Massachusetts 2020 History

Massachusetts 2020 is committed to expanding educational and economic opportunities for children and families across Massachusetts. A state affiliate of the National Center on Time & Learning, Massachusetts 2020, in partnership with the MA Department of Elementary & Secondary Education, currently leads the country’s most ambitious statewide initiative to expand and modernize the American school calendar.

Founded in 2000 by Chris Gabrieli, a civic and business entrepreneur, and Jennifer Davis, former Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education, our mission is to expand educational and economic opportunities for children and families across Massachusetts

Our initial efforts focused on expanding after-school and summer learning opportunities for children across the Commonwealth. Massachusetts 2020 has been a lead partner in launching several major initiatives, including Boston’s After-School for All Partnership, the largest public-private partnership (over $26 million) dedicated to children in Boston’s history; the Keeping Kids on Track Statewide Campaign in partnership with the five largest United Way organizations in Massachusetts; the statewide Middle School Initiative in partnership with Citizen Schools and several private funders; the Transition to Success Pilot project; the School Sites Initiative, which is working with Boston schools; the After-School Literacy Coaching Initiative in Boston; and Partners for Student Success, now managed by Boston After School & Beyond

Since our early work, Massachusetts 2020’s mission has grown into a comprehensive new vision for education in Massachusetts and across America. Taking lessons from the highest quality after-school programs, from charter and district schools that use significantly more learning time, and from our own research, Massachusetts 2020 recognized the need for a newly redesigned school day to match the challenges of a new world.

In 2005, we launched our most ambitious initiative yet—the Massachusetts Expanded Learning Time Initiative. Combining policy, research, communications, and direct work with schools, Massachusetts 2020 is now the leader in developing and implementing a public policy agenda for expanding learning time and redesigning schools to better serve all children.

Founded on the basic premise that in a highly competitive global society the century-old school schedule is out of date, the Expanded Learning Time (ELT) Initiative seeks to free public schools from the shackles of a calendar designed to accommodate farm and factory schedules.

In partnership with the Massachusetts Legislature, Governor, and many other leaders from around the state, Massachusetts 2020’s efforts helped to launch the Massachusetts ELT Initiative—the country’s single-most important public policy effort helping schools to add time and redesign how they approach teaching and learning. From it’s beginning as a $500,000 state planning grant program in 2005, Massachusetts 2020 has helped to grow ELT into a $14 million initiative that has allowed 19 schools serving more than 10,500 students to rebuild their educational program with 300 additional hours per year.

Massachusetts 2020 fills a critical role in the design, planning, and implementation of the ELT Initiative. With the support of private funding, our organization is an influential advocate for expanding time, provides direct support to schools through a customized Technical Assistance Program, and works in close partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE). While Massachusetts 2020 provides technical assistance to schools and districts in the planning and implementation stages, and conducts research and advocacy in support of the initiative, ESE sets demanding criteria for participation and selects qualifying schools based on the strength and viability of the redesign proposals.