Published Online: January 3, 2006

Massachusetts's State Highlights

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Vital Statistics
Public schools 1,860
Public school teachers 72,062
Pre-K-12 students 980,459
Annual pre-K-12 expenditures $10.3 billion
Minority students 25.4%
Children in poverty 13%
Students with disabilities 15.7%
English-language learners 5%

Summary of Grades

Massachusetts scores above the average state in two of the four graded categories of education policy in Quality Counts.

The state ranks near the top of the nation in standards and accountability. Its academic standards for all four core subject areas at every grade span have been rated as clear, specific, and grounded in content by the American Federation of Teachers. Massachusetts also has strong measures in place to hold schools accountable for their performance. For example, it sanctions and provides assistance to all low-performing schools.

In teacher quality, Massachusetts scores slightly below average. There is room to improve in a number of areas, but particularly in efforts related to professional support and training for teachers. For example, the state does not finance professional development or require and finance mentoring for new teachers.

Massachusetts fares better in school climate. The state earns points in the areass of choice and autonomy. The strength of the state’s charter school law has received the highest possible rating from the Center for Education Reform.

The state earns a below-average grade on resource equity. The state’s wealth-neutrality score suggests similar funding levels in its wealthy and poorer districts. But Massachusetts fares worse on the other two equity indicators, signaling relatively wide disparities in per- pupil funding levels across districts in the state.

State Policy Report Card
Massachusetts Avg. State Score
Standards and accountability A B-
Efforts to improve teacher quality C C+
School climate B- C+
Resource equity C- C
Overall Grade B- C+
Quality Counts Grading Breakdown
Standards and accountability Points awardedPoints possible
Standards 40 40
Assessment 26.25 30
School accountability 30 30
96 100
Efforts to improve teacher quality Points awardedPoints possible
Teacher education and qualifications 25.46 35
Teacher assessment 24 30
Professional support and training 12.05 20
Accountability for teacher quality 12.6 15
74 100
School climate Points awardedPoints possible
Engagement 12 15
School safety 15.92 20
Parent involvement 12 15
Choice and autonomy 17.5 20
Class size 8.17 10
School size 7.5 10
School facilities 7.5 10
81 100
Resource equity Points awardedPoints possible
Wealth-neutrality score 29.33 33.3
McLoone Index 20.67 33.3
Coefficient of variation 21.67 33.3
72 100
Note: Details may not sum to totals due to rounding.

Vol. 25, Issue 17

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