Promoting Informed Debate through Public Policy Research
Our mission is to serve the public interest of Greater Worcester by conducting independent, non-partisan research and analysis of public policy issues to promote informed public debate and decision-making. For nearly thirty years, The Research Bureau has worked to protect the public interest in Greater Worcester by identifying issues, investigating impacts, and educating the public and government officials of opportunities and best practices. We provide solid, steady, and thoughtful analysis of local and regional public policy issues and sensible recommendations for adoption and implementation by public officials. We also provide a free and highly-regarded forum series to present to the public a balanced perspective on policy issues affecting the Greater Worcester community. Stay informed and stay involved with The Research Bureau. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Current Topics of Interest
As the Worcester Redevelopment Authority and City of Worcester consider the establishment of a new urban renewal plan focused on the Downtown, the Research Bureau offers Bureau Brief – Urban Renewal to inform policymakers and the public of the role of the Worcester Redevelopment Authority and the powers of urban renewal. The Brief also poses a series of important questions to consider when contemplating the use of this significant, but sometimes controversial, tool.
In the 2014 school year, over 7,500 students graduated from 12 Greater Worcester colleges and universities. These graduates represent a broad range of academic credentials and professional interests. Talent drives economic growth. In order to compete in a national and international economy, Worcester must be able to retain and attract a skilled and educated workforce. Central Massachusetts Talent Retention Project: A Survey of the Class of 2014 provides insights into the future plans of students from colleges and universities across the region and makes recommendations for retaining this recurring source of new ideas, energy, and economic opportunity.
Each July 1, the City of Worcester and Worcester Public Schools begin a new fiscal year. Who sets the priorities and how is the budget developed? How much money are we really talking? Read Breaking Down the Budget: Questions to Consider to improve your understanding of the City’s FY15 budget.
Unable to attend our 2014 Annual Meeting? Read our Bureau Notes to learn what you missed.
The current debate about educational standards and assessments has forced government officials, educators, parents, and students to take a serious look at the American education system and evaluate what students should know in order to be prepared for college and careers in the global economy. Toward a Common Understanding of the Common Core chronicles the history of the Common Core State Standards Initiative and the Massachusetts experience with education reform. The report analyzes the arguments raised against the Common Core and offers a factual basis for review. It also offers a number of recommendations for improving the implementation of the revised Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks based on the Common Core and the implementation of the PARCC tests.
In support of the City Council’s efforts to identify and hire a permanent city manager, The Research Bureau provides this Bureau Brief – The City Manager Search Process, an update to prior reports on best practices for recruiting a city manager. The municipal government of the City of Worcester is one of the largest organizations – by revenues, staffing, and operations – in Central Massachusetts. Its chief executive must be ready to manage the challenges and opportunities of New England’s second-largest city. This Bureau Brief offers policymakers insights from the national experts on the key considerations for finding the right city manager for Worcester.
Related reports cited in the Brief can be found at:
- Oh Manager, Where Art Thou? Best Practices for Selecting a City Manager
- Selecting a City Manager: Facts and Procedures
The Research Bureau is pleased to release Bureau Brief – The Common Core State Standards, a short overview of the recent discussion over the national educational standards. The Research Bureau will be releasing a full report on the topic this spring, so stay tuned to our website and Facebook pages and follow us on Twitter.
2014 Annual Report
Click here to download.
Click here to view a thank you to our annual meeting sponsors.