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Massachusetts school districts

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K-12 Education in Massachusetts
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Education facts
State Superintendent: Matt Malone
Number of students: 953,369[1]
Number of teachers: 69,342
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:13.7
Number of school districts: 401
Number of schools: 1,835
Graduation rate: 85%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $13,941[3]
See also
Massachusetts Department of EducationList of school districts in MassachusettsMassachusettsSchool boards portal
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Education policy project
Public education in the United States
Public education in Massachusetts
Glossary of education terms
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State Education Departments

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See also
Massachusetts Commissioner of Education
Massachusetts school districts
List of school districts in Massachusetts
Public education in Massachusetts
School board elections portal

Massachusetts is home to 401 school districts, 1,835 schools and 953,369 K-12 students.[4]

Quick facts

State school administrators


The following table displays the state's top 10 school districts by total student enrollment and per-pupil spending.[5][6]

Student enrollment Per-pupil spending
1.) Boston 1.) Provincetown
2.) Springfield 2.) Cambridge
3.) Worcester 3.) Minuteman
4.) Brockton 4.) South Middlesex
5.) Lynn 5.) Martha's Vineyard
6.) Lowell 6.) Orleans
7.) Lawrence 7.) North Shore
8.) New Bedford 8.) Essex
9.) Newton 9.) Up-Island
10.) Fall River 10.) Franklin


See also: Demographic information for all students in all 50 states

The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Massachusetts as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.[7]

Demographic information for Massachusetts's K-12 public school system
Ethnicity Students State Percentage United States Percentage**
American Indian 2,305 0.24% 1.10%
Asian 54,358 5.70% 4.68%
African American 79,015 8.29% 15.68%
Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. students 1,050 0.11% 0.42%
Hispanic 153,324 16.08% 24.37%
White 639,111 67.04% 51.21%
Two or more 24,206 2.54% 2.54%
**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.

In the news

Lawrence Public Schools state takeover

On November 29, 2011, the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted 10-1 to label Lawrence Public Schools a "chronically under performing" district, which allowed Education Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester to take over the district and to install a new superintendent/receiver.[8][9] This decision came in response to the fact that, "District-wide performance in English-language arts (ELA) and math is among the bottom one percent of all the state's school districts; Lawrence has the third lowest math Composite Performance Index (CPI) and fourth lowest ELA CPI in the Commonwealth. Less than one-half of Lawrence's students graduate from high school within 4 years, which is the lowest graduation rate of any (non-charter) district in the state."[8]

Lawrence Mayor and School Committee Chair William Lantigua personally requested the state's intervention, as did the Lawrence Teachers' Union.[10] At the time, Lantigua was fighting recall efforts, and the previous superintendent was ousted and formally charged with fraud and embezzlement.[11]

Board member James R. Blatchford opposed the takeover, insisting that, "We are not the bottom of the barrel."[10] Chester appointed current Superintendent/Receiver Jeffrey C. Riley to his position on January 11, 2012.[9] As a result of the takeover, the Lawrence School Committee lost its formal powers and became a purely advisory board for Riley, which has reduced electoral interest in the board.[12] While in power, Riley has consolidated and reduced the size of the district administration, replaced principals and hired 160 new teachers.[13]

State law

Common Core

Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted the standards on July 21, 2010. Full implementation took place during the 2013-2014 academic year.[14][15]

School board elections

Upcoming elections

See also: Massachusetts school board elections, 2015

A total of nine Massachusetts school districts among America's largest school districts by enrollment will hold elections for 51 seats on November 3, 2015.

Here are several quick facts about Massachusetts's school board elections in 2015:

The districts listed below served 124,452 K-12 students during the 2010-2011 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Click on the district names for more information on the district and its school board elections.

2015 Massachusetts School Board Elections
District Date Seats up for election Total board seats Student enrollment
Brockton Public Schools 11/3/2015 7 7 16,162
Fall River Public Schools 11/3/2015 6 7 9,834
Lawrence Public Schools 11/3/2015 6 7 12,900
Lowell Public Schools 11/3/2015 6 7 13,548
Lynn Public Schools 11/3/2015 6 7 13,731
New Bedford Public Schools 11/3/2015 3 7 12,551
Newton Public Schools 11/3/2015 8 9 12,079
Quincy Public Schools 11/3/2015 3 7 9,236
Worcester Public Schools 11/3/2015 6 7 24,411

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  2. ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, "Massachusetts - General," accessed August 5, 2013
  5. Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, "Enrollment Data," accessed August 5, 2013
  6. Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, "School Finance: Statistical Comparisons - Per Pupil Expenditure Reports," accessed August 5, 2013
  7. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
  8. 8.0 8.1 Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education, "Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Declares Lawrence Public Schools as "Chronically Underperforming,"" November 29, 2011
  9. 9.0 9.1 Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education, "Education Commissioner Chester Appoints Jeffrey C. Riley as Receiver for the Lawrence Public Schools," January 11, 2013
  10. 10.0 10.1 90.9 wbur, "Lawrence Public Schools Face Possible State Takeover," November 29, 2011
  11. The New York Times, "Massachusetts: State Takes Over Lawrence Schools," November 30, 2011
  12. The Eagle-Tribune, "Editorial: Time to reinvent the Lawrence School Committee," May 12, 2013
  13. The Eagle-Tribune, "Riley cuts 25 office jobs," May 26, 2013
  14. Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State," accessed June 12, 2014
  15. Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, "Common Core State Standards Initiative," accessed June 17, 2014