Information For:

Give back to HGSE and support the next generation of passionate educators and innovative leaders.

Faculty & Research

Paul Reville

Francis Keppel Professor of Practice of Educational Policy and Administration

Paul Reville

Degree:  Ed.M., Stanford University, (1974)
Email:  [javascript protected email address]
Phone:  617.496.4823
Fax:  617.495.7843
Personal Site:   Link to Site
Office:  Longfellow 312
Office Hours Contact:  Email the Faculty Assistant to set up the appointment
Faculty Assistant:  Mark McNally


Paul Reville is the Francis Keppel Professor of Practice of Educational Policy and Administration at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). He is the founding director of HGSE's Education Redesign Lab. In 2013, he completed nearly five years of service as the Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As Governor Patrick's top education adviser, Reville established a new Executive Office of Education and had oversight of higher education, K-12, and early education in the nation's leading student achievement state. He served in the Governor's Cabinet and played a leading education reform role on matters ranging from the Achievement Gap Act of 2010 and Common Core State Standards to the Commonwealth's highly successful Race to the Top proposal. Prior to joining the Patrick Administration, Reville chaired the Massachusetts State Board of Education, founded the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy, co-founded the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE), chaired the Massachusetts Reform Review Commission, chaired the Massachusetts Commission on Time and Learning, and served as executive director of the Pew Forum on Standards-Based Reform, a national think tank which convened the U.S.'s leading researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to set the national standards agenda. Reville played a central role in MBAE's development of and advocacy for Massachusetts historic Education Reform Act of 1993. Reville has been a member of the HGSE faculty since 1997 and has served as director of the Education Policy and Management Program.Reville's career, which combines research, policy, and practice, began with service as a VISTA volunteer/youth worker. He served as a teacher and principal of two urban, alternative high schools. Some years later, he founded a local education foundation which was part of the Public Education Network. He is a board member and adviser to a host of organizations, including BELL, Match Education, Bellwether, City Year Boston, Harvard Medical School's MEDscience and others. He is a frequent writer and speaker on education reform and policy issues. He is also the educator commentator, Boston Public Radio, WGBH. He holds a B.A. from Colorado College, an M.A. from Stanford University and five honorary doctorate degrees.

Click here to see a full list of Paul Reville’s courses.

Areas of Expertise
Louis T. Benezet Award for Outstanding Achievement, Colorado College,(1997)

Excellence in Education Award, Massachusetts Secretary of Education,(1996)

Friend of Education Award, Worcester Public Schools,(1996)

Outstanding Educator of the Year, Phi Delta Kappan, Central Massachusetts Chapter,(1996)

Distinguished Service Award, Advocates for Excellence in Education,(1994)

Humanitarian Award, National Conference of Christians and Jews,(1994)

Award of Excellence for Service, Central Massachusetts Superintendents Association,(1992)

Distinguished Service Award, Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents,(1992)

Friend of Education Award, Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators Association,(1992)

Outstanding Friend of Education, Educational Association of Worcester,(1989)

Friend of Education, Worcester Public School Administrators’ Association,(1986)

National Association for Independent Schools Award for article, "Educating for Connectedness",(1979)

Sponsored Projects

Nellie Mae Sponsorship for May 2018 By All Means Convening (2018-2018)
Nellie Mae Foundation

The May 2018 By All Means consortium convening will be the fifth convening for the participating cities in the current cohort. The convenings bring together the six By All Means Children’s Cabinets as well as policymakers, educators, and community leaders to re-envision public education and its governance. This May 2018 convening will focus on the issue of governance. The convening will feature ways that effective governance structures and practice can overcome barriers to the creation of systems that personalize experiences for students inside and outside of school, and systems of integrated health and education services. We anticipate an audience of about 300, including 150 By All Means city team members along with another 150 national leaders in the field.

General Operating Support for the Education Redesign Lab (2017-2018)
Silicon Valley Community Foundation

CZI funding will enables major projects in all three of our focus areas: Movement Building, Field Work and Research. Those activities include funding to support our first Leadership Institute, upgrades to our web site and new video production, additional consulting capacity to support the cities involved in the By All Means Initiative, and two major research contracts/projects around individualized student success plans and zero-k early childhood system building.

Education Redesign Lab Bridgespan Strategic Planning Process (2017-2017)
Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

The Education Redesign Lab (ERL) was created by Harvard Graduate School of Education Professor Paul Reville, who has spent the last thirty years designing and implementing the successful education reform agenda in Massachusetts. With all of the state’s progress, however, Massachusetts—like all states--continues to have yawning achievement and opportunity gaps between low income students and their more affluent peers. The Education Redesign Lab was launched to build a new, more comprehensive education “engine” for communities across America — one that strategically aligns, integrates, and leverages education, health and social services as well as summer and after-school enrichment opportunities into more personalized systems of child wellbeing and education. This grant from The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative enables the ERL to engage The Bridgespan Group in a four month strategic planning process to explore how the Lab should structure itself to maximize impact on the field of education and child development. The ERL’s plan for action is complex with several components: field work, research, policy and advocacy. Our field work focuses on working with communities where Mayors and other top leaders have embraced a broader definition of education and are committed to realizing a system where all children thrive. Research on promising practices and barriers to success also plays a critical role in this work: it guides our thinking, shapes our ongoing theory of action, and provides the basis for our programs, policy, and advocacy work. Finally, advocacy involves partnering with national civic and policy leaders and grassroots organizations in communities to build a field committed to this new vision of education while also identifying policy barriers and opportunities to implementing a more comprehensive system of supports for children in communities across the country.

Nellie Mae Sponsorship for November By All Means Convening (2016-2017)
Nellie Mae Foundation

The Education Redesign Lab launched the By All Means initiative in May 2016 and convened a national audience in support of a more effective systems for educating all children so that they are prepared to be successful in a complex, 21st century society. The convening in November 2016 is focused on our six cities and will not have the public component of last May’s convening. Our cities have asked for more on-the-ground examples of what this work looks like when implemented and so we have invited practitioners to share their work and are pleased to already have speakers like Superintendent John Freeman from the Pittsfield, NH schools committed to attending. We know that Nellie Mae has provided significant support to the work in Pittsfield along many other district. In addition to Superintendent Freeman some of the other’s we have presenting in November include Adam Seldow from Facebook’s education partnership with the Summit Public Schools, Dr. Bob Balfanz from John Hopkins School of Education, and Ron Heifetz to work with our teams on the leadership challenges that come up when taking on these ambitious, system level changes.

Education Redesign Lab: Implementing Personalized Education (2016-2019)
The Oak Foundation

The overarching goal of the Education Redesign Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education is to develop and implement personalized systems of learning and child development that will improve academic and other outcomes for all students. The Lab is requesting funding for a research study of the experimental design and implementation of these systems in the cities in our By All Means consortium. The primary aims of this study are to document the process of moving towards new, integrated systems in each of these cities; to highlight which strategies moved the cities forward in creating these systems and what barriers the cities encountered; to examine how these cities incorporated the needs of students with disabilities, English language learners, and students from different economic backgrounds into their system designs; to understand how students, teachers, and parents, and others experience elements of the new system and how these experiences differed for students with special needs; and to document quantitative outcomes on a range of measures, disaggregated by student subgroup. The study’s research questions include: 1. What was the process in each city for moving towards personalized systems of learning and child development? 2. How, and to what extent, were the specific needs of students with disabilities, students living in poverty, and English language learners incorporated into the personalization plan? 3. To what extent have components of a new system been implemented? 4. In what ways have children’s opportunities, services and education systems in each of the consortium cities changed as a result of the cities’ redesign work? 5. What are the experiences of children, families, teachers, and other providers in districts that have moved towards personalized systems? 6. How do measures of program participation and student outcomes change during the time period of the study? The Lab expects that the By All Means initiative will result in meaningful, systemic changes that reduce both the opportunity and outcome gaps between poor and non-poor students, students with disabilities and those without, English language learners and native English speakers, and students of different races and ethnicities. Our vision is that, at the end of the grant period, the Children’s Cabinets will be serving each city as effective vehicles for coordinating a range of enhanced and expanded services for children that reach across agency silos and make use of improved identification of individual students’ needs.

Ed Redesign Lab (2016-2017)
Empower Schools, Inc.

The National Center on Time & Learning, Inc. (“NCTL”), renamed Empower Schools, Inc. (“Empower”) and the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Redesign Lab (the “Lab”) and their founders share a common mission focused on supporting the country’s most vulnerable children by expanding educational opportunities and services to help them thrive in school and in life. This common mission serves as the foundation upon which this Project rests. The Lab is to assume and perform national activities previously undertaken by Empower Schools, Inc. under the NCTL name. The Lab’s staff will also continue to lead the national advocacy agenda that NCTL launched in 2007 Additionally, grant will support the Lab’s “By All Means” initiative by providing advice and support to the city teams, leveraging financial and technical assistance resources, conducting research on the effectiveness of local work, documenting local work and disseminating best practices, brokering national partnerships with organizations in the health, education, social service, and community schools’ fields, and providing direct technical assistance in relevant areas of expertise.

Understanding Responses to and Implementation of Student-Centered Learning in New England Innovation Lab Network (ILN) States (2016-2016)
Council of Chief State School Officers

States in the Council of Chief State School Officers’ (CCSSO) Innovation Lab Network (ILN) have committed to “taking action to identify, test, and implement student-centered approaches to learning that will transform our public education system.” This approach, which represents a substantial change in the way districts and schools design their education programs, has been met with a range of reactions. The Education Redesign Lab, in collaboration with the ILN, proposes to study the response to and progress in implementing student-centered learning in two New England states. In New Hampshire, this study will build on existing research on the adoption of SCL in the state to explore districts’ progress in implementing SCL and to document leadership views of the value of SCL. In Vermont, the goals of this study are to understand the sources and reasons for different reactions to SCL and to suggest ways to engage with diverse constituencies in the implementation of student-centered learning. In New Hampshire, the study will explore the different approaches districts are taking to student-centered learning and the progress districts have made towards implementation. This study will be qualitative in nature, using interviews and focus groups as the primary research methods.

By All Means (Convening) (2016-2016)
Nellie Mae Foundation

One of the central features of By All Means is a set of convenings which serve two purposes: 1) to bring together teams from the six or seven cities in which we’ll be establishing learning labs for our design work; 2) to bring together a national audience of thought leaders to consider some controversial subjects relating to the future of public education and that system’s work with economically disadvantaged students. We aim to develop a curriculum to engage our city teams over a five session, two and half year engagement while simultaneously, using one day of these two day events to highlight a major theme of the work involved in designing systems of child development and education that can deliver on the promise, as yet unrealized despite many reform efforts, of educating all children so they are ready to be successful. We anticipate that this By All Means initiative will have national impact in drawing our sector closer to designing effective systems for educating all children so that they are prepared to be successful in a complex, 21st century society.

Education Redesign Lab (2014-2015)
Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation

Education Redesign Lab (2014-2015)
Nellie Mae Foundation

Reville, P. (2015, July 7). Why We Fail to Address the Achievement Gap. Education Week, 34(36), 22-23.,(2015)

Reville, P. (2015, January 20). The next steps in education reform. Once again, we need to ask: What more needs to be done? The Boston Globe.,(2015)

Reville, Paul. (2015). The Journey Toward Equity and Excellence: The Massachusetts Experience. In A. M. Blankstein Editor & P. Noguera Editor (Eds.), Excellence Through Equity (pp. 185-201). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.,(2015)

Reville, P. (2015, March 18). How to get world-class leaders for world-class schools. The Boston Globe.,(2015)

Reville, P. (2014). How to create a new k-12 engine. Education Week, 33(29), 24 & 28.,(2014)

Reville, P. (2013). Seize the moment to design schools that close gaps. Education Week, 32(33), 36.,(2013)

Reville, P. (2013, June 10). Accelerate progress on education. The Boston Globe.,(2013)

Pazzanese, C. (2013, November 22). Core objectives: Potential in new k-12 benchmarks mightier than challenges, says Reville of HGSE. Harvard Gazette.,(2013)

Tanden, N., & Reville, P. (2013, December 4). Taking a page from the bay state’s education playbook. U.S. News & World Report.,(2013)

Reville, P. (2013, October 24). From the stands, a lesson in sportsmanship. Cognoscenti.,(2013)

Henig, J., Malone, H. J., & Reville, P. (2012). Addressing the disadvantages of poverty: Why ignore themost important challenge of the post-standards era? In J. Mehta, R. J. Schwartz, & F. M. Hess (Eds.), The futures of school reform (pp. 119-149). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.,(2012)

Reville, P. (2012, January 3). Poverty perspectives: A new educational delivery system for success. Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity.,(2012)

Reville, S. P. (2012, April/May). Gateway cities education agenda update. Worcester Telegram & Gazette.,(2012)

Reville, P. (2008). Chapter 3: A mountain beyond mountains. In S. Redding, & H. J. Wahlberg (Eds.), Handbook on statewide systems of support (pp. 15-18). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.,(2008)

Chair, Massachusetts Board of Education, Commonwealth of Massachusetts,(2002-2008)

Secretary of Education, Commonwealth of Massachusetts,(2008-2013)

WGBH, Bi-weekly Commentator, Boston Public Radio

National Education Association (NEA) Foundation, Senior Fellow

Boston Public Schools Superintendent Tommy Chang’s Transition Team, Member

Massachusetts Foundation Budget Review Commission, Gubernatorial Appointee

Bellwether, Board of Directors, Member

BELL, Chair, Massachusetts Leadership Council

Rennie Center for Research and Policy, Board Member

MedScience, Harvard Medical School, Board Chair

Boston After School and Beyond, Board Member

PEAR, Harvard Medical School, National Advisory Council, Member

Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, Honorary Board Member

National Center on Time and Learning, Chair, National Advisory Council

Wheelock College, Corporator

Debate Mate, Board Member

Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education and the Institute of Research, Advisory Committee on District & School Accountability

College for Social Innovation, Advisory Board

Enterprise Cities, Babson Global Inc., Academic Advisory Council, Member

New Profit, Reimagine Education, Domain Member

News Stories
Professional Education Programs