City of Worcester, MA in the winter

Reports - Public Education

Our reports on public education address elementary, secondary, and higher education issues in Worcester and the surrounding region. In recent years, we have focused on the implementation and impact of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993.

Reports, articles and forms are available as a PDF downloadPDF icon, unless otherwise noted. Click here to download the free Adobe Reader application.

2014 Reports

Toward a Common Understanding of the Common Core

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.

Bureau Brief—The Common Core State Standards

The Research Bureau is pleased to release its latest Bureau Brief – a short overview of the Common Core state educational standards. Our Bureau Briefs are easy-to-read and understand summaries of current topics. For more information about the Common Core, please keep watch on our website and Facebook pages and follow us on Twitter.

2012 Reports

Academically Selective High Schools: Should Worcester Public Schools Have One?

This report analyzes the pros and cons of academically selective high schools to determine whether the Worcester Public Schools (WPS) should establish one. We conclude that the system should have one for many reasons. Among them, students of high academic potential deserve a course of study that meets their needs and WPS has an obligation to fully develop the capacities of gifted students no less than of less talented ones. Such a school could become a community asset for both businesses and residents to live and work in Worcester.

2010 Reports

Teachers' Compensation Package + Worcester's Finances = Do They Add Up?

In order to clarify what's at stake in the stalemated contract negotiations between the Worcester School Committee and the Education Association of Worcester, this report analyzes the total compensation package for teachers under the current contract, as well as the financial condition of the Worcester Public Schools and the City.

Benchmarking Public Education in Worcester: 2010

This report examines student, school, and district performance in relation to the standards implemented under the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 and the Federal No Child Left Behind legislation signed into law in 2002 in an effort to close the achievement gap between subgroups of students.

2009 Reports

Race to the Top: What's the Winning Strategy?

This report discusses the criteria for states to compete successfully in the Obama administration's Race to the Top Program for public schools. The Research Bureau assesses the chances for Massachusetts and the Worcester Public Schools, in particular, to receive some of the $4.5 billion in Federal stimulus funds.

Benchmarking Public Education in Worcester: 2009

This report examines student, school, and district performance in relation to the standards implemented under the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 and the Federal No Child Left Behind legislation signed into law in 2002 in an effort to close the achievement gap between subgroups of students.

Worcester Public School Facts

 

2008 Reports

Choosing a New School Superintendent to Address Worcester's Challenges

This report discusses the challenges facing the next Superintendent of the Worcester Public Schools. It also highlights characteristics common to high-performing urban schools across the state that have contributed to higher student achievement.

Benchmarking Public Education in Worcester: 2008

This report examines student, school, and district performance in relation to the standards implemented under the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 and the Federal No Child Left Behind legislation signed into law in 2002 in an effort to close the achievement gap between subgroups of students.

2007 Reports

Improving Student Performance Under Education Reform: Practices In Urban Schools

This report examines the human and financial resources available to educate Worcester Public Schools students as well as student performance since the passage of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act (MERA) of 1993. It also reports findings from site visits to several higher performing urban schools, and identifies practices that have contributed to their success which could be replicated in other urban settings.

Benchmarking Public Education in Worcester: 2007

This report examines student, school, and district performance in relation to the standards implemented under the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 and the Federal No Child Left Behind legislation signed into law in 2002 in an effort to close the achievement gap between subgroups of students.

2006 Reports

Benchmarking Public Education in Worcester: 2006

This report documents Worcester's performance along several measures including attendance and dropout rates, student mobility, family involvement, post-graduate placement, and MCAS scores.

2004 Reports

Benchmarking Public Education in Worcester: 2004

This report documents the Worcester Public Schools' performance along several measures including attendance and dropout rates, student mobility, family involvement, post-graduate placement, and MCAS scores. It compares WPS performance over the recent year to its own past performance as well as to that of other districts in Massachusetts, including Boston, Brockton, Lynn, and Springfield.

2003 Reports

Education Reform and Collective Bargaining: C for Compatibility

Evaluates current collective bargaining agreement between the Worcester School Committee and the Educational Association of Worcester on how well the contract harmonizes with education reform. Five major areas of the contract are examined, including salaries, benefits, hiring and transfers, evaluations and dismissals, and Small Learning Communities.

Benchmarking Public Education in Worcester: 2003

This report documents the Worcester Public Schools' performance along several measures including attendance and dropout rates, student mobility, family involvement, post-graduate placement, and MCAS scores. It compares WPS performance over the recent year to its own past performance as well as to that of other districts in Massachusetts, including Boston, Brockton, Lynn, and Springfield.

2002 Reports

Benchmarking Public Education in Worcester: 2002

This report documents the Worcester Public Schools' performance along several measures including attendance and dropout rates, student mobility, family involvement, post-graduate placement, and MCAS scores. It compares WPS performance over the recent year to its own past performance as well as to that of other districts in Massachusetts, including Boston, Brockton, Lynn, and Springfield.

2001 Reports

Proposed Vocational School: Facts and Figures

Facts about the proposed new vocational school facility.

1998 Reports

Spending & Education Reform in the Worcester Public Schools: A Status Report

This report discusses the Worcester Public Schools' concerted effort to comply with the requirements of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act, and have demonstrated measurable improvement in a number of areas. Nevertheless, the Research Bureau makes a number of recommendations to further enhance student achievement and control costs.

1997 Reports

Worcester Public Schools: Spending Priorities in FY98

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1996 Reports

The Future of Vocational Education In Worcester

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Education Reform in Worcester: A Status Report on the First Three Years

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1994 Reports

The Effects of the Educational Reform Movement on Recent Teacher Contracts in Fifteen Cities

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1993 Reports

Local Aid for Education: A Comparison of Worcester with 15 Massachusetts Communities

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1992 Reports

More Reductions in Services Projected for FY94

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1991 Reports

The Superintendent and Principal Selection Process: Planning Future Leadership in the Worcester Public Schools

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Changing Educational Mandates Can Save City $2 Million

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1990 Reports

Survey of College/Public School Programs in Worcester

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1989 Reports

Whither Worcester's Public Schools?

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1986 Reports

Worcester's Three R's: Repair, Replacement and Rehabilitation

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