Massachusetts has made significant efforts to improve access to high quality early education and care over the past two decades. But significant challenges remain, particularly in the state’s lowest-income communities. Our 2018 Condition of Education in the Commonwealth report looks at how Springfield increased the number of vulnerable students attending preK and improved the quality of early education by creating a partnership between preschool providers. On June 5, we brought the education and business communities of Western Massachusetts together to delve deeper into the success of Springfield’s early education programming.
On January 25, we released the fifth annual Condition of Education in the Commonwealth report to a room of nearly 300 state leaders, legislators, educators, and community members. This is an opportunity for the education community to reflect on progress made over the past year and recommit to improving outcomes for all students.
Workforce readiness remains a critical challenge in our state. A recent survey found that 75 percent of employers have trouble finding qualified job applicants. Meanwhile, 30 percent of Massachusetts public school graduates require developmental—or remedial—courses when enrolling the state’s public colleges and universities. These numbers illustrate a clear disconnect between the lessons taught in schools and the skills needed for success in college and in the workforce. This issue needs to be addressed, and schools can’t do it alone.