Ben Forman Research Director, MassINC

Benjamin Forman is MassINC’s research director. He coordinates the development of the organization’s research agenda and oversees production of research reports. Ben has authored a number of MassINC publications and he speaks frequently to organizations and media across Massachusetts. With a background in urban revitalization and sustainable growth and development, he is uniquely suited to the organization’s focus on strong communities and economic security.

Prior to joining MassINC in 2008, Ben oversaw strategic planning for the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation, a large agency providing critical services to youth and families in neighborhoods throughout the city. He also worked as a research assistant at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program in Washington, DC and Nathan Associates, a global economic development consulting firm.

As a graduate student, Ben was awarded a Rappaport Public Policy Fellowship and served in the City of New Bedford’s planning department. He also worked as a graduate research assistant on a multi-year longitudinal analysis measuring the impact of new information technologies on neighborhood social networks.

Ben graduated from Trinity College, Hartford in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. In 2004, he completed his master’s degree in city planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He lives in Boston with his wife Anne and two daughters, Eloise and Cecily.

ARTICLES By Ben Forman

The Public’s Take on Education Accountability

Results from a Survey of Massachusetts Voters

Understanding public opinion on education account- ability is crucial as policymakers work to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the 2015 federal law that replaces No Child Left Behind (NCLB). MassINC partnered with The MassINC Polling Group to learn more about how voters throughout the Commonwealth feel about efforts to assess student learning, measure

Accurately measuring a school’s contribution to student growth

ESSA Strategy Call

Our first weekly ESSA Strategy Call focused on Gateway City priority 1: A formal accountability system that creates a level playing field for urban districts when describing performance by isolating each school’s contribution to student learning.  Accurately capturing school performance is largely about the model Massachusetts adopts to statistically control for demographic variation across schools.

Next Generation Education Accountability in Lowell

Recapping our Second Community Conversation

Gateway City leaders from the Merrimack Valley gathered yesterday for a conversation on the power of education accountability, and how change brought about by the impending implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) can help advance the Gateway City vision for educational excellence. While many themes similar to those surfaced in Worcester were discussed, here are

Voters Support the Changes to Accountability Envisioned by Gateway City Leaders

Survey of registered voters in Massachusetts

Across Massachusetts, Gateway City leaders are working to create exceptional learning environments. It’s a community-wide effort. By strategically marshalling available resources, Gateway Cities can provide the comprehensive supports and educational opportunities that will enable students to gain the full set of advanced skills today’s economy requires. Achieving this vision calls for new approaches to state

Advancing the Gateway Cities Vision

The Potential of Next-Generation Approaches to Education Accountability

We’ve got a prime opportunity to advance the Gateway Cities Vision. In 2013, Gateway City leaders came together to develop an “education vision.” Their farsighted plan leverages unique urban assets to create exceptional learning environments. Achieving this vision is fundamental to making Gateway Cities more attractive communities for families to live and more productive places for

Next Generation Education Accountability

Design Ideas from New England’s Small-to-Midsize Urban School Districts

Can policymakers take hold of the recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and create new approaches to education accountability that accelerate opportunity and learning for all students? With generous support from the Barr Foundation, the Next Generation Accountability Learning Community (NGALC) examined this question over the past five months with an emphasis on small-to-midsize

Workforce Development Transformation Case Studies

Three Examples of Systems Change through Collaborative Gateway City Leadership

It is with great pleasure that we offer three case studies to complement the report Calling All Leaders: An Action Guide to Workforce Development Transformation. The action guide outlined the grand dimensions of the challenge by the numbers, and contrasted the need for workforce development services with the limited resources available. These case studies show

The Geography of Incarceration

A Special Report from the Boston Indicators Project in Partnership with MassINC and the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Reform Coalition

This paper explores the geography of incarceration in Boston, providing timely information as state leaders engage in an unprecedented effort to find strategies to operate our criminal justice system in a more cost-effective manner, and redirect the savings toward models that decrease crime and strengthen neighborhoods. The first phase of this federally-funded endeavor, which is

Calling all Gateway City Leaders

An action Guide to Workforce Development Transformation in Massachusetts

In Gateway City regions with an aging and under-skilled labor force, workforce development is an essential ingredient for future economic growth. This new “action guide” provides a helpful playbook for local leaders looking to engage in efforts to transform these systems. In plain English, the report breaks down workforce development to give municipal leaders a

Justice Reinvestment At-A-Glance

Community Corrections

This Justice Reinvestment At-a-Glance report examines community corrections. Community corrections is an enhanced form of probation. Instead of incarceration, individuals are sentenced to intensive services and supervision in the community. The data presented here show that—among individuals in Massachusetts convicted for offenses where community corrections may be appropriate—very few receive this alternative to incarceration.  

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