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New England Journal of Public Policy

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Full-Text Articles in Education

Getting Power Back: Court Restoration Of Executive Authority In Boston City Government (1985), Marcy Murninghan Mar 2018

Getting Power Back: Court Restoration Of Executive Authority In Boston City Government (1985), Marcy Murninghan

New England Journal of Public Policy

This article, originally published in 1985, is based partly on the author’s experience with the Boston school desegregation case, but goes beyond it. It chronicles some of the events that occurred when a state and a federal court attempted to disengage from active jurisdiction over two Boston public systems: the Boston Public Schools and the Boston Housing Authority. It makes three proposals, which, if enacted, would help to keep the courts out of day-to-day management of municipal operations. It also makes some generalizations about the court-agency interplay that are relevant to the post-remedial phase of institutional reform litigation. The ...


Introduction, Marcy Murninghan Mar 2018

Introduction, Marcy Murninghan

New England Journal of Public Policy

America faces a reckoning, a crucible of what Reinhold Niebuhr observed more than eighty years ago. Our democratic principles and traditions are imperiled by the power of financial oligarchs and unfettered money flows, which have contributed to massive inequality that, in turn, has given rise to political unrest and a sense of cultural unmooring.

The articles presented here are both descriptive and normative, setting forth a complex social problem with seemingly bottomless proportions and then offering a design or set of remedial actions to alleviate them. Drawing on my professional experience going back to the mid-1970s, I wrote these pieces ...


Behind The Numbers: Conditions Of Schooling In Boston (1981), Marcy Murninghan Mar 2018

Behind The Numbers: Conditions Of Schooling In Boston (1981), Marcy Murninghan

New England Journal of Public Policy

This article includes portions of a report on the structure, governance, operations, and effectiveness of the Boston School Committee that was commissioned by the Boston Municipal Research Bureau in 1980. The passages provide an overview of the mandate, background, and recommendations, examining how a set of prominent professionals and citizens viewed the problem facing school department governance, including its isolation and the longstanding credibility gap fueled by patronage politics. It also looks at continued tensions between “equality” and “quality,” which occupied the heart of court-ordered desegregation; rising demands on a system that lacked the capacity to serve a broad array ...


Trusting Harvard: The Cost Of Unprincipled Investing (2014), Marcy Murninghan, Robert A.G. Monks Mar 2018

Trusting Harvard: The Cost Of Unprincipled Investing (2014), Marcy Murninghan, Robert A.G. Monks

New England Journal of Public Policy

This article provides a framework for answering two questions: How can Harvard fulfill its fiduciary obligation as an investor in ways that advance its beliefs, values, and commitments? How can Harvard take the lead in creating a curriculum for students, professionals, and the general public about the civic moral obligations of wealth? While aimed at Harvard, the issues covered are relevant to other universities and tax-exempt institutional investors, because they have a special duty to advance the public interest. Commissioned and co-authored by the noted corporate governance and responsible ownership guru Robert A. G. Monks, it calls on Harvard to ...


Equitable Compensation: Quantifying The Salary Differences Of Comparison Communities, Margaret A. Murray Feb 2016

Equitable Compensation: Quantifying The Salary Differences Of Comparison Communities, Margaret A. Murray

New England Journal of Public Policy

Teacher salary scales from a target district are compared with those from six groups of comparable districts to provide a quantitative basis from which to assess self-serving bias in the selection of comparison districts. Comparison districts are used to gauge salary equity during contract negotiations. Salary data were extracted for three salary columns (bachelor’s, master’s, and master’s plus 30 credits) from the 2014–15 Massachusetts teacher contracts from forty-eight districts. Comparison district groups were formed using six methods: three single-criterion and three multiple-criteria. Implications for selecting methods are also discussed.


The Role Of The Press In Framing The Bilingual Education Debate: Ten Years After Sheltered Immersion In Massachusetts, Fern L. Johnson, Marlene G. Fine Feb 2016

The Role Of The Press In Framing The Bilingual Education Debate: Ten Years After Sheltered Immersion In Massachusetts, Fern L. Johnson, Marlene G. Fine

New England Journal of Public Policy

In 2002 Massachusetts voters passed a voter initiative that changed the way children who are not fluent in English are taught. The initiative overturned the state’s requirement for “transitional bilingual education,” through which children are gradually transitioned, usually over a three-year period, from instruction in their native language to instruction entirely in English. Transitional bilingual education was replaced with “sheltered English immersion,” which places children with little or no English-language fluency in classes where almost all instruction is in English, with the expectation that they will move to regular English-only classrooms after one year.

We used frame analysis to ...


Training Together: State Policy And Collective Participation In Early Educator Professional Development, Anne Douglass, Alice Carter, Frank Smith, Sherri Killins Jun 2015

Training Together: State Policy And Collective Participation In Early Educator Professional Development, Anne Douglass, Alice Carter, Frank Smith, Sherri Killins

New England Journal of Public Policy

This study used one state’s early care and education work-force registry and professional development attendance data to examine early educator patterns of professional development participation and the extent of collective participation. The article presents the concept of collective participation in professional development, discusses its potential benefits, and highlights the utility of statewide digital tracking of early educators’ patterns of professional development for informing policy. Results show that collective participation is uncommon in early education and care but can be increased through professional development policy decisions. The article concludes with implications for research and policy.


Editor's Note, Padraig O'Malley Sep 2014

Editor's Note, Padraig O'Malley

New England Journal of Public Policy

On December 3, 2013, when the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released its Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) scores, the ranking of the United States as number 27 on the global scoreboard elicited little surprise among teachers, educational professionals, academics, and educational policymakers. The usual platitudes were trotted out—no mention that the United States’ standing was getting any worse, just which other countries were passing us by. We were stuck at a perennial average.

The results are in a sense a metaphor of the slow decline of the United State since the 1970s from a position ...


Poverty, Educational Achievement, And The Role Of The Courts, Michael A. Rebell Sep 2014

Poverty, Educational Achievement, And The Role Of The Courts, Michael A. Rebell

New England Journal of Public Policy

The large and growing proportion of U.S. students who come from poverty backgrounds explains this country’s relatively low performance on international achievement tests. These students need a broad range of comprehensive educational services if they are to have a meaningful opportunity to succeed in school. These opportunities include not only adequate resources for basic K–12 educational services but also parent engagement, health and other services, and additional early education, after-school, and summer programs. In most states, the schools attended by students with the greatest needs tend to receive the fewest resources because of the inequitable systems most ...


Getting To The Core And Evolving The Education Reform Movement To A System Of Continuous Improvement, Fernando M. Reimers, Eleonora Villegas-Reimers Sep 2014

Getting To The Core And Evolving The Education Reform Movement To A System Of Continuous Improvement, Fernando M. Reimers, Eleonora Villegas-Reimers

New England Journal of Public Policy

This article places the most recent study of PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) in historical perspective, reviewing the role of international comparisons in efforts to build public education systems as key institutions of democratic societies. It discusses the findings for the United States, examining differences with other participating countries. It also looks at a paradox. Despite the high priority education has received in the United States in the past two decades, the country underperformed in a number of indicators in the PISA in comparison with many other countries participating in the study. The authors explain the findings as the ...


What Can Pisa Tell Us About U.S. Education Policy?, Linda Darling-Hammond Sep 2014

What Can Pisa Tell Us About U.S. Education Policy?, Linda Darling-Hammond

New England Journal of Public Policy

Despite years of attention to “reform” in the United States, overall achievement on international assessments such as PISA has not improved during the period from 2000 to 2012. Reforms focused on high-stakes testing attached to sanctions, expansions of charter schools, and a market-based approach to teaching have been unsuccessful in changing outcomes. Meanwhile, growing childhood poverty, along with increasing segregation, income inequality, and disparities in school spending, have expanded the opportunity gap. Lessons from other nations and successful states indicate that systematic government investments in high-need schools along with capacity-building that improves the knowledge and skills of educators and the ...


Sustaining The Teaching Profession, Ronald Thorpe Sep 2014

Sustaining The Teaching Profession, Ronald Thorpe

New England Journal of Public Policy

Within the United States and across nations, there seems to be consensus that teacher quality is the most important school-based variable in determining how well a child learns. While such an observation hardly sounds like headline news, it is a milestone in the development of teaching as a profession. It suggests where investments should be made if people really are serious about student learning. It also explains why policymakers and the public should care about what it means to be an effective teacher and what it will take to create and sustain a teaching workforce defined by accomplished practice. Teachers ...


The National Commission On Education Excellence And Equity: Hypotheses About Movement Building, Christopher Edley Jr. Sep 2014

The National Commission On Education Excellence And Equity: Hypotheses About Movement Building, Christopher Edley Jr.

New England Journal of Public Policy

In 2013, the congressionally chartered national Commission on Education Equity and Excellence issued unanimous recommendations for P–12 policy changes at the federal, state, and local levels. This remarkably broad consensus, with unusual pragmatism and concreteness, is comprehensive in its scope and predominantly research based. As a clarion call and reform strategy, the commission report, For Each and Every Child, is a successor to A Nation at Risk (1983); the commission’s grand if not grandiose intention was to provide a framework for the next decade or more of nationwide policy struggle. This article, after briefly summarizing the recommendations, focuses ...


The Development And Design Of The Common Core State Standards For Mathematics, Jason Zimba Sep 2014

The Development And Design Of The Common Core State Standards For Mathematics, Jason Zimba

New England Journal of Public Policy

As one of the lead writers of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, I begin by explaining what the standards are, what they are not, and how they were developed. Then I detail some ways in which the standards differ from previous state standards. Finally, I describe some of the developments I have seen in the implementation of the standards and the key developments I would like to see in the future.


Transforming Public Education: The Need For An Educational Justice Movement, Mark R. Warren Sep 2014

Transforming Public Education: The Need For An Educational Justice Movement, Mark R. Warren

New England Journal of Public Policy

Nearly fifteen years after the passage of No Child Left Behind, the failures of our educational system with regard to low-income children of color remain profound. Traditional reform efforts have sought improvements solely within the confines of the school system, failing to realize how deeply educational failure is part of and linked to broader structures of poverty and racism. A social movement that creates political and cultural change is necessary to transform the racial inequities in public education itself and to connect this transformational effort to a larger movement to combat poverty and racism. The seeds of a new educational ...


Interview With Andreas Schleicher, Padraig O'Malley, Andreas Schleicher Sep 2014

Interview With Andreas Schleicher, Padraig O'Malley, Andreas Schleicher

New England Journal of Public Policy

This interview took place on March 17, 2014, in Washington, DC, with Andreas Schleicher, Director of Education and Skills, and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Schleicher is responsible for the Directorate of Education and Skills’ research, analysis, and publication of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), and the development and analysis of benchmarks on the performance of education systems. The OECD reports on PISA, PIAAC, and TALIS were released between December 3 ...


International Education Comparisons: How American Education Reform Is The New Status Quo, Randi Weingarten Sep 2014

International Education Comparisons: How American Education Reform Is The New Status Quo, Randi Weingarten

New England Journal of Public Policy

The United States participates in international studies comparing school systems across the world. Reformers have largely ignored the lessons from these studies about what works best to educate children, and a strategy of test-based accountability has become the new status quo. This article analyzes the failed policy ideas reformers keep pushing on our schools that have been shown across the globe to be unsuccessful in the areas of school choice and competition, teacher quality and evaluation, an engaging curriculum, and equity. Research examines what top performing countries do to help students succeed, as well as what works in districts across ...


School Reform In Canada And Florida: A Study Of Contrast, Catherine S. Boehme Sep 2014

School Reform In Canada And Florida: A Study Of Contrast, Catherine S. Boehme

New England Journal of Public Policy

Alberta and Florida have instituted school reform initiatives over the past fifteen years in an effort to improve the quality of their schools. Alberta has focused on systemic improvement by engaging the community in educational needs assessment, raising the high standards of teacher preparation, and improving effective instructional practices through professional development. Florida’s efforts have concentrated on holding students, teachers, schools, and districts accountable for high-stakes testing results by increasing the number and rigor of required assessments and increasing the negative consequences for low achievement scores. The 2012 PISA scores reveal that Alberta’s students are maintaining their high ...


Massachusetts Schooling Matters: Good News, Contributing Factors, Challenges, Persistent Problems, Kathleen J. Skinner, Paul Toner Sep 2014

Massachusetts Schooling Matters: Good News, Contributing Factors, Challenges, Persistent Problems, Kathleen J. Skinner, Paul Toner

New England Journal of Public Policy

Massachusetts public schools have performed at the highest levels on national and international benchmarked reading, mathematics, and science assessments. The Commonwealth’s population demographics related to educational attainment, employment, and family income coupled with factors within the control of the state, districts, or schools, such as highly qualified and unionized teachers, average school-district size, defined time on learning, universal health care coverage for all children, state funding for pre-K–12 schooling, curriculum articulation through statewide standards, and high participation in college admissions exams, have contributed to academic success. Massachusetts schools, however, still face challenges in narrowing existing achievement gaps, reducing ...


Foreword, Winston E. Langley Mar 2013

Foreword, Winston E. Langley

New England Journal of Public Policy

Change is a fundamental feature of life and living; without it, few things would survive, and fewer, if any, would thrive. The New England Journal of Public Policy has undergone a change, having elected to assume an electronic form. Since coming into being in this form three months ago, the success it has realized with its earlier issues has been remarkable. It is as if it were being waited on.

In the month of December 2012, for example, the journal was the second most popular publication series on ScholarWorks at the University of Massachusetts Boston, with a total of 2 ...


The Future Of Learning, Robert B. Reich Mar 2013

The Future Of Learning, Robert B. Reich

New England Journal of Public Policy

As part of UMass Boston’s recent celebration to mark the inauguration of Chancellor Michael F. Collins, M.D., the Division of Corporate, Continuing and Distance Education (CCDE) hosted a “virtual symposium” featuring Robert B. Reich. Between April 24 and May 8, CCDE posted a streaming video and a downloadable audio file of a presentation that Professor Reich had delivered on April 11, 2006 at the national conference of the University Continuing Education Association. This talk was supplemented, on May 3, by a live teleconferencing Q&A session with Professor Reich and about fifty UMass Boston graduate students.

This article ...


Editor's Note, Padraig O'Malley Mar 2007

Editor's Note, Padraig O'Malley

New England Journal of Public Policy

In 1990, the New England Journal of Public Policy published a special issue on Women. The subject was women & economic empowerment. The authors found that while women had made significant gains during the 1970s and 1980s in many spheres relating to the workplace, true equity with respect to their male peers was still elusive, and gender bias, despite remedial legislation, continued to be the acceptable norm.

Seventeen years on, another group of women, under the direction of guest editor Sherry H. Penney, herself a contributor to the 1990 journal, looks anew at some of these issues and expands the horizons of their inquiry to other fields where women have struggled to get access. The authors find that despite many gains (female students outnumber men at the undergraduate level and in many graduate and professional areas), bias is still deeply embedded in our socio/economic/political ethos, despite there being some very visible "firsts" - first Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi; and first female president of Harvard, Drew Gilpin Faust; and first female Democratic Party frontrunner for president, Hillary Clinton - there are still barriers that need to be razed, and old problems of inequality, whether questions of equal payor access to tenure, that need to be addressed.


Diversification Of A University Faculty: Women Faculty In The Mit Schools Of Science And Engineering, Nancy Hopkins Mar 2007

Diversification Of A University Faculty: Women Faculty In The Mit Schools Of Science And Engineering, Nancy Hopkins

New England Journal of Public Policy

A broadly diverse faculty is critical to MIT’s educational mission, and significant efforts have been made to achieve a faculty whose diversity reflects that of the students we train. To assess the success of some of these efforts, I examined the percentage of women faculty in the Schools of Science and Engineering over time. In Science, the increased number (and percentage) of women faculty today is the consequence of: pressures associated with the civil rights movement in the early 1970s; unusual efforts between 1996 and 2000 by former Dean of Science Bob Birgeneau in response to the 1996 Report ...


Foreword, Sherry H. Penney Mar 2007

Foreword, Sherry H. Penney

New England Journal of Public Policy

The author of the foreword speaks about how this issue touches on the subjects of women's rights and how their struggle to break through the glass ceiling has given them more empowerment than ever. The article also speaks about the works within the issue and how each one talks about the struggle, the progress, and success of women in today's working and educational world.


Women In Power, Margaret A. Mckenna Mar 2007

Women In Power, Margaret A. Mckenna

New England Journal of Public Policy

The country is filled with powerful women, but women in power remain significantly underrepresented across a variety of professional fields, in business, academe, politics, and the media. With more women enrolled in colleges today than men, continued underrepresentation of women in leadership roles throughout society is not just morally unacceptable, it is economically damaging. The nation needs to maximize all human capital, in order to meet our own challenges and stay competitive in this global economy. Young women need to be supported in developing the knowledge and skills necessary for being leaders and catalysts for change. Reflecting on a career ...


Numbers Are Not Enough: Women In Higher Education In The 21st Century, Sherry H. Penney, Jennifer Brown, Laura Mcphie Oliveria Mar 2007

Numbers Are Not Enough: Women In Higher Education In The 21st Century, Sherry H. Penney, Jennifer Brown, Laura Mcphie Oliveria

New England Journal of Public Policy

Women are now the majority of students in institutions of higher education in the United States, and in many ways women as students and faculty have seen significant progress. But numbers do not tell the whole story. Subtle forms of discrimination continue to exist, and the higher up the pyramid you go, the fewer women are to be found, whether among tenured faculty, as presidents and provosts or as board members and board chairs. Many steps can be taken to improve the situation. Some institutions are recognizing that. We note some positive changes and discuss areas where improvement is needed ...


Editor's Note, Padraig O'Malley Oct 2006

Editor's Note, Padraig O'Malley

New England Journal of Public Policy

The editor's note at the beginning of this journal briefly speaks about each article within. The author touches upon learning, the challenges to an education, the effects of the growth of technology, how world politics interfere with economy, and how employment is affected by technology.


The Future Of Learning, Robert B. Reich Oct 2006

The Future Of Learning, Robert B. Reich

New England Journal of Public Policy

As part of UMass Boston’s recent celebration to mark the inauguration of Chancellor Michael F. Collins, M.D., the Division of Corporate, Continuing and Distance Education (CCDE) hosted a “virtual symposium” featuring Robert B. Reich. Between April 24 and May 8, CCDE posted a streaming video and a downloadable audio file of a presentation that Professor Reich had delivered on April 11, 2006 at the national conference of the University Continuing Education Association. This talk was supplemented, on May 3, by a live teleconferencing Q&A session with Professor Reich and about fifty UMass Boston graduate students.


The New Division Of Labor In Massachusetts, Daniel Georgianna, Corinn Williams Oct 2006

The New Division Of Labor In Massachusetts, Daniel Georgianna, Corinn Williams

New England Journal of Public Policy

In The New Division of Labor, Levy and Murnane describe a world of work re-shaped by computers where workers whose jobs can be reduced to steps based on rules are replaced, and where jobs that require judgment or negotiation are enhanced. The authors test the hypothesis of Levy and Murnane’s work with a close look at Fall River and New Bedford. These cities, with high unemployment and low rates of educational attainment, show patterns of job replacement by computers as compared with Massachusetts as a whole — a wealthy state with high rates of education, which shows a pattern of ...


Editor's Note, Padraig O'Malley Mar 2005

Editor's Note, Padraig O'Malley

New England Journal of Public Policy

Everyone who knew Robert Wood — LBJ's man to develop the Model Cities Program, President of the University of Massachusetts, Superintendent of Boston Public Schools, and author — has an anecdote about him.

He was that kind of man. You remembered him and if it was not quite in a way that was always warm and fuzzy, that delighted Bob for whom the battle of ideas was fought on a terrain where he, at least, did not know the meaning of running for intellectual cover. Nor, for that matter was he much inclined to take prisoners of sloppy thinking.

This issue ...