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Faculty & Research

Paul Reville

Francis Keppel Professor of Practice of Educational Policy and Administration

Faculty Director, Doctor of Education Leadership Program

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 Coordinator:  Natalie J Solomon


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

Reimagining Our Education System: Building Community-wide Systems of Opportunity through Individualized Student Supports (2021-2024)
California Community Foundation

The central shortcoming of American public education has been its failure to become the great equalizer. The evidence is clear: the dream of educational equity will never be realized without comprehensively addressing the racial and socioeconomic disparities that begin at birth and grow exponentially throughout life. The Education Redesign Lab (EdRedesign) at HGSE is tackling this reality head on through the establishment of an Institute for Success Planning. The Institute will marry two strategies: i) cross-sector collaborative action and ii) the personalization of supports for each child. Through the Institute, we aspire to be the national leader and field catalyst in promoting and propagating the use of Success Planning and personalized supports.Schools have been asked to remedy the lack of a social contract in the US. We know that two-thirds of the variance in educational attainment in the US is explained by out-of-school factors; all the places where kids grow and learn matter—not just schools. Strides have been made to fix this. The collaborative action, cradleto-career field has produced glimmers of hope in places like Harlem and in communities across the country. At the same time, we have not been able to resolve the ironclad reality that socioeconomic status and race remain two of the leading determinants of social and economic outcomes in the wealthiest nation on earth.In response to the structural inequalities that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, significant federal resources through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) make bold action possible. Meeting this moment requires that our nation transition from the 20th century’s one-size-fits-all factory model of education to a 21st -century personalized approach. The universality of the pandemic, its disparate impact, and a growing consensus that we need a new vision for child well-being has provided us with the greatest opportunity to reimagine intergenerational mobility in the US since the Great Depression. The ARP has opened opportunities to bring new models to schools and communities. It is more important than ever that communities seize this opportunity in the most effective and impactful way possible.Implementing Success Planning is the avenue to this transformative change. Success Planning is a holistic process that connects students with supports and opportunities related to academics, health, and enrichment activities via a Navigator, a caring adult who compiles a child’s diagnostic profile and then leverages the resources (i.e. tutoring, sports programs, health services, music lessons) and monitors the child’s progress. Navigators get to know children and families while connecting them to the supports and opportunities they want and need to be successful in their community.

The Education Redesign Lab at Harvard's Graduate School of Education: Advancing Research and Supporting Community Leaders to Improve Child Well-Being. (2021-2023)
Carnegie Corporation of New York

We are at a pivotal moment in the history of our nation. Facing a simultaneous set of crises—health, economic and racial justice—we must seek innovative approaches to build a new and better America. Even before 2020, too many children in the U.S. were living in poverty, failing in school, and not thriving when they reached adulthood. We must utilize all we have learned about what it will take to break the iron-law correlation between socio-economic status and educationalattainment and invest in new systems of education and child development—systems that reduce fragmentation and build cradle-to-career support systems in communities across the U.S. The Education Redesign Lab is committed to close education and opportunity gaps for children across the U.S. This grant will enable the Education Redesign Lab to build upon our experience supporting 45 communities across the U.S. to create Children’s Cabinets, set child wellbeing goals, and build integrated child development and education systems. This grant will help EdRedesign chart the next phase of work to research and disseminate best practices in cross-sector collaborations and, also, to enable pioneering communities to personalize those supports and services at the student level—through what we call individualized student success planning.

Expanding Personalized, Comprehensive Supports for Children (2021-2023)
Oak Foundation

The Education Redesign Lab intends to become an action-research hub for the emerging field of personalized supports and opportunities in order to advance effective practices and accelerate adoption of 1) systems of individualized supports and opportunities and 2) cross-sector collaborations that improve child well-being. Through this project, we intend to conduct research to identify and document best practices in communities implementing systems of individualizedsupports and opportunities and cross-sector collaborations that improve child well-being; collaborate with By All Means consortium and other communities as well as external partners to establish and learn from proof points; communicate compellingly with key audiences to disseminate and amplify what EdRedesign is learning and why these systems and collaborations are necessary; and advance policy at the local, state and federal level that incentivizes and facilitates the creation of personalized systems of support and opportunity for children.

For core support of the Education Redesign Lab (2020-2021)
Carnegie Corporation of New York

The Education Redesign Lab has a multi-year track record of working with more than 45 communities to support the development of Children’s Cabinets to provide leadership for advancing children’s well-being. Our mission is to close opportunity gaps and promote the development of comprehensive systems of child development and education that make it possible for every child to come to school ready to learn and to enjoy a full, equal opportunity for success.This planning grant will help EdRedesign chart is next phase of work focused on state (and possibly federal) policy change that enables communities to significantly expand cradle-tocareer support systems through the strengthening of Children’s Cabinets and their associated backbone organizations. As a result of the proposed work, these collaborative action groups will be stronger and more able to effect the policy, program and budgetary changes to build a high functioning cradle-to-career pipeline serving all children.The products of this planning grant will include a strategic plan and a comprehensive proposal to the Carnegie Corporation of New York for supporting states and communities to address the fragmentation of services, supports and resources for children to improvechild well-being. The plan will also include strategies for working with the federal government and state governments to address policy and budget changes that will enable local communities to finance and construct more effective child development and education systems


Reville, P. and King, J. B. Jr. (2021, March 5). Ed Week This Could Be the Moment to Help the Poorest Among Us: Our Nation’s Children. Education Week.

Reville, P. (2021, April 26). Pandemic learning loss can be a post-pandemic opportunity for education reforms. Boston Globe.

Reville, P. and Sacks, L. (2021). Collaborative Action for Equity and Opportunity A Practical Guide for School and Community Leaders. Harvard Education Publishing: Cambridge, MA.

Reville, P. (2019, August 15). The huge thing school reformers have ignored — by a school reformer. Washington Post.

Reville, P. (2019, August 24). My Turn: Paul Reville: Lessons for fixing schools. Providence Journal.

Reville, P. (2020, March 27). The Urgent Need For Children’s Cabinets. Usable Knowledge.

Reville, P. (2020, April 8). Reville: Beyond The Coronavirus Shutdown, An Opportunity For A Whole-child Paradigm Shift. The 74 Million.

Reville, P. (2020, April 9). Coronavirus Gives Us An Opportunity To Rethink K-12 Education. Boston Globe.

Reville, P. (2020, May 21). Schools Are Socially Promoting Students En Masse. What Comes Next? Ed Week.

Reville, P. (2020, Aug. 30). Pods could become tipping point in education. CommonWealth Magazine.

Reville, P. (2020, July 27). Thriving Together: A Springboard for Equitable Recovery and Resilience in Communities Across America. (Commissioned by The Center for Disease Control)

Reville, P. (2020, Sept. 15). Reville: In This Uncertain Time, Every Student Needs an Education Navigator and a Success Plan to Weather This Crisis and Fix Long-standing Inequities. The 74 Million.

Reville, P. (2019, April 4). Reville: New Harvard Report Recommends Creating a Personalized ‘Support Plan’ for Every Child. Here Are 5 Places to Start. The 74 Million.

Reville, P. and Weiss, E. (2019). Broader, Bolder, Better: How Schools and Communities Help Students Overcome the Disadvantages of Poverty. Harvard Education Press: Cambridge, MA.

Reville, P. (2018, June 11). Reville: 9 Places Where Communities & Families Are Working Together in a New Social Compact for Student Success. The 74 Million.

Reville, P. (2018, July 28). For Teachers' Unions to Survive, It's Time to Go Positive for Students. Education Week.

Reville, P., and Sacks, L. (2018, October 2). Sustaining Collaborative Action. Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Reville, P. (2017, January 17). The Next Chapter of Educational Reform: Building a New Human Capital Engine. Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Communities and Banking.

Reville, P. (2017, February 8). The elusive quest for equity and excellence in US school reform. Nature Human Behaviour, 1 (2).

Reville, P. (2017, August 10). Summer enrichment for kids for all kids. Providence Journal.

Reville, P. (2017, November 27). Instruction alone is not enough to help all students succeed. Scholastic.

Reville, P. (2016, March 14). End the charter school wars. A new path forward can be good for charter and district schools. Commonwealth Magazine.

Reville, P. (2016, March 25). Third Semester: A Point of Privilege. Real Clear Education.

Ladd. H., Noguera, P., Reville, P., & Starr, J. (2016, April 15). Why This is Our Education Policy Moment. Education Week, Op-Ed.

Reville, P. (2016, October 11). An Urgent Call to Action for Education Leaders Fixing the ‘disillusionment’ in education reform. Education Week, 36 (08), 22-23.

Reville, P. (2016, Nov. 9). What the Trump presidency will mean for schools. TES.

Reville, P. (2016, November 24). Betsy DeVos: a fierce advocate for choice who will face a fight with Congress and unions to push through reform. Times Education Supplement.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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.


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

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