Ten years ago, we launched the Condition of Education project to track progress in our education system, call attention to challenges, and highlight promising models to strive toward and scale. In addition to tracking a wide-ranging set of data indicators, we release an annual Action Guide which has looked at everything from social-emotional learning to rethinking assessments to recovering from a pandemic.
Since we first began this project, the world has changed. The needs of students have evolved. Our understanding of how students learn has grown. But many of the programs and models we've highlighted over the years are just as relevant today. And we believe Massachusetts and its school districts are more ready than ever to put these innovative strategies into place. With a new administration and billions of dollars in COVID relief funds to invest in schools, the Commonwealth is primed for change.
So this year we are looking back to move ahead. We released an action guide that highlights programs we've looked at over the past 10 years that still serve as exceptional models for improvement. And throughout the week of January 30th released content and hosted conversations that look toward the future, specifically how the education community can begin to rethink when, where, and how students learn.
January 30: Action Guide
The effects of the pandemic continue to impact schools as they face rising absenteeism and student mobility, increasing need for student mental health and social-emotional support, and continuing pressure around academic recovery. On top of all this, school and district leaders are tasked with deciding how to invest a massive influx of COVID relief funds. Schools need time-tested best practices that can be implemented right now. So rather than release a report with a new strategy, this year our action guide offers a concise look at innovative programs we've highlighted over the past 10 years, ones that offer effective strategies to support schools in this unique moment.
January 31: State of the State of Education Event
Thank you to all who attended our event on Tuesday! We were thrilled to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Condition of Education project with all of you. A special thanks to our state education leaders—Secretary of Education Patrick Tutwiler, Early Education and Care Commissioner Amy Kershaw, Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley, and Higher Education Commissioner Noe Ortega—for their thoughtful discussion on the future of education in Massachusetts.
February 1: Community Conversation
As we look ahead to the future of the Condition of Education project, we will be focusing on how we can rethink and redefine people, place, and time to build learning environments that match what we know about how students thrive and the types of support they need to succeed. To start, we wanted to hear from practitioners in the field who are already doing this work. Listen in to hear about the innovative ways the Carlton School in Salem, the ACE program at Brookline High School, Campus Without Walls, and Big Picture Learning Schools (who have all been featured in past COE reports) are redefining how, when, and where students learn.
February 2: Data Report
For the past ten years, we've been tracking a wide-ranging set of data indicators that illuminate bright spots and challenges in the Commonwealth's education system. Over the years, the indicators have shifted to meet the moment. This year's Data Report examines the ripple effects of the pandemic, analyzing trends among students, educators, and schools nearly three years after COVID first shut school doors. Our report provides an analysis for 21 indicators, explaining what the numbers mean and why they are important in understanding the current state of our education system.