Gateway City leaders have a vision for educational excellence.

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 employers to locate. The Gateway Cities Vision initiative is a collaborative effort to promote education policies that better position Gateway Cities to realize their shared vision for the future of learning in inclusive urban communities.


Articles from The Gateway Cities Vision

Taking matters into their own hands

The Gateway Cities Journal

In 2013, Gateway City leaders developed an education vision. Their strategy was rooted in a belief that these inclusive urban communities could create exceptional learning environments by building on their core strengths, including their diversity, strong cultural institutions, sophisticated early learning providers, and local higher ed partners. At the time, educators described pressure to perform

Education policy forum highlights power of RPP model in Gateway Cities

Shedding new light on effective practice

Education leaders and policymakers gathered in downtown Boston to hear about early efforts to build research-practice partnerships (RPPs) through the Massachusetts Institute of College and Career Readiness(MICCR), a collaborative effort led by the Rennie Center, Boston University, and MassINC, with support from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). MICCR paired researchers up with 14 participating

Locally accountable for education-led renewal

The Gateway Cities Journal

The fate of our Gateway Cities lies in their schools. From growing a skilled workforce to maintaining healthy neighborhoods, public education will be the deciding factor. Significant progress has been made, but a lot more needs to happen to put these school systems in a stronger position to drive economic growth and renewal. Some of

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

Seeking out the educational accountability muse

The Gateway Cities Journal

“Sometimes we live no particular way but our own” goes the Grateful Dead lyric which, in a nut shell, describes the educational accountability vibe in Massachusetts’s plan for implementing the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA invites states to hold schools accountable for delivering a wider range of learning. In contrast to a host of states that

A plan for building social-emotional support systems

BC’s School of Education visits State House

As much as two-thirds of the variance in student achievement has been attributed to out-of-school factors such as health, neighborhood safety, and family instability. Studies have demonstrated that systemic and coordinated effort to promote social-emotional development can help address these barriers to learning. The Gateway Cities education vision called for establishing such a system. Our research

Gateway Cities Legislative Caucus renews its commitment to lead on urban education

Investing significant energy and political capital

The Gateway Cities Legislative Caucus met on March 22nd to reaffirm their commitment to work collaboratively this session on issues affecting urban school districts. Caucus members were joined by Superintendents Kathy Smith of Brockton, Mary Bourque of Chelsea, and Dianne Kelly of Revere. The superintendents expressed grave concern over the future of funding for urban

Gateway Cities take a big step forward on early college

Expanding access to early college programs

Education leaders from across the state gathered in Boston on March 23rd to launch an initiative to dramatically expand access to early college programs in Massachusetts. A model pioneered by Gateway Cities over the last decade, early college was a central strategy outlined in the 2013 Gateway Cities education vision. The new initiative seeks to scale

MassINC issues public comments on state’s proposed ESSA plan

For the past 12 months, MassINC has been focused on the potential the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) offers to further educational excellence in our Gateway Cities. This work builds on over a decade of MassINC research on education accountability, including the seminal report Incomplete Grade: Education Reform at 15. Our efforts to

Gateway Cities Vision


State House Forum Brings to Life the Power of Early College: Event Recap #mapoli
Jun 18, 2019
@e_okillea They also fill a void in the city. When transit fails to safely & reliably connect people to places they want to be (route plans, service frequency, infrastructure), folks use @lyft, @Zipcar or delivery services to get around. All add to congestion. #MassTOD
Jun 18, 2019
Nearly $1 billion funding difference in education bills: Report highlights big gains Gateway Cities would see under ‘Promise Act’ #mapoli
Jun 17, 2019
On this episode of Gateways Ben and Juana explore the promise of Early College, sit down with Higher Ed Commissioner Carlos Santiago, and learn from students and Early College pioneers
Jun 17, 2019
The late Jim Potter brought compact living to Seattle a decade ago, catalyzing much-needed updates to the region's building & zoning codes. Great to see this option finally hitting Boston. #HousingChoice #MassTOD
Jun 15, 2019
Though the train is often faster, I like riding the bus because I can see more of what's happening on the vibrant city streets. #MassTOD #RideTheBus
Jun 14, 2019
Don't know whether it's from laughing or crying, but yes, there are tears rolling down my cheeks.... #MassTOD
Jun 14, 2019
With our current transportation system, we are all long. T riders in Boston, bus riders in Pittsfield, drivers in Acton are all losing. We need to address this now. #GetSmart #GetSmartForum2019 #MassTOD
Jun 13, 2019
Thank you to everyone who made this event a blast. #MassTOD
Jun 13, 2019
Event Recap: Northern Massachusetts Transformative Transit-Oriented Development (TTOD) Regional Forum #MassTOD
Jun 12, 2019
Did you miss the Transformative #Transit-Oriented Development (TTOD) Regional Forum that was held at the @ihub_uml on May 30th? If so, you can read this excellent recap posted by @Gatewaycities, which also includes a video replay of the entire event. #TOD #TTOD #Lowell #MassTOD
Jun 12, 2019
Great to host @amydain here at EOHED to dive into her report, "The #StateOfZoning for Multi-Family Housing in Greater Boston," and discuss the connection with @MassGovernor's #HousingChoice legislation to enable zoning reform and increase housing production across the state.
Jun 12, 2019
The Gateway Cities Journal: Wielding the Double-Edged Zoning Sword
Jun 11, 2019
Thank you @EricLesser for calling for more marketing of the #KnowledgeCorridorRail pilot. I'd love to have a one-seat ride from Boston to NYC through Springfield & get closer to #RegionalRail across New England. #MassTOD
Jun 11, 2019
This episode is the first in a series of three exploring the unique power of Early College pathways. We begin with Joel Vargas, then we visit Salem to talk with a group of educators, followed by a Salem High Junior
Jun 10, 2019
Register today for the North Shore Massachusetts Transformative Transit-Oriented Development (TTOD) Regional Forum in Lynn on June 19! We'll explore how Lynn, Peabody, Salem & other cities are using TOD to transform their cities & surrounding communities
Jun 10, 2019
#RideTheT perk: running into a friend and brilliant jurist and scholar you thought was in California but now lives down the street. #MassTOD
Jun 10, 2019
Live at Suffolk Downs for the Horse Race at the Horse Races. Councillor Edwards and Mayor Driscoll keep talking about #TransitOrientedDevelopment as a solution to our housing woes. #MassTOD
Jun 09, 2019

Coming up

Explore Gateway Cities Vision Research Reports

Gateway Cities Vision Videos

  • MassINC is a key partner to the Boston Foundation, and all of us who are seeking to advance the regional conversation around economic opportunity and a strong quality of life for all.  MassINC's robust, nonpartisan research is exactly what our citizens and leaders need to make good decisions.

    Paul Grogan, President of The Boston Foundation

  • I watch my inbox for CommonWealth magazine’s Daily Download. I can count on the newsletter to tell me succinctly what’s happening in politics and public policy. The magazine itself always delivers in-depth news, analysis and commentary. It's simply outstanding, quality journalism. I am happy to support unbiased reporting through my participation in Citizens Circle.

    Helen Chin Schlichte
    Former Public Administrator; President Emeritus, South Cove Manor at Quincy Point

  • MassINC's long-term dedication to Gateway Cities makes them a valuable resource to all of our communities. They are a true thought partner. They go the distance to help others appreciate our unique opportunities, needs, and perspectives.

    Tim McGourthy Executive Director of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau

  • MassINC serves as a credible, thoughtful resource for all of us who are invested in the future of the Commonwealth. Its emphasis on careful analysis that is grounded in data, research, and polling makes an important contribution to and helps elevate the conversation about the challenges and opportunities facing the region.

    Trevor Pollack, Manager of Special Projects for the Barr Foundation

  • The potential of Massachusetts’ Gateway Cities is limitless. MassINC’s dedicated work in promoting these cities has been, and will continue to be, instrumental in their individual and collective success.

    Jay Ash
    Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development and former chair of the Gateway Cities Innovation Institute

  • MassINC has always provided research showing the detrimental impact of the state’s unforgiving criminal justice system on our communities. Their polling confirmed that the public understood the need for change in our system. That criminal justice reform is at the forefront of bipartisan local and national debates today is in no small measure due to MassINC’s persistent and fair commitment to the issue.

    Juliette Kayyem Faculty Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Founder Kayyem Solutions LLC

  • Through my partnership with MassINC, the Building On What Works Coalition is working to unite a diverse collection of civic leaders around an urgent call to encourage the state to act on the progress that has been made ensuring all children in Massachusetts have a true chance to succeed in the state’s economy. MassINC’s research and commitment to data driven public policy are helping to give the children of Massachusetts a better education.

    Kim Driscoll Mayor of Salem

  • MassINC's work with the Gateway Cities is unmatched. As Eastern Bank strives to help businesses in these communities thrive, MassINC has been a tremendous partner, providing data-driven research and affirming that these cities are full of opportunities.

    Bob Rivers Chairman and CEO of Eastern Bank

  • When MassINC speaks, it’s well worth listening. After all, the nonpartisan think tank has established itself as a thoughtful, careful, credible voice on public policy in Massachusetts.

    Scot Lehigh Boston Globe Op-Ed Columnist

  • Few organizations in the country have better understood the important role of governance reform and accountability in education policy and economic development than MassINC.

    Bruce Katz Former Vice President and Founding Director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at The Brookings Institution

  • [MassINC's] understanding of the complexity of the challenges facing the state’s older cities, its belief in the opportunities that present themselves in those communities, and its advocacy of the role that public higher education can and should play in them, has added to the understanding that policy makers need to have as they move our state toward the future.

    Jean MacCormack


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