Jim Peyser served as Massachusetts Secretary of Education under Governor Charlie Baker from 2015-2022, responsible for overseeing pre-school through post-secondary and adult education. He also served as a member of the Workforce Skills Cabinet.
During his tenure as Secretary, he led the administration’s efforts to overhaul the state’s 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 college scholarship program, representing the biggest increase in state-funded financial aid in more than two decades. Other accomplishments include the implementation of historic rate increases for early education providers, the launch of statewide early college and early career pathways, and the expansion of vocational-technical education for youth and working adults.
Prior to being appointed Secretary by Governor Baker, 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 Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School (Tufts University) and a Bachelor of Arts from Colgate University.