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

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.

Partners with a Purpose: Turner-Wentworth program is a 'ramp' to career success

Jim Morrison
Boston Business Journal

The labor shortage and lack of diversity in construction has been getting worse for decades. Turner Construction’s participation in the Wentworth Institute of Technology’s RAMP program not only helps address those problems, it gives Boston Public School graduates the training they need to succeed in college — and beyond.

Federal School Funds Should Drive Innovation and Equity

Chad d'Entremont and Ayele Shakur
CommonWealth 

Massachusetts has been a leader in education since 1635 when Boston opened the nation’s first public school. But we haven’t drastically changed our approach in the last 375 years. We still often rely on teacher-led instruction to seated students (even on Zoom!), all moving in unison to a set schedule. This system was built for the factory floor, not a rapidly advancing high-tech economy. While last year brought tremendous hardship, it also spurred previously unthinkable innovation in education. Let’s take this moment to imagine a future beyond getting back to normal—one that opens up opportunities for all of Massachusetts’ students.

Students Social, Emotional Health Key to School Reentry, Experts Say at Worcester Forum

Scott O'Connell
Worcester Telegram

A successful return to in-person learning this year will be determines more on how schools take care of their students' social and emotional well-being than academic results, education experts said at a virtual forum Wednesday.

'The hardest year of their lives.' Educators, experts tackle emotional learning

James Paleologopoulos
Boston University Statehouse Program/Milford Daily News

The importance of student emotional safety, the “COVID slide” and the benefits of social-emotional learning were among the topics tackled by local school officials and experts during a virtual panel last Friday on student mental health. Organized by Senate President Karen Spilka, the conference brought together staff from school districts in Framingham, Natick and Methuen, as well as research analysts from the Boston-based Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy.

Pillars of Success

Seth Daniel
Chelsea Record

Last Thursday, The Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy highlighted the district for one of three key pillars of success in state school districts – that being shared voices and shared leadership. Center Director Chad d’Entremont said they are pushing the idea of shared leadership in school districts, going a step beyond just collaborating. He said it could come with elevating student voices, having student-led conferences, School Committee seats for students with full voting privileges, or changing other formal structures.

Framingham schools spotlighted in Rennie Center's annual report

Zane Razzaq
MetroWest Daily News

The school district's work on forging connections with community organizations was spotlighted in a Boston public policy think tank's report on public education. The Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy released its annual Condition of Education in the Commonwealth report last Thursday to a virtual audience of nearly 300 state leaders, legislators, educators and community members. The 29-page report highlights how the district's Office of Community Resource Development leveraged its local partnerships to adapt to COVID-19.

Report: Future Of Education Lies In Community Collaboration

Carrie Jung
WBUR Edify

The last year has profoundly changed education from the COVID-19 pandemic to rising political tensions and growing movements for racial justice. Among the many lessons during the historic year, this year’s annual Condition of Education report from the Rennie Center, a research and policy think tank, highlighted just how much communities rely on their education systems. In addition to basic learning, public schools fill a variety of needs for children like food security, technology access and mental health services.

Remote Learning Takes a Village: How schools and community organizations are teaming up to support students

Chad d'Entremont
Springfield Republican

Before the pandemic hit, about a quarter of students in Holyoke and Springfield were chronically absent. That’s double the state average. And now that we’ve shifted to remote and hybrid learning, keeping students connected to school is even harder. Many students and their families—particularly students of color and low-income students—have been deeply affected both physically and financially by the pandemic, producing significant individual and community-wide trauma. Meanwhile, teachers, families, and students have varying levels of access to learning tools and digital fluency. Despite the best efforts of committed educators and school leaders, meeting the wide-ranging social, emotional, and academic needs of students in a remote environment is a struggle. These challenges are bigger than any one person, organization, or school system can address.

Amid Record Enrollment, Wentworth's Summer Bridge Program Cited as  'Powerful Model' for Other Colleges and Universities

GlobeNewswire

Wentworth Institute of Technology’s summer bridge program for Boston public school students is receiving high marks in a new, independent report from the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy. The program, called RAMP, is celebrating its 10th anniversary and experiencing record enrollment this summer, according to Wentworth officials. The Rennie Center’s report characterizes RAMP as an exemplary model for how bridge programs should operate.

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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