Secretary of Education Matthew Malone
“Education is Massachusetts’ calling card around the world and central to our
competitiveness in the global economy. We invest in education because we believe that it is
the single most important investment government can make in our collective future.”
– Governor Deval Patrick
The Executive Office of Education (EOE) was created in 2008 by Governor Deval Patrick to help build a 21st century public education system in Massachusetts, from birth through higher education that prepares students of all ages for lifelong success. The EOE sits at the center of the Commonwealth’s public education system, and coordinates the development and implementation of initiatives across the state’s early education, K-12, and public higher education institutions.
The EOE is also the state agency responsible for achieving Governor Patrick’s bold and comprehensive vision for public education in Massachusetts – ensuring all students have access to high quality educational opportunities; closing persistent and unacceptable achievement gaps that disproportionately affect students from lower-income families, students who are English language learners, students of color, and students with disabilities; and creating a fully integrated and seamless public education system that will support our children from cradle to career.
Implementation of this vision, coupled with Governor Patrick’s continued record investments in the Commonwealth’s public education system have made Massachusetts a national leader in education. We lead the nation in student performance. Our students are among the top three in the world on international math assessments and tied for first in science on the international science and math assessment, TIMMS. We have launched the Quality Rating and Improvement System in early education, a framework of high standards designed to elevate the quality of care for our pre-K children, and have expanded access to early education programs so that more of our youngest children have strong foundations for learning. In higher education, we have undertaken the Vision Project, setting a course for national leadership in post-secondary education by putting college and career success in sharp focus and tracking our results.
We have achieved these results, and will continue the work of ensuring all students in Massachusetts are well prepared for success using these overarching goals:
- CLOSING THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP: The Governor’s second term education strategy is focused on closing achievement gaps where they are most persistent, in our Gateway Cities. To do this, EOE is implementing the Governor’s Gateway Cities Education Agenda, a plan that provides targeted and differentiated support to English Language Learners and better prepares high school students for career success; and utilizing tools provided by the Achievement Gap Act, a sweeping education reform bill passed in 2010 that gives educators the resources they need to dramatically improve student outcomes. EOE is also advancing the work of the Governor’s Child and Youth Readiness Cabinet to build strategic partnerships among school districts, state agencies, and community-based organizations and deliver comprehensive health and social services to students and their families so that all students come to school ready to learn and thrive.
- PROMOTING INNOVATION IN EDUCATION: The Patrick Administration has worked to create an index of innovation for educators, students and families across the state. A signature component of the Governor’s Achievement Gap Act of 2010, Innovation Schools have expanded quickly, with forty four Innovation Schools now in operation or in planning stages in Massachusetts. Innovation Schools provide educators the opportunity to create in-district schools that operate with greater autonomy and flexibility, while keeping school funding within districts, to improve learning outcomes for all students and reduce achievement gaps. Sixteen new charter schools were also approved last year under the “smart cap” lift in the Achievement Gap Act, which allows the best performing charter schools to expand in communities with the greatest need.
- CREATING DIRECT PATHWAYS TO COLLEGE AND CAREERS: Now, more than ever, students need some level of post-secondary education to be successful in our 21st century economy. EOE is working to align our high schools with our public institutions of higher education to provide courses and credentialing opportunities that will enable our students to gain the knowledge and skills that meet employer needs, and create stronger pipelines from the classroom to jobs in high demand industries like the life sciences, advanced manufacturing, healthcare and others. Students will also have increased access to career information, work experiences and relevant skills that will make them competitive in the job market by connecting partners in education, workforce development and industry.
- EXPANDING ACCESS AND IMPROVE QUALITY OF OUR EARLY EDUCATION PROGRAMS: Governor Patrick has set a goal of getting every child in Massachusetts to reading proficiency by Grade 3, a key indicator of future academic success. To do this, EOE is working with our early education and K-12 agencies to enhance early learning standards, increase kindergarten readiness, expand access to early education programs across the state and build a birth to grade 3 assessment system. Family engagement and the support of community-based organizations are critical to this work and an important part of the Administration’s strategy to give our youngest citizens a successful start.
EOE will continue to work in partnership with the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC), the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE), the Department of Higher Education (DHE), and UMass to deliver measurable results in support of these goals.
We will also work in close collaboration with teachers, school and district leaders, unions, advocates, parents and family members, public higher education leaders, legislators and municipal officials, business and industry partners, and community leaders to create a stronger public education system in Massachusetts. These efforts will help ensure that a world-class education is within reach of every child, in every neighborhood across the Commonwealth.
For more information on this work, and key initiatives in each sector of our education system, please visit our website at www.ma.gov/edu or contact our office at 617-.979-8340. You can also follow us on Twitter @masseducation.
“There will be no slowing down in the remaining months of the Patrick Administration. We will move aggressively to raise the quality of our early education services while also decreasing the number of children on waitlists; close achievement gaps; implement a more comprehensive educator effectiveness system; and create more pathways to postsecondary educational opportunities and employment.” – Secretary of Education Matthew H. Malone