of 300 state leaders, legislators, students, and educators yesterday morning. The Condition of Education in the Commonwealth report looks at school performance in Massachusetts, highlighting successes while zeroing in on areas in need of improvement. This year's report examines the need for new ways of measuring student success.

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Rennie Center and Transforming Education Win National 'How Learning Happens' Grant

The Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy and its partner Transforming Education today announced they have won a $30,000 grant from America’s Promise Alliance, a national organization, to support a community convening to advance young people’s social, emotional, and cognitive development.

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New Report Examines Student Voice in Action in Mass. Schools

The Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy released its annual status report to an audience of 300 state leaders, legislators, students, and educators this morning. The Condition of Education in the Commonwealth report looks at school performance in Massachusetts, highlighting successes while zeroing in on areas in need of improvement. This year's report examines the role students play in shaping our education system.

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Excellence through Social Emotional Learning Network Featured in Report from National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

The Excellence through Social Emotional Learning (exSEL) Network is included as an exemplary approach to supporting students’ social, emotional, and academic development in a report released this week by a prestigious national commission. The Aspen Institute National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development’s “From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope” asserts that our nation is at a turning point, understanding that social, emotional, and cognitive development underpins children’s academic learning.

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LEADERS TO GATHER FOR “STATE OF THE STATE” OF EDUCATION EVENT

The Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy invites journalists to the release of its annual Condition of Education in the Commonwealth report. This report looks at state-level indicators of school performance, highlighting successes while zeroing in on areas in need of improvement.

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RENNIE CENTER NAMES NEW BOARD CHAIR

The Rennie Center has made long-time board member Dr. Celine Coggins its new board chair. Dr. Coggins, who has been involved with the Rennie Center since its founding in 2005, was recently appointed Executive Director of Grantmakers for Education. She previously led Teach Plus, a nonprofit with a mission to empower educators. She originally launched Teach Plus as a subsidiary of the Rennie Center and has since overseen its rise to a national network of more than 24,000 teachers.

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THE RENNIE CENTER FOR EDUCATION RESEARCH & POLICY AWARDED $100,000

The Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy is one of 100 local nonprofits to receive $100,000 through the Cummings Foundation’s “$100K for 100” program. The organization was chosen from a total of 597 applicants during a competitive review process. The Rennie Center will use this funding to support select school districts in designing initiatives to support the development of students’ social and emotional skills. 

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SPRINGFIELD’S EARLY LEARNING PROGRAMS RECOGNIZED IN STATEWIDE REPORT

Springfield Public Schools is featured in a report released by the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy that looks at student progress in Massachusetts while pointing to areas for continued improvement. This year’s Condition of Education in the Commonwealth report highlights Springfield’s innovative early childhood education program as a model of success.

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EDUCATION AND BUSINESS LEADERS TO DISCUSS STATE OF EDUCATION IN WESTERN MA

The Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy invites journalists to a discussion on the status of education in Western Massachusetts and the impact of local early learning programs. Springfield’s innovation around early childhood education was highlighted as a model of success in this year’s Condition of Education in the Commonwealth Report.

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