2017 Condition of Education in the Commonwealth

January 2017

2017 Data Report

The 2017 Data Report identifies and measures state-level indicators linked to outcomes to inform decision-making among Massachusetts education leaders. These indicators focus on critical stages in learning and development from school readiness and early learning to the emergence of a strong and productive workforce. Important indicators in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are highlighted at each stage and specific attention is leveled at the need for prepared and effective educators to support student progress throughout our entire education system. Indicators are selected because of their evidentiary base and alignment with Massachusetts’ reform agenda and updated at least every two years. This report provides a critical overview of our public education system, while presenting data and information to encourage more nuanced discussions of potential strategies for improving student learning outcomes. View our data dashboard for a more in-depth look at these indicators. 


2017 Action Guide: Putting Students at the Center of Reform

In our last two Condition of Education Action Guides, we called on the Commonwealth to consider education more holistically, noting that schools should not—and cannot— work in isolation and that each child’s education encompasses more than academic learning. In this year’s Condition of Education report, we offer a series of policy and practice changes that would align the Commonwealth’s system of public education with what we know to be effective: student-centered learning. Student-centered learning (SCL) is not a new concept. In fact, this umbrella term encompasses a number of well-known practices with deep roots in learning science, psychology, and educational theory. At its essence, SCL is any instructional approach that begins with the needs and interests of the individual learner and engages young people as drivers of their own learning experience. In doing so, SCL fosters a stronger sense of motivation and self-efficacy, which research links to improved achievement. Students get targeted support in areas where they struggle and accelerate where they demonstrate mastery, allowing educators to focus limited time and resources where they can have the greatest impact. Read More.