Educational Institutions

Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education Inc.

  • Boston, MA

Mission Statement

The Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE) is committed to excellence, opportunity and innovation in our public education system to prepare all students to engage successfully in a global economy and society.

Main Programs

  1. Future Ready Massachusetts
Service Areas




ruling year


Principal Officer since 2005


Ms. Linda M. Noonan



Education, Public Schools, K-12 Education

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Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?


Self-reported by organization

Defeating an effort that would set students back. MBAE achieved a major victory for students and teachers by preventing an initiative from appearing on the ballot that sought to repeal the state's education standards. The MA Supreme Judicial Court ruling that the initiative petition to repeal the Common Core State Standards did not meet legal requirements to go on the ballot was the culmination of a legal effort led by MBAE to protect high academic standards that focus on college and career readiness. The ballot measure would have created significant costs for the state and cities and towns, and politicized the process by which we decide what kids learn.Setting a higher bar for teaching and learning. MBAE's report examining MCAS was instrumental in persuading policymakers the state needs a new, better standardized test. A coalition led by MBAE beat back efforts to stay with the outdated MCAS and instead adopt a high quality assessment. The state Board voted to develop MCAS 2.0, setting a higher bar for teaching and learning. Reaching 7,000 mentors, students, families and other adults with the Future Ready Mentor Toolkit, a tool that enables adults to guide students in preparing for success in college, work and life. Securing substantial multi-year grants validating MBAE's significant past performance as well as future plans and goals, and enabling MBAE to grow its impact for years to come. Key priorities for the coming year include: Promoting more effective and equitable use of school funds. Ensuring that implementation of the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) strengthens the states accountability system Lifting the cap on charter public schools, increasing flexibility for all schools, and encouraging the development of diverse education models, particularly in high-need communities. Supporting digital equity and state policies that ensure exposure to computational thinking and skills in all districts, for all students.


Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Future Ready Massachusetts

Future Ready Massachusetts provides tools and resources to get more students ready for college and career. Developed in partnership with the Dept. of Higher Education, Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education and MA Educational Financing Authority, includes a searchable database of programs, resources and tools. At the urging of mentoring and other youth-serving organizations, we created the Future Ready Mentor Toolkit, which includes information and resources to help mentors and influential adults guide students. Future Ready is a member of the Reach Higher Leadership Team, an initiative that aims to inspire every student to take charge of their education future; promotes career preparation for all students and increased access to vocational technical education as a member of the Alliance for Vocational Technical Education; and, has made Digital Equity a key priority, joining an effort to narrow the digital divide.


Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Other Named Groups

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General



Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    The Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE), and the employers it represents, are committed to a public education system that prepares EVERY student for success in college, career and citizenship. Long term success for MBAE means elimination of chronic racial and socio-economic education achievement gaps that prevent so many students from realizing their dreams and full potential, and a robust, well-educated, diverse, highly-skilled workforce pipeline that fuels growth in our companies and our state economy. In 2014, MBAE released a comprehensive plan to achieve those goals. The New Opportunity to Lead: A Vision for Education in Massachusetts in the Next 20 Years, produced by international education experts with significant input from Massachusetts business and education stakeholders, warns that unless we modernize our education system, our skills gap will grow larger, we will not have the robust pipeline of skilled workers our knowledge economy demands, and a large portion of students will be left on the economic sidelines. The report calls for a phased approach to reinvent education for the 21st century. Over the next three to five years, MBAE is urging and pursuing comprehensive and immediate action in these essential areas: * Maintaining high standards and deploying assessments that promote a solid foundation in literacy and math as well as the broader range of knowledge, skills and dispositions students need to manage their own careers * Recruiting and developing world class educators and school leaders * Generating more innovation in education, modernizing the way we use time, resources and technology to personalize learning and expand the boundaries of the classroom * Looking more closely at how we use resources at the state, district and school level. * Empowering individual schools and educators to lead and drive improvement If we are successful, we should begin to see greater personalization of learning leading to greater gains in student achievement across all socio-economic backgrounds. We will put the essential building blocks in place for an education system that can continually innovate, with schools becoming the driving force of progress. Our best teachers will be deployed in the most challenged schools, and the most promising innovative practices, especially in relation to closing achievement and opportunity gaps, will be captured and available for replication. Most importantly, progress can be accelerated and adjustments made for many years to come.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    MBAE's core work is influencing state education policy to improve the quality of ALL public schools for ALL students in Massachusetts. Through publication of research and reports that provide actionable solutions and through leadership at and participation in meetings, forums, committees and commissions charged with advising state policymakers, MBAE advances key policies. We produce specific proposals for legislative and executive action; we build coalitions of supporters to influence policy makers; and, we bring the business community's voice to bear on critical issues. Key priorities for the short term include: Preserving the high academic standards that ensure students graduate with the knowledge, skills and experiences to succeed in college and compete in the workforce. In 2010, Massachusetts raised the bar for all students when it adopted the Common Core State Standards and adapted them to reflect Massachusetts priorities. These standards emphasize the critical thinking and problem solving skills necessary for success in higher education and the workforce and set a path for all students toward attaining a postsecondary career certificate or college degree. MBAE will continue to fight efforts to repeal these standards and to advocate for continuous improvement. Ensuring statewide standardized tests align with the demands of colleges and the workplace. Whether the standards realize their potential as an effective tool in the preparation of students for the future will depend on the adoption of high quality assessments that align with the standards and indicate readiness for college and career. Massachusetts is currently developing MCAS 2.0, a next generation assessment system. MBAE will be closely following and weighing in on the development of MCAS 2.0 to ensure it is an honest and valid measure of whether students are on track for college work without the need for remediation, and assesses applied knowledge and skills needed to be ready to meet workforce expectations. Lifting the cap on charter public schools, increasing flexibility for all schools, and encouraging the development of diverse education models, particularly in high-need communities. The New Opportunity to Lead envisions a transformation of our education system over the next 20 years that will rely on new approaches and greater diversity in models for schools and districts that currently exist. MBAE supports current efforts to expand access to high quality charter schools and raise the cap for public charter schools in the lowest 25% of districts. The management flexibility the Achievement Gap Act of 2010 gave leaders of Level 4 Schools has been instrumental in the gains those schools have realized in creating a culture of high expectations and raising student performance. Based on this positive experience, MBAE will also seek to extend management flexibilities granted to some of the state's lowest performing schools to all schools at Level 3 or below. Advancing solutions to school funding challenges to ensure equitable and effective distribution and use of funding for education. School funding is a critical lever for improving schools and student outcomes. Fundamental changes to the education funding system are required to meet the needs of every student and to ensure low income and needier students receive added support. Providing mentors and other adults with actionable information and tools to help prepare students for the real world. MBAE also has real and direct impact on students through Future Ready Massachusetts. Our Future Ready Mentor Toolkit includes a recommended course of study, middle and high school checklists, financial literacy activities and information regarding career exploration, college planning and financial aid.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    MBAE's respected leadership and impeccable reputation has made the organization the trusted source for business leaders and state policy makers for 25 years. We are widely known for our substantial record of success in bringing about critical improvements in education. Not only was MBAE the driving force behind the Education Reform Act of 1993, a national model, we have been a consistent voice and leader on critical issues throughout the years since its passage. Well-known for collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders, MBAE gets things done. We are uniquely positioned to lead the next wave of education improvements. MBAE is governed by a 26-member Board of Directors representing some of the largest employers in the state. Our work is guided by an Advisory Council of CEO's and senior executives. Members of both groups have extensive experience in the public and private sectors and share a strong commitment to public education. They work on committees, represent employers on state Advisory Boards and Task Forces and testify before legislative and executive bodies. MBAE has also organized a dynamic group of young business leaders to serve on our Emerging Leaders Council. All of these groups are supported by a staff of policy and communications professionals. MBAE's impact is enhanced by our partnerships with statewide organizations including Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, and the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. MBAE has received substantial multi-year grant commitments from leading philanthropic groups that contribute to the sustainability of our work.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    MBAE will know it is making progress when student achievement is on a trajectory to close racial and socio-economic achievement gaps; provide equitable access to courses of study that prepare students for higher education without need for remediation; and, develop skills to succeed in the workplace of today and adapt to demands of the future. Trends in student scores on the state's annual standardized tests as well as Massachusetts' performance on the National Assessment for Education Progress (NAEP) are critical indicators of whether we are on track and making progress. Remediation rates at state colleges and universities are reported by the Department of Higher Education and should begin to go down as we do a better job of preparing students for college. MBAE together with Associated Industries of Massachusetts (the largest industry association in the state) and the Massachusetts Business Roundtable periodically surveys employers to quantify how many are having trouble finding job candidates with the right skills to fill open positions. We can use that survey to see if we've moved the needle on the workforce front.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Setting a high bar for learning and assessing whether students are meeting it is the critical foundation for an excellent education system. MBAE has made significant progress on this front. Persuading thought leaders that Massachusetts needs a new standardized testing system. MBAE's report comparing the state's 18-year-old standardized testing system, MCAS, to a next generation testing system, PARCC, changed the conversation and made a compelling case that we need a new test that is aligned with the demands of the real world, provides valuable feedback to teachers and parents, and indicates whether a student is on track for college and careers. Setting a higher bar for teaching and learning. MBAE influenced the decision of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to base a new student assessment largely on PARCC which sets a higher bar for teaching and learning. An MBAE-led coalition beat back efforts to stay with the outdated MCAS, counteracting extremists with thoughtful, evidence-based positions represented in news stories including on the front page of The New York Times and earning positive editorials from The Boston Globe and other leading Massachusetts newspapers. An area in which we have not made progress is in ensuring an excellent teacher in every classroom. Evidence shows that the quality of teaching and school leadership are the two most important factors affecting student learning. MBAE is calling for the redesign of recruitment, preparation, support and evaluation of teachers to ensure that every child in every classroom will be taught by a great teacher every year. There is still much work to be done to achieve that goal.
Service Areas




Social Media

Funding Needs

For more than 25 years, MBAE has worked to improve the Commonwealth's public schools on behalf of employers committed to ensuring students graduate high school prepared for success in college, career and citizenship. MBAE is the only business group with a sole focus on education. Our emphasis is on systemic change that is sustainable and benefits all students. We seek financial support for operating costs to allow MBAE to provide the critical voice of business through actionable research and reports, at meetings and forums we convene or help lead, and on committees and commissions that influence state policy. These activities provide companies with multiple opportunities for funding and engagement that gain them recognition for their support. Company logos appear on our website and are featured in reports read by policymakers and thought leaders and cited in news stories; executives participate in forums and on committees; company leaders testify at hearings representing the voice of business.


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Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.


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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education Inc.



Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2015 and 2015
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Principal Officer

Ms. Linda M. Noonan


Linda M. Noonan joined MBAE as Managing Director in July 2005 after serving as Executive Director of The Alliance for the Commonwealth, a nonpartisan research and educational foundation established by Associated Industries of Massachusetts to help companies maintain and increase their global competitiveness, in order to create and maintain jobs locally. She has held positions with trade associations and state and federal government, including as Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs for the Commonwealth of MA. Her civic and volunteer activities include serving on the Westwood School Committee, and on the town?s Permanent Building Committee, during which time three schools were renovated and expanded, and a new high school was approved and designed. She was also a member of the Westwood Finance Committee and the Economic Development Advisory Board. She currently serves on the Board of Teachers21, and the Steering Committee of Global Education Massachusetts. A member of The Commonwealth Institute and other professional and civic assocations, Ms. Noonan holds degrees from Cornell University and the University of Chicago.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

" Today's jobs require students to have a strong foundation in math, science, writing, problem solving and critical thinking. Tomorrow's jobs will demand even more. MBAE works on behalf of employers to ensure a well-educated, diverse, highly-skilled workforce pipeline. For more than 25 years, we have proved that business is both an effective and essential voice in driving educational improvements. Our leadership is as important today as it ever was. By 2020, 72% of jobs in Massachusetts will require a career certificate or college degree. Yet, one in three of our high school graduates are unprepared to acquire these credentials. As a result, students miss opportunities and the skills gap that threatens our state economy grows wider. Our 21st century economy requires 21st century schools that prepare students with the knowledge and skills they will need to adapt to a constantly-changing economy. To meet this challenge, MBAE is working to bring about Excellence, Opportunity and Innovation in public education. Excellence means modern learning standards, assessments, curricula and teaching models that reflect the demands of today, and prepare students with the skills to adjust for tomorrow. Opportunity means every student must have access to a high quality education that opens doors for their future, and drives community and economic growth. Innovation means reimagining and modernizing our outdated education system and redesigning our public schools to better meet the needs of every student. MBAE's new blueprint for education, The New Opportunity to Lead: A Vision for Education in Massachusetts in the Next 20 Years, lays out a comprehensive plan to meet these objectives. We have embarked on a multi-year plan to realize our goals. We hope you will join us in this effort. "



Mr. William Walczak

South End Community Health Center

Term: Apr 2014 - Apr 2017


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