MassINC is an independent think tank using non-partisan research, civic journalism and public forums to stimulate debate and shape public policy. In recent years, MassINC has developed a significant focus on public education as an economic development strategy. In October 2012, it formed the Gateway City Innovation Institute (GCII) to empower local leaders with research, data, leadership development, and technical assistance to make Gateway Cities and their residents stronger contributors to the Commonwealth’s regional economies. The Gateway Cities Education Vision Project is the first major initiative of the Institute. MassINC had been meeting with Gateway City mayors and superintendents to discuss opportunities to collaborate on education issues since early 2012. These conversations led to consensus that a facilitated process was needed to develop a clear vision for how Gateway Cities could develop cross-sector initiatives to build 21st century education systems that support student success from cradle to career. Through this partnership, the GCII will ensure the Gateway Cities education agenda benefits from evidence of best practice and in-depth analysis by researchers, while the GCII will provide access and resources to local communities to help ensure involvement in the MICCR.