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Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education Inc.

 400 Atlantic Avenue
 Boston, MA 02110
[P] (617) 7373122
[F] (617) 7373126
[email protected]
Linda Noonan
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-3274599

LAST UPDATED: 06/29/2017
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No


Mission StatementMORE »

The Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE) is committed to excellence, opportunity and innovation in our public education system to prepare all students to engage successfully in a global economy and society.

Mission Statement

The Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE) is committed to excellence, opportunity and innovation in our public education system to prepare all students to engage successfully in a global economy and society.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $500,000.00
Projected Expense $750,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Future Ready Massachusetts

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

The Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE) is committed to excellence, opportunity and innovation in our public education system to prepare all students to engage successfully in a global economy and society.

Background Statement


MBAE represents employers committed to excellence and equity in Massachusetts schools. Our research, outreach, and advocacy work influences state education policies to that end. We believe it is in the interest of every employer in Massachusetts to promote and support school innovation that prepares every student for productive citizenship.

MBAE was established in 1988 by concerned business leaders convinced that the Commonwealth’s public schools needed substantial reform to produce graduates capable of leading a 21st century democracy and economy.

By 1991, MBAE had crafted a comprehensive school reform proposal, , Every Child a Winner, that became the framework for the Education Reform Act of 1993, a national model for standards-based reform that has produced significant results. Over the next two decades, MBAE monitored implementation of the Act, advocated for improvements, focused on interventions to turn around chronically underperforming schools, and represented the business community on the state’s accountability, teacher evaluation and college- and career-readiness task forces. MBAE supported development of the state’s Race to Top proposal, provided independent analysis of the Common Core State Standards, and played a key role in passage of the Act Relative to the Achievement Gap.

In 2014, MBAE released another groundbreaking report, The New Opportunity to Lead: A Vision for Education in Massachusetts in the Next 20 Years. This blueprint for education redesign concluded that unless we modernize our elementary and secondary education system, we will not have the robust pipeline of skilled workers our knowledge economy demands and a large portion of students will be left on the economic sidelines. The report asserts that Massachusetts can lead the world in educational achievement and equity and lays out evidence-based recommendations for achieving that goal. MBAE is committed to bringing about the changes called for in that report.

Impact Statement

Defeating an effort that would set students back. MBAE achieved a major victory for students and teachers by preventing an initiative from appearing on the ballot that sought to repeal the state’s education standards. The MA Supreme Judicial Court ruling that the initiative petition to repeal the Common Core State Standards did not meet legal requirements to go on the ballot was the culmination of a legal effort led by MBAE to protect high academic standards that focus on college and career readiness. The ballot measure would have created significant costs for the state and cities and towns, and politicized the process by which we decide what kids learn.

Setting a higher bar for teaching and learning.  MBAE’s report examining MCAS was instrumental in persuading policymakers the state needs a new, better standardized test.  A coalition led by MBAE beat back efforts to stay with the outdated MCAS and instead adopt a high quality assessment.  The state Board voted to develop MCAS 2.0, setting a higher bar for teaching and learning.
Reaching 7,000 mentors, students, families and other adults with the Future Ready Mentor Toolkit, a tool that enables adults to guide students in preparing for success in college, work and life.

Securing substantial multi-year grants validating MBAE’s significant past performance as well as future plans and goals, and enabling MBAE to grow its impact for years to come.

Key priorities for the coming year include:

Promoting more effective and equitable use of school funds.

Ensuring that implementation of the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) strengthens the states accountability system

Lifting the cap on charter public schools, increasing flexibility for all schools, and encouraging the development of diverse education models, particularly in high-need communities.

Supporting digital equity and state policies that ensure exposure to computational thinking and skills in all districts, for all students.

Needs Statement

For more than 25 years, MBAE has worked to improve the Commonwealth’s public schools on behalf of employers committed to ensuring students graduate high school prepared for success in college, career and citizenship.  MBAE is the only business group with a sole focus on education.  Our emphasis is on systemic change that is sustainable and benefits all students.

We seek financial support for operating costs to allow MBAE to provide the critical voice of business through actionable research and reports, at meetings and forums we convene or help lead, and on committees and commissions that influence state policy. These activities provide companies with multiple opportunities for funding and engagement that gain them recognition for their support. Company logos appear on our website and are featured in reports read by policymakers and thought leaders and cited in news stories; executives participate in forums and on committees; company leaders testify at hearings representing the voice of business.

CEO Statement


Today’s jobs require students to have a strong foundation in math, science, writing, problem solving and critical thinking. Tomorrow’s jobs will demand even more. MBAE works on behalf of employers to ensure a well-educated, diverse, highly-skilled workforce pipeline. For more than 25 years, we have proved that business is both an effective and essential voice in driving educational improvements. Our leadership is as important today as it ever was.

By 2020, 72% of jobs in Massachusetts will require a career certificate or college degree. Yet, one in three of our high school graduates are unprepared to acquire these credentials. As a result, students miss opportunities and the skills gap that threatens our state economy grows wider.

Our 21st century economy requires 21st century schools that prepare students with the knowledge and skills they will need to adapt to a constantly-changing economy.

To meet this challenge, MBAE is working to bring about Excellence, Opportunity and Innovation in public education. Excellence means modern learning standards, assessments, curricula and teaching models that reflect the demands of today, and prepare students with the skills to adjust for tomorrow. Opportunity means every student must have access to a high quality education that opens doors for their future, and drives community and economic growth. Innovation means reimagining and modernizing our outdated education system and redesigning our public schools to better meet the needs of every student.

MBAE’s new blueprint for education, The New Opportunity to Lead: A Vision for Education in Massachusetts in the Next 20 Years, lays out a comprehensive plan to meet these objectives. We have embarked on a multi-year plan to realize our goals. We hope you will join us in this effort.


Board Chair Statement

Despite twenty years of reform that have brought about substantial improvement, Massachusetts’s education system is not sufficiently preparing ALL students to take their place in the state’s economy.  The state may be faring well on standardized tests in comparison to other states, but our schools are not producing a steady stream of graduates prepared and qualified to join the world-class workforce upon which our future prosperity depends.

This disconnect may explain why a vast majority, 84%, of employers in an MBAE poll said they think the state’s K-12 schools needs to change. More than half, 52%, of respondents said the system needs moderate change and 32% said the system needs major change. Only 20% gave the state’s elementary and secondary schools an A or a B grade for preparing students for the Massachusetts job market, while 46% assign one of these grades to the system overall.

In the poll, 69% of employers said they are having difficulty hiring employees with the right skills for the positions they have available. Massachusetts public colleges and universities find similar deficiencies. One out of three of the state’s public high school graduates are unprepared for college-level work.

The global competition for skilled talent is intensifying. According to a report from the McKinsey Global Institute, by 2020, a projected shortfall of up to 18 million highly skilled workers will exist in advanced economies, including the United States, and the U.S. could have 1.5 million too few college-educated workers.

This challenge is of particular concern in Massachusetts where our knowledge and innovation-based economy is highly dependent on a well-educated workforce and where demand for college-educated workers is now outpacing the supply. By 2020, 72% of jobs in the Commonwealth will require some college education. Yet, according to the MA Department of Higher Education, in STEM disciplines alone, 36,000 fewer associate and baccalaureate degrees will be granted than the Massachusetts workforce will need by 2020.

MBAE has a embarked on a three year project, The New Opportunity to Lead, to inform, engage and mobilize education stakeholders to work together to address these significant challenges. We completed the first phase of this work with the release of the employer poll and The New Opportunity to Lead report, which lays out a comprehensive plan based on the evidence of what it working around the world. As MBAE continues to involve the almost 200 stakeholders who have been part of this work, we are focused on the “engage” stage consulting experts, practitioners and policy makers to determine what needs to be done to operationalize the most promising proposals of The New Opportunity to Lead Report. This includes tapping the experience that exists in many schools around the Commonwealth. As we enter 2015, our efforts to “mobilize” support for these proposals will intensify and help sustain the leadership of Massachusetts in the educational attainment necessary to protect the vitality of the state’s economy and prosperity and quality of life of our citizens.

Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.

Organization Categories

  1. Education - Elementary & Secondary Schools
  2. -
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Future Ready Massachusetts


Future Ready Massachusetts provides tools and resources to get more students ready for college and career. Developed in partnership with the Dept. of Higher Education, Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education and MA Educational Financing Authority, includes a searchable database of programs, resources and tools. 

At the urging of mentoring and other youth-serving organizations, we created the Future Ready Mentor Toolkit, which includes information and resources to help mentors and influential adults guide students. 

Future Ready is a member of the Reach Higher Leadership Team, an initiative that aims to inspire every student to take charge of their education future; promotes career preparation for all students and increased access to vocational technical education as a member of the Alliance for Vocational Technical Education; and, has made Digital Equity a key priority, joining an effort to narrow the digital divide.


Budget  $250,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Elementary & Secondary Education
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) Families At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success 

Immediate outcomes of Future Ready will be increased use of the "Your Plan for the Future" web portal (; greater numbers of students enrolling in rigorous coursework in high school and completing MassCore requirements for graduation; more student interaction with guidance counselors regarding options and plans for their future; more engaged parents advocating for their children; and stronger collaboration between the school and local businesses resulting in increased opportunities for students to gain exposure to the workforce.

Program Long-Term Success 

The Future Ready campaign aims to 1) increase the number of students pursuing and succeeding in college and careers, and 2) build community and family support for completion of a rigorous course of study and relevant experiences, which offers better preparation for opportunities after high school.

Program Success Monitored By 

We will track use of the Your Plan for College web portal; MassCore completion rates; work-based learning experiences and participation in state-sponsored college and career ready programs.

Examples of Program Success 

A Future Ready Summit was held in May 2013 at which 525 educators, youth workers and local community activists shared successful . Future Ready was a focus of the 2013 and 2014 Connecting Activities Conferences attended by over 220 educators each year; and 175 guidance counselors participated in similar presentations and discussions at the Massachusetts Association of School Counselors conference. All brought Future Ready messages and information back to their local schools and communities. A website with searchable data base, Twitter feed, Facebook page and a newsletter to over 800 readers were launched in spring 2014.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

By 2020, 72% of all jobs in Massachusetts will require a postsecondary education.  Is our education system preparing our students?
Despite significant gains in student achievement over the past two decades, Massachusetts faces critical challenges in educating its students  for the 21st century economy.  Employers play a pivotal role in bringing about needed change in our public education system, providing a unique perspective on how to drive improvements and achieve results.  The business community is dependent on a high quality education system to ensure that their future workforce, our students, acquire the skills to succeed.  For Massachusetts companies to compete and prosper they need a well-educated workforce.


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Linda M. Noonan
CEO Term Start July 2005
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience Linda M. Noonan joined MBAE as Managing Director in July 2005 after serving as Executive Director of The Alliance for the Commonwealth, a nonpartisan research and educational foundation established by Associated Industries of Massachusetts to help companies maintain and increase their global competitiveness, in order to create and maintain jobs locally. She has held positions with trade associations and state and federal government, including as Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs for the Commonwealth of MA. Her civic and volunteer activities include serving on the Westwood School Committee, and on the town?s Permanent Building Committee, during which time three schools were renovated and expanded, and a new high school was approved and designed. She was also a member of the Westwood Finance Committee and the Economic Development Advisory Board. She currently serves on the Board of Teachers21, and the Steering Committee of Global Education Massachusetts. A member of The Commonwealth Institute and other professional and civic assocations, Ms. Noonan holds degrees from Cornell University and the University of Chicago.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Ms. Jackney Prioly Joseph Director, Future Ready Massachusetts
Jackney Prioly Joseph joined MBAE as Director of Future Ready Massachusetts in March 2014 and is responsible for developing strategy and leading the implementation of the Future Ready public information campaign. Previously, Jackney served as Policy Director and Director of External Relations for At-Large Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley. She led the legislative process for various policy initiatives including Councilor Pressley’s liquor licensing reform legislation. In addition she served as both the Education and Arts Liaison. Prior to this position, ​Jackney​ served as Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff and the Chief of Human Services in the office of Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. She conducted research on youth development opportunities in the city of Boston, managed special projects and served on the Leadership Team of the Human Services cabinet. She also served concurrently​ as the Coordinator of the City of Boston Scholarship Fund where she managed the annual disbursement of scholarships to high school seniors and college students. ​Jackney has been an active member of several organizations including the Posse Foundation, ONEin3 Boston and The City School. She currently serves on the Bryn Mawr College Alumnae Executive Board. In 2010 she received the Posse Boston Community Investment Award for her service to the city and to the Posse Foundation. Jackney received her MA in Public Administration from Northeastern University and her BA in Philosphy from Bryn Mawr College.
Ms. Tricia Lederer Director of Communications and Development --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

In 2010, MBAE's Board reviewed its governance policies and adopted policies in areas necessary to comply with all state and federal requirements and to meet nonprofit best practices.

Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 3
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 100
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 3
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 3
Male: 1
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Semi-Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Semi-Annually


Board Chair Mr. William Walczak
Board Chair Company Affiliation South End Community Health Center
Board Chair Term Apr 2014 - Apr 2017
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Brian Burke Microsoft Voting
Mr. J.D. Chesloff Massachusetts Business Roundtable Voting
Mr. Christopher DeLorey Marsh & McLennan Agency | New England Voting
Mr. Henry C. Dinger Esq. Goodwin Procter LLP Voting
Ms. Sharon Driscoll U.S. Trust Voting
Ms. Patricia S. Eagan Verizon Voting
Mr. Joseph E. Esposito CPA Ascentage Group LLC Voting
Mr. David Gagnon KPMG Voting
Mr. Brian Gilmore Associated Industries of Massachusetts Voting
Mr. Richard Lord Associated Industries of Massachusetts Voting
Mr. David Mancuso Mancuso Communications Voting
Mr. Andre Mayer Associated Industries of Massachusetts Voting
Ms. Eileen McAnneny Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation Voting
Ms. Anne McGrath Intel Voting
Mr. Peter Nessen CRIC Capital Voting
Ms. Eileen Rudden LearnLaunch Voting
Mr. John Stuart PTC Parametric Technology Corp. Voting
Mr. John Sutich Comcast Voting
Mr. William Walczak South End Community Health Center Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Jose Alvarez Harvard Business School Voting
Mr. Mark Crandall TD Banknorth/Massachusetts Voting
Ms. Cheryl M. Cronin Esq. -- Voting
Mr. Gary T. DiCamillo Eaglepoint Advisors Voting
Mr. Jack Dill Colebrook Realty Services Voting
Ms. Fay Donahue DentaQuest Voting
Mr. Thomas D. Dretler Eduventures, Inc. Voting
Mr. Chris Gabrieli Massachusetts 2020/Bessemer Venture Partners Voting
Mr. Gary Gottlieb M.D. Brigham & Women's Hospital Voting
Mr. Edward Hoff IBM Voting
Mr. Stephen Knight M.D. Fidelity Biosciences Voting
Mr. Wendell J. Knox Abt Associates (Retired) Voting
Mr. William P. Leahy AT&T Voting
Mr. Edward P. Marram PhD Arthur Blank Entrepreneurship Center, Babson College Voting
Ms. Carol McMullen Eastern Wealth Management Voting
Mr. J. Keith Motley PhD University of Massachusetts/Boston Voting
Mr. Jeff Ray SolidWorks, Inc. Voting
Mr. Robert Sheridan The Savings Bank Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts Voting
Mr. David Southworth Southworth Company Voting

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 18
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 5
Male: 14
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 75%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $538,952 $1,027,486 $842,298
Total Expenses $857,768 $723,265 $806,393

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$394,513 $859,200 $777,250
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind $144,320 $168,259 $64,969
Other $119 $27 $79

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $549,946 $641,407 $727,325
Administration Expense $293,029 $67,728 $58,713
Fundraising Expense $14,793 $14,130 $20,355
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.63 1.42 1.04
Program Expense/Total Expenses 64% 89% 90%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 4% 2% 3%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $262,000 $588,245 $282,877
Current Assets $253,692 $559,000 $245,883
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $3,792 $11,221 $10,074
Total Net Assets $258,208 $577,024 $272,803

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 6.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 66.90 49.82 24.41

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the organization's Financial Statements. Contributions from individuals are listed under foundations and corporations when the breakout was not available.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?


The Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE), and the employers it represents, are committed to a public education system that prepares EVERY student for success in college, career and citizenship.

Long term success for MBAE means elimination of chronic racial and socio-economic education achievement gaps that prevent so many students from realizing their dreams and full potential, and a robust, well-educated, diverse, highly-skilled workforce pipeline that fuels growth in our companies and our state economy.

In 2014, MBAE released a comprehensive plan to achieve those goals. The New Opportunity to Lead: A Vision for Education in Massachusetts in the Next 20 Years, produced by international education experts with significant input from Massachusetts business and education stakeholders, warns that unless we modernize our education system, our skills gap will grow larger, we will not have the robust pipeline of skilled workers our knowledge economy demands, and a large portion of students will be left on the economic sidelines. The report calls for a phased approach to reinvent education for the 21st century. Over the next three to five years, MBAE is urging and pursuing comprehensive and immediate action in these essential areas:

· Maintaining high standards and deploying assessments that promote a solid foundation in literacy and math as well as the broader range of knowledge, skills and dispositions students need to manage their own careers

· Recruiting and developing world class educators and school leaders

· Generating more innovation in education, modernizing the way we use time, resources and technology to personalize learning and expand the boundaries of the classroom

· Looking more closely at how we use resources at the state, district and school level.

· Empowering individual schools and educators to lead and drive improvement

If we are successful, we should begin to see greater personalization of learning leading to greater gains in student achievement across all socio-economic backgrounds. We will put the essential building blocks in place for an education system that can continually innovate, with schools becoming the driving force of progress. Our best teachers will be deployed in the most challenged schools, and the most promising innovative practices, especially in relation to closing achievement and opportunity gaps, will be captured and available for replication. Most importantly, progress can be accelerated and adjustments made for many years to come.

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

MBAE’s core work is influencing state education policy to improve the quality of ALL public schools for ALL students in Massachusetts. Through publication of research and reports that provide actionable solutions and through leadership at and participation in meetings, forums, committees and commissions charged with advising state policymakers, MBAE advances key policies. We produce specific proposals for legislative and executive action; we build coalitions of supporters to influence policy makers; and, we bring the business community’s voice to bear on critical issues.
Key priorities for the short term include:

Preserving the high academic standards that ensure students graduate with the knowledge, skills and experiences to succeed in college and compete in the workforce. In 2010, Massachusetts raised the bar for all students when it adopted the Common Core State Standards and adapted them to reflect Massachusetts priorities. These standards emphasize the critical thinking and problem solving skills necessary for success in higher education and the workforce and set a path for all students toward attaining a postsecondary career certificate or college degree. MBAE will continue to fight efforts to repeal these standards and to advocate for continuous improvement.

Ensuring statewide standardized tests align with the demands of colleges and the workplace. Whether the standards realize their potential as an effective tool in the preparation of students for the future will depend on the adoption of high quality assessments that align with the standards and indicate readiness for college and career. Massachusetts is currently developing MCAS 2.0, a next generation assessment system. MBAE will be closely following and weighing in on the development of MCAS 2.0 to ensure it is an honest and valid measure of whether students are on track for college work without the need for remediation, and assesses applied knowledge and skills needed to be ready to meet workforce expectations.

Lifting the cap on charter public schools, increasing flexibility for all schools, and encouraging the development of diverse education models, particularly in high-need communities. The New Opportunity to Lead envisions a transformation of our education system over the next 20 years that will rely on new approaches and greater diversity in models for schools and districts that currently exist. MBAE supports current efforts to expand access to high quality charter schools and raise the cap for public charter schools in the lowest 25% of districts.

The management flexibility the Achievement Gap Act of 2010 gave leaders of Level 4 Schools has been instrumental in the gains those schools have realized in creating a culture of high expectations and raising student performance. Based on this positive experience, MBAE will also seek to extend management flexibilities granted to some of the state’s lowest performing schools to all schools at Level 3 or below.

Advancing solutions to school funding challenges to ensure equitable and effective distribution and use of funding for education. School funding is a critical lever for improving schools and student outcomes. Fundamental changes to the education funding system are required to meet the needs of every student and to ensure low income and needier students receive added support.

Providing mentors and other adults with actionable information and tools to help prepare students for the real world. MBAE also has real and direct impact on students through Future Ready Massachusetts. Our Future Ready Mentor Toolkit includes a recommended course of study, middle and high school checklists, financial literacy activities and information regarding career exploration, college planning and financial aid. 

3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

MBAE’s respected leadership and impeccable reputation has made the organization the trusted source for business leaders and state policy makers for 25 years. We are widely known for our substantial record of success in bringing about critical improvements in education. Not only was MBAE the driving force behind the Education Reform Act of 1993, a national model, we have been a consistent voice and leader on critical issues throughout the years since its passage.

Well-known for collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders, MBAE gets things done. We are uniquely positioned to lead the next wave of education improvements.

MBAE is governed by a 26-member Board of Directors representing some of the largest employers in the state. Our work is guided by an Advisory Council of CEO’s and senior executives. Members of both groups have extensive experience in the public and private sectors and share a strong commitment to public education. They work on committees, represent employers on state Advisory Boards and Task Forces and testify before legislative and executive bodies. MBAE has also organized a dynamic group of young business leaders to serve on our Emerging Leaders Council. All of these groups are supported by a staff of policy and communications professionals. MBAE’s impact is enhanced by our partnerships with statewide organizations including Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, and the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

MBAE has received substantial multi-year grant commitments from leading philanthropic groups that contribute to the sustainability of our work.

4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

MBAE will know it is making progress when student achievement is on a trajectory to close racial and socio-economic achievement gaps; provide equitable access to courses of study that prepare students for higher education without need for remediation; and, develop skills to succeed in the workplace of today and adapt to demands of the future.

Trends in student scores on the state’s annual standardized tests as well as Massachusetts’ performance on the National Assessment for Education Progress (NAEP) are critical indicators of whether we are on track and making progress. Remediation rates at state colleges and universities are reported by the Department of Higher Education and should begin to go down as we do a better job of preparing students for college. MBAE together with Associated Industries of Massachusetts (the largest industry association in the state) and the Massachusetts Business Roundtable periodically surveys employers to quantify how many are having trouble finding job candidates with the right skills to fill open positions. We can use that survey to see if we’ve moved the needle on the workforce front.

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

Setting a high bar for learning and assessing whether students are meeting it is the critical foundation for an excellent education system. MBAE has made significant progress on this front.

Persuading thought leaders that Massachusetts needs a new standardized testing system. MBAE’s report comparing the state’s 18-year-old standardized testing system, MCAS, to a next generation testing system, PARCC, changed the conversation and made a compelling case that we need a new test that is aligned with the demands of the real world, provides valuable feedback to teachers and parents, and indicates whether a student is on track for college and careers.

Setting a higher bar for teaching and learning. MBAE influenced the decision of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to base a new student assessment largely on PARCC which sets a higher bar for teaching and learning. An MBAE-led coalition beat back efforts to stay with the outdated MCAS, counteracting extremists with thoughtful, evidence-based positions represented in news stories including on the front page of The New York Times and earning positive editorials from The Boston Globe and other leading Massachusetts newspapers.

An area in which we have not made progress is in ensuring an excellent teacher in every classroom. Evidence shows that the quality of teaching and school leadership are the two most important factors affecting student learning. MBAE is calling for the redesign of recruitment, preparation, support and evaluation of teachers to ensure that every child in every classroom will be taught by a great teacher every year. There is still much work to be done to achieve that goal.