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

Looking for a Transformative Transit-Oriented Development paradigm

View the Boston skyline from afar and you can pick out transit stops from the cranes poking out above active construction sites. TOD is occurring all over the city. This development has been fueled by relatively strong regional population and employment growth, high-frequency transit service, and perhaps most importantly, consumers with a preference for walkable

Haverhill Education Coalition working to promote excellence

New organization shows the promise of local accountability initiatives

The Haverhill Education Coalition is the latest example of grassroots leadership emerging in a Gateway City to support public education. Founded in February to help promote and advance high-quality education in Haverhill, the coalition seeks to “increase parent and citizen engagement in the public schools, increase transparency of school data and information, promote higher standards

Bending the business as usual growth curve

Leveraging existing transit assets

Massachusetts is projected to add more than a half million new residents over the next two decades. Where these new residents settle will have important consequences for quality of life, the environment, economic growth, and access to opportunity. How we grow will also have critical implications for the fiscal health of state and local governments.

Getting Tough on Spending

An Examination of Correctional Expenditure in Massachusetts

In 2013, a diverse cross-section of leaders stepped forward to form the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Reform Coalition. Led by Wayne Budd, Kevin Burke and Max Stern, members were drawn to the coalition by a shared understanding that the Commonwealth’s criminal justice system was riddled with counterproductive policies. They joined hands united in the belief that

Ben Forman testifies before the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Revenue

In support of “An Act Relative to Regional Transportation Ballot Initiatives” (H. 1640)

Below is MassINC Research Director Ben Forman’s testimony in support of regional ballot initiatives to fund transportation projects in Massachusetts. Ben testified before the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Revenue on April 10, 2017. Joint Committee on Revenue In support of “An Act Relative to Regional Transportation Ballot Initiatives” (H. 1640) Ben Forman Research Director, MassINC

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

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