Education research agenda 

Agencies of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Education are committed to research that advances equitable student outcomes. Please consult the research agendas and priorities of the departments of Early Education and Care, Elementary and Secondary Education, and Higher Education below before submitting your research proposal. Preference is given to projects that align with these priorities. 

Shared priorities

The Education-to-Career Research and Data Hub facilitates cross-agency research in the following areas:
  • Early literacy
  • Educator diversity
  • Early College and Innovation Pathways programs
  • Earnings and outcomes

Early Education and Care

The Department of Early Education and Care’s (EEC) research agenda comprises three main areas of focus for making data-driven decisions that support the healthy growth and development of all children through high quality programs and resources for families and communities:
  • Youth, children, and families – Maximize dignified access, streamline and modernize procedures, and expand equitable early education and care options
  • Providers – Provide consistent, on-going supports that promote stable financing, quality services, and health and safety
  • Educators – Facilitate meaningful career pathways, professional advancement, and retention of educators in the field
Read EEC’s strategic action plan.

Elementary and Secondary Education 

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Educational Vision identifies three strategic objectives to advance equitable learning experiences in partnership with schools, districts and programs:
  • Cultivate systems to support the whole student and foster joyful, healthy, and supportive learning environments so that all students feel valued, connected, nourished, and ready to learn
  • Promote deeper learning so that all students engage in grade-level work that is real-world, relevant, and interactive
  • Develop and sustain a workforce that is diverse, culturally responsive, well-prepared, and committed to continuous improvement, so that all students have equitable access to effective educators
DESE's Office of Planning and Research has identified Research Priority Topics for 2024 (doc). Ideas for projects that address these topics from a variety of perspectives are welcome. 

Higher Education 

The Department of Higher Education (DHE) has made it a top priority to implement a Strategic Plan for Racial Equity to significantly raise the enrollment, attainment, and long-term success outcomes among underrepresented student populations.
DHE is also engaged in several strategic processes to improve student success, affordability, and access, workforce development, diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education. DHE’s website provides updates on progress towards these goals, reports, research, and resources which include:  
  • Expanding access to higher education
  • Increasing the number of college graduates in the state
  • Enhancing the skills of the state's workforce