Jim Peyser is a senior adviser at Bellwether in the Policy and Evaluation practice area.
Jim served as Massachusetts Secretary of Education under Gov. Charlie Baker from 2015 to 2022, responsible for overseeing preschool through postsecondary and adult education. During his tenure, he led the administration’s efforts to overhaul Massachusetts’ school funding formula, strengthen curriculum frameworks, redesign student assessments, and update the school accountability system. Jim also played a central role in strengthening the state’s focus on evidence-based early literacy. Under his leadership, the administration established a last-dollar, need-based scholarship program for all undergraduates at public colleges. Other accomplishments include the implementation of historic rate increases for early education providers, the launch of early college and early career pathways, and the expansion of vocational-technical education for youth and working adults.
Prior to being appointed Secretary, Jim was a managing partner at NewSchools Venture Fund, where he established City Funds in support of education entrepreneurs and charter management organizations working in high-need urban neighborhoods.
Jim holds a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University and a master’s degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.
Why I do this work:
As someone who has worked in education policy for 30 years, I am deeply aware of how hard it is to make systemic, sustainable change and improvement, but I’m equally aware of how essential this work is to transforming individual lives and creating real social equality.
Effective Multiagency Coordination
Standards and Accountability
State Education Policy