There's a lot happening in Massachusetts public education as evidenced by the steady stream of good news recognizing the hard work and accomplishments of our students and their teachers.

Here is a quick review of the past few months:

Academic Success:

  • Record high achievement on the MCAS exams
  • Massachusetts students ranked number one in the country on the ACT ( read more)
  • Massachusetts students are among the very best on the SAT ( read more)

National Leadership:

  • Massachusetts helped develop the Common Core academic standards in Math and English which are designed to increase rigor and raise expectations for what students should know and be able to do and have now been adopted in 36 states ( read more)
  • Massachusetts is also the lead partner in a 26-state consortium to develop a national assessment to measure progress on the Common Core standards to ensure students are learning and are prepared for success ( read more)

Success in National Grant Competitions:

  • Massachusetts earned the top score in national Race to the Top and secured $250 million to help implement the education reform proposals outlined in our plan
  • The Massachusetts led consortium on test development is bolstered by $170 million in Race to the Top funding ( read more)
  • Massachusetts has received $59 million in School Improvement Grant work to facilitate the turnaround of our lowest performing schools
  • Three Massachusetts districts have been selected for $1.5 million in Promise Neighborhood grants to integrate health and human services into the school day as outlined in the Massachusetts reform vision
  • Two districts received $27 million in Teacher Incentive Fund grants to provide financial incentives and awards for teachers who succeed in our lowest performing schools ( read more)

Charter Schools Expansion:

  • We received a near record high interest in opening new charter schools thanks to the new space created under the Governor's Charter School cap lift when 42 groups submitted prospectuses ( read more)
  • 25 of the 42 have been invited to submit final applications in November ( read more)

Strategic Use of Federal Funds:

  • Governor Patrick committed $204 million in Teacher Job Funds to Massachusetts communities to increase funding to all districts by at least $25 per student, save or create some 2,700 school-based jobs and boost the commitment to public education to a record $4 billion plus
  • The Governor directed an additional $55 million in stimulus funds to public higher education to boost campus budgets ( read more)

This is an exciting time to be in Massachusetts. We have been recognized for our leadership and have played an increasingly more prominent role in shaping national educational policy. Our students continue to rise to the challenges we set before them. Teachers are working harder than ever. Business and community partners are even more involved in the work to improve our schools.

There is still a lot of work to do but we have the policy, the experience and the support we need to close achievement gaps and help all students reach academic proficiency and higher.

 


Information provided by the Executive Office of Education. Created: October 14, 2010.