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Research that Matters

Education Matters, Inc., a not-for-profit, tax-exempt firm located in Cambridge, Massachusetts and with an office in Seattle, WA, was incorporated in October 1984. For the past nineteen years, members of the firm have conducted qualitative evaluations and applied research studies pertinent to issues of school reform, teaching, learning, and learning to teach. Members of the firm are particularly interested in pursuing studies that help improve schooling for students who are not well-served in our public schools.

Education Matters designs and implements evaluations that can be used to strengthen teaching and learning and other aspects of educational practice and school reform. To this end, our evaluations include close attention to instructional and leadership capacity-building and involve educators who work at all levels of the schools and school systems. We strive to be responsive to our funders' need for information, while keeping in mind that the primary audience for our written reports and other forms of feedback is the set of educational practitioners who are trying to improve teaching, learning, and administrative practice.

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NEW: Three new reports are available for download. Two focus on Boston's continuing efforts to improve literacy teaching and learning in all of the district's schools. The third, and most recent report focuses specifically on the early phase of high school reform in the district.

  • Baseline Report: High School Renewal in Boston. (September 2004)
    This report describes the ways in which a sample of the district´┐Żs comprehensive high schools are restructuring into smaller units — small thematic high schools or small thematic learning communities to provide students with greater opportunities to learn and succeed.

  • Getting Our Feet Wet: Using Making Meaning™ for the First Time. (August 2004)
    This report evaluates the use of the Making Meaning™ curriculum materials produced by Developmental Studies Center in Oakland, CA. It is a small, qualitative study that concludes that these materials can be used to support the district's teachers in implementing Readers' Workshop as their approach to literacy instruction.

  • Formative Assessment Pilot Implementation: Final Report. (July 2004)
    This report evaluates the pilot phase of the implementation of a set of formative assessments that were designed to provide teachers with timely, targeted, usable data that could inform their reading instruction with respect to finding evidence and drawing inferences. The assessments were built in light of data gleaned from the state's MCAS test and were designed to be used by students in grades three, four, seven, and ten, the grades assessed by the state test: MCAS.