2018 Condition of Education in the Commonwealth

January 2018

2018 Data Dashboard

This tool provides an in-depth look at school performance indicators highlighted in our Condition of Education in the Commonwealth report. Users can delve deeper by looking at different student groups and progress overtime. This data is collected from the MA Department of Early Education and Care; MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education; MA Department of Higher Education; US Census Bureau; and US Department of Education.

Data Dashboard


2018 Action Guide
Resetting the Pace of Reform: Lessons of Continuous Improvement

In our last three 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’re taking a step back. Given the persistent challenges facing our schools and a sense of reform overload, we think now is a good moment to reflect more broadly on the pace and progress of school improvement in our state. Are Massachusetts school improving quickly enough? How do we know if state and local investments in education are resulting in meaningful change?

There is a lot to learn at the local level—it is in communities, schools, and districts across the Commonwealth where educators are tasked with the responsibility of implementing change to drive improvement. Such lessons can inform local—and state--choices about time and resources. However, more often than not, innovative and successful ideas fail to spread.

Partnering with Commonwealth schools and districts that currently engage in a continuous learning process has had a profound impact on how we think about effective, sustainable change at the Rennie Center. We have learned tremendously from the participants in our own networks and from other Massachusetts schools and districts that are employing similar cyclical, data-informed approaches to change. That knowledge has guided the creation of Rennie’s Change Management Framework, a rigorous, structured approach to planning and implementing district and school improvement strategies. Our Change Management Framework outlines a set of steps that team of educators can use to manage their own improvement processes.

We have utilized this approach as a research-based framework for this year’s Condition of Education Action Guide. In this year’s guide, we highlight aspects of local change processes that reflect specific components of the Change Management Framework and provide insights into how local practitioners are learning to improve. 

Action Guide

Report Year