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

A third way on the school funding/accountability debate

The answer isn’t more state rules but greater local oversight

BEACON HILL LEADERS are searching for ways to provide public schools with a significant infusion of new dollars. Taking a page from Massachusetts’s landmark 1993 Education Reform Act, some have proposed attaching higher levels of accountability to any new funding. Others are not so hot on this idea. After all, they reason, the state skirted

Local Accountability

An Untapped Strategy for Advancing Student Achievement in Massachusetts Public Schools

This volume combines the three papers in the local accountability series in one document with an executive summary. The five-page executive summary encapsulates the findings and recommendations and provides further context to demonstrate why strengthening local accountability is a powerful imperative for Gateway Cities.

Unveiling Gateway City Neighborhood Stabilization Bill

Show Your Support

Last week the Gateway Cities Legislative Caucus filed an omnibus bill to provide communities with more powerful tools to address blighted and abandoned property and stabilize distressed neighborhoods across the Commonwealth. This legislation includes all of the major tools described in a neighborhood stabilization policy blueprint that we developed collaboratively with Gateway City housing leaders over the

Governing Local Accountability

The Health of School Committees and Councils in Gateway Cities

Paper two documented a dearth of local account­ability practice in Gateway Cities. The third and final installment in our series, this report traces the absence of robust local accountability in these communities to fundamental weaknesses in governing bodies at both the school and the district levels. The authors conclude with policy recommendations to position school

State and Local Blueprints for Comprehensive Neighborhood Stabilization

New report calls attention to Massachusetts’ “other housing problem.”

In recent years, much attention has been trained on Greater Boston’s tight housing market and the increasingly severe difficulty residents have finding affordable housing in the region. There is much less awareness of the very different challenge faced by residents of weak market neighborhoods, where housing is much less expensive but conditions are physically, socially,

Building Communities of Promise and Possibility

State and Local Blueprints for Comprehensive Neighborhood Stabilization

In recent years, much attention has been trained on Greater Boston’s tight housing market and the increasingly severe difficulty residents have finding affordable housing in the region. There is much less awareness of the very different challenge faced by residents of weak market neighborhoods, where housing is much less expensive but conditions are physically, socially,

School and District Improvement Plans

A Review of Local Accountability Practice in Massachusetts Gateway Cities

The second installment in a series of three reports, this paper explores the extent to which communities in Massachusetts exercise local accountability through an examination of Gateway City school and district improvement plans. Data gleaned from a review of these plans suggest communities are not complementing and building upon state and federal performance measures with

Local Accountability

The Forgotten Element in Education Reform

Prepared in partnership with the Center for Assessment, this novel paper is a first attempt to define the purpose and principles of “local accountability” practices that complement state and federal accountability frameworks. The conceptual frame in a series of three reports, The Forgotten Element in Education Reform explores the shifting balance of responsibility for monitoring

Please Support Gateway City Legislative Leaders

Your advocacy can make a difference

Dear Friends: In the final days of this Legislative session, two items hang in the balance that have great importance to Gateway City economic development efforts. The first is the Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP). After years of advocacy by Gateway Cities mayors, this market-rate housing production tool is finally doing exactly what it was

Revisiting Correctional Expenditure Trends in Massachusetts

MassINC is proud to present another installment in our “Justice Reinvestment At-A-Glance” research brief series. Revisiting Correctional Expenditure Trends in Massachusetts updates our 2017 report, Getting Tough on Spending. Our new analysis incorporates final expenditures through FY 2017, and projects outward using the House and Senate Ways and Means FY 2019 budget proposals. We hope

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