History and Impact
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.
MBAE’s 1991 comprehensive school reform proposal, Every Child a Winner, was the framework for the Education Reform Act of 1993, a national model for standards-based reform that catapulted the state to first in the nation in student achievement.
For thirty years, MBAE has effectively advanced state education policies that have significantly improved our public schools. MBAE helped set a high bar for learning for ALL students; successfully advocated for vigorous state intervention to turn around chronically underperforming schools and providing the leaders of struggling schools with authority and flexibility to make changes in the best interest of students; helped develop the state’s grant proposal that secured an unprecedented $250 million federal education grant; produced research that provided the catalyst for legislation that saved cities and towns more than $100 million in employee health care costs, making those funds available for education; provided critical evidence and support for the state’s adoption of updated learning goals that reflect essential 21st century skills like critical thinking and problem solving; led the call for a new MCAS that is more aligned with college and career expectations; and, led the legal challenge that succeeded in removing a question from the ballot that would have set students back.
In 2014, MBAE released The New Opportunity to Lead: A Vision for Education in Massachusetts in the Next 20 Years, a comprehensive assessment of the Commonwealth’s education system that sounded the alarm 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.