Public education in Massachusetts

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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 Education
Massachusetts school districts
List of school districts in Massachusetts
Massachusetts
School boards portal
Policypedia
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Education policy project

Public education in the United States
Public education in Massachusetts
Glossary of education terms
Note: The statistics on this page are mainly from government sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Education Statistics. Figures given are the most recent as of June 2014, with school years noted in the text or footnotes.
The Massachusetts public school system (prekindergarten-grade 12) operates within districts governed by locally elected school boards and superintendents. In 2012 Massachusetts had 953,369 students enrolled in a total of 1,835 schools in 401 school districts. There were 69,342 teachers in the public schools, or roughly one teacher for every 14 students, compared to the national average of 1:16. There is roughly one administrator for every 210 students, compared to the national average of one administrator for every 295 students.[4] On average Massachusetts spent $13,941 per pupil in 2011, which ranks it eighth highest in the nation. The state's graduation rate was 85 percent in 2012.[5]

State agencies

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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
The mission statement of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education reads:[6]
To strengthen the Commonwealth's public education system so that every student is prepared to succeed in postsecondary education, compete in the global economy, and understand the rights and responsibilities of American citizens, and in so doing, to close all proficiency gaps.[7]

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is led by the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education. The current Commissioner is Mitchell D. Chester. The Secretary of Education is the state's chief education official. The current Secretary of Education is Matt Malone.[6][8]

The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is comprised of 11 members appointed by the governor. The board must include:[9]

  • Chairman of the Student Advisory Council
  • Secretary of Education
  • Nine members appointed by the Governor
    • One member, selected from a list of three nominees provided by the Massachusetts State Labor Council, AFL-CIO
    • One member to represent a business or industry with a "demonstrated commitment to education"
    • One member to represent parents, selected from a list of three nominees provided by the Massachusetts Parent Teachers Association
    • Six additional members

Common Core

Common Core, or 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 was scheduled to be achieved in the 2013-14 academic year.[10][11]

Regional comparison

See also: General comparison table for education statistics in the 50 states
See also: Education spending per pupil in all 50 states

The following chart shows how Massachusetts compares to three neighboring states with respect to number of students, schools, the number of teachers per pupil, and the number of administrators per pupil. Further comparisons between these states with respect to performance and financial information are given in other sections of this page.

Regional comparison
State Schools Districts Students Teachers Teacher/pupil ratio Administrator/pupil ratio Per pupil spending
Massachusetts 1,835 401 953,369 69,342 1:13.7 1:210.1 $13,941
Connecticut 1,150 200 554,437 43,805 1:12.7 1:252.1 $15,600
New Hampshire 477 281 191,900 15,049 1:12.8 1:349.6 $13,224
New York 4,752 923 2,704,718 209,527 1:12.9 1:293.2 $19,076
United States 98,328 17,992 49,521,669 3,103,263 1:16 1:295.2 $10,994
Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.

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
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013

Demographics

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.[12]

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.

Enrollments by region type

See also: Student distribution by region type in the U.S.

A majority of students in Massachusetts attend suburban schools. Approximately 87 percent of the state's students attend city or suburban schools, compared to approximately 13 percent who attend rural or town schools.

Student distribution by region type, 2011 - 2012 (as percents)
State City schools Suburban schools Town schools Rural schools
Massachusetts 20.8% 66.1% 2.2% 11%
Connecticut 28.1% 53.7% 4% 14.2%
New Hampshire 14.4% 31.8% 16.3% 37.5%
New York 44.1% 35.3% 7.3% 13.2%
U.S. average 28.9% 34% 11.6% 25.4%
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD)

Academic performance

Policypedia
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Education policy terms
Academic bankruptcyAcademic EarthAcademic performanceBlaine AmendmentCharter schoolsCommon CoreDropout rateNAEPProgressive educationRegulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation RateSchool vouchersTeacher merit pay
See also

NAEP scores

See also: NAEP scores by state

The National Center for Education Statistics provides state-by-state data on student achievement levels in mathematics and reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Compared to three neighboring states (Connecticut, New Hampshire, and New York), Massachusetts had the highest share of students (both fourth and eighth graders) who scored at or above proficient in reading.[13]

Percent of students scoring at or above proficient, 2012-2013
Math - Grade 4 Math - Grade 8 Reading - Grade 4 Reading - Grade 8
Massachusetts 58 55 47 48
Connecticut 45 37 43 45
New Hampshire 59 47 45 44
New York 40 32 37 35
U.S. average 41 34 34 34
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
NAEP assessment data for all students 2012-2013

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Graduation, ACT and SAT scores

See also: Graduation rates by groups in state
See also: ACT and SAT scores in the U.S.

The following table shows the graduation rates and average composite ACT and SAT scores for Massachusetts and surrounding states.[13][14][15]

Comparison table for graduation rates and test scores*
State Graduation rate, 2012 Average ACT Composite, 2012 Average SAT Composite, 2013
Percent Quintile ranking** Score Participation rate Score Participation rate
Massachusetts 85% Second 24.1 23% 1,553 83%
Connecticut 85% Second 23.8 27% 1,532 85%
New Hampshire 86% First 23.8 19% 1,567 70%
New York 77% Fourth 23.3 29% 1,463 76%
U.S. average 80% 21.1 1,498
*Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Rate (except for Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma, which did not report “Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate,” but instead used their own method of calculation).
**Graduation rates for states in the first quintile ranked in the top 20 percent nationally. Similarly, graduation rates for states in the fifth quintile ranked in the bottom 20 percent nationally.
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express

Dropout rate

See also: Public high school dropout rates by state for a full comparison of dropout rates by group in all states

The high school event dropout rate indicates the proportion of students who were enrolled at some time during the school year and were expected to be enrolled in grades 9–12 in the following school year but were not enrolled by October 1 of the following school year. Students who have graduated, transferred to another school, died, moved to another country, or who are out of school due to illness are not considered dropouts. The average public high school event dropout rate for the United States remained constant at 3.3 percent for both SY 2010–11 and SY 2011–12. The event dropout rate for Massachusetts was lower than the national average at 2.7 percent in the 2010-2011 school year, and 2.5 percent in the 2011-2012 school year.[16]

Educational choice options

See also: School choice in Massachusetts

School choice options in Massachusetts include: charter schools, inter-district and intra-district open enrollment policies and online learning programs. In addition, about 12.37 percent of school age children in the state attended private schools in the 2011-12 academic year, and an estimated 2.67 percent were homeschooled in 2012-13.

Education funding and expenditures

See also: Massachusetts state budget
Breakdown of expenditures by function in FY 2012.
Source: National Association of State Budget Officers

According to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the state spent approximately 10.7 percent of its fiscal year 2012 budget on elementary and secondary education. As a share of the budget, this is down 3.20 percentage points, or 23 percent, from fiscal year 2008, when the state spent 13.9 percent of its budget on elementary and secondary education.[17][18][19][20][21]

Comparison of financial figures for school systems
State Percent of budget (2012) Per pupil spending (2011) Revenue sources (2011)
Percent federal funds Percent state funds Percent local funds
Massachusetts 10.7% $13,941 7.85% 37.91% 54.24%
Connecticut 13.9% $15,600 8.27% 33.65% 58.09%
New Hampshire 19.7% $13,224 6.49% 37.29% 56.21%
New York 19.8% $19,076 8.9% 40.27% 50.82%
Sources: NASBO, "State Expenditure Report," Table 8: Elementary and Secondary Education Expenditures As a Percent of Total Expenditures
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013

Revenue breakdowns

See also: Public school system revenues in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system revenues in Massachusetts totaled approximately $15.3 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including revenue sources, for Massachusetts and surrounding states.[22]

Revenues by source, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)
Federal revenue State revenue Local revenue Total revenue
Massachusetts $1,197,383 $5,783,240 $8,275,257 $15,255,880
Connecticut $799,526 $3,254,757 $5,618,933 $9,673,216
New Hampshire $184,768 $1,061,011 $1,599,416 $2,845,195
New York $5,127,425 $23,189,453 $29,266,236 $57,583,114
U.S. total $74,943,767 $267,762,416 $264,550,594 $607,256,777
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
Public school revenues by source, FY 2011 (as percents)

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Expenditure breakdowns

See also: Public school system expenditures in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system expenditures in Massachusetts totaled approximately $14.5 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including expenditure types, for Massachusetts and surrounding states.[22]

Expenditures by type, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)
Current expenditures** Capital outlay Other*** Total expenditures
Massachusetts $12,894,969 $817,228 $767,052 $14,479,249
Connecticut $8,367,518 $533,188 $404,820 $9,305,526
New Hampshire $2,502,899 $206,241 $129,038 $2,838,178
New York $51,203,701 $4,655,961 $2,680,715 $58,540,377
U.S. total $520,577,893 $52,984,139 $29,581,293 $603,143,325
**Funds spent operating local public schools and local education agencies, including such expenses as salaries for school personnel, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs, but excluding capital outlay, interest on school debt, payments to private schools, and payments to public charter schools.
***Includes payments to state and local governments, payments to private schools, interest on school system indebtedness, and nonelementary-secondary expenditures, such as adult education and community services expenditures.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
Public school expenditures, FY 2011 (as percents)

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Personnel salaries

See also: Public school teacher salaries in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average national salary for classroom teachers in public elementary and secondary schools has declined by 1.3 percent from the 1999-2000 school year to the 2012-2013 school year. During the same period in Massachusetts, the average salary increased by 14.9 percent.[23]

Estimated average salaries for teachers (in constant dollars**)
1999-2000 2009-2010 2011-2012 2012-2013 Percent difference
Massachusetts $63,656 $73,945 $72,915 $73,129 14.9%
Connecticut $70,762 $68,690 $70,621 $69,766 -1.4%
New Hampshire $51,567 $54,912 $55,079 $55,599 7.8%
New York $69,723 $76,464 $74,620 $75,279 8%
U.S. average $57,133 $58,925 $56,340 $56,383 -1.3%
**"Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. The CPI does not account for differences in inflation rates from state to state."

Organizations

Unions

In 2012 the Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now assessed the power and influence of state teacher unions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their rankings were based on 37 different variables in five broad areas, including: resources and membership, involvement in politics, scope of bargaining, state policies and perceived influence. Massachusetts ranked 21st overall, or "average," which was in the third of five tiers.[24]

The main unions related to the Massachusetts school system are the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA), an affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA), and the Massachusetts Federation of Teachers, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. For the 2008 tax period MTA had $53,490,500 in total income.[25] For the same period, the Massachusetts Federation of Teachers had $4,171,622 in total income.[26]

List of local Massachusetts school unions:[27]

Taxpayer-funded lobbying

See also: Massachusetts government sector lobbying

The main education government sector lobbying organization is the Massachusetts Association of School Committees.

Transparency

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, which "provides independent research and analysis of state budget and tax policies," tracks actual spending in real and nominal terms using its "Budget Browser," which is available here.

Legislators in favor of transparency, headed by Senator Cynthia Creem, introduced a budget amendment in 2009 that would require the Secretary of Administration and Finance to create a spending transparency website.[28]

Education ballot measures

See also: Education on the ballot and List of Massachusetts ballot measures


Ballotpedia staff have tracked 9 statewide ballot measures relating to education.

  1. Massachusetts Aid Grants for Higher Education, Question 3 (1974)
  2. Massachusetts English in Public Schools Initiative, Question 2 (2002)
  3. Massachusetts Local Taxes and State Share of Education Expenses, Question 3 (1980)
  4. Massachusetts Prayer in Schools, Question 9 (1972)
  5. Massachusetts Public Aid for Non-Public Education Institutions, Question 2 (1986)
  6. Massachusetts Public Aid to Non-Public Education Institutions, Question 1 (1982)
  7. Massachusetts Public Schools Cannot Discriminate Based on Race or Creed, Question 6 (1978)
  8. Massachusetts State Student Loans, Question 4 (1972)
  9. Massachusetts Student Fees Referendum, Question 3 (1994)

Studies and reports

State Budget Solutions education study

See also: State spending on education v. academic performance (2012)

State Budget Solutions examined national trends in education from 2009 to 2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates, and average ACT scores. The study showed that the states which spent the most did not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor did they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. The full report can be accessed here.

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Massachusetts + Education "

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Massachusetts Education News Feed

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See also

External links

References

  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. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD); Table 2.—Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011-12," accessed May 12, 2014
  5. United States Department of Education, "ED Data Express," accessed May 12, 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, "Welcome to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's Website," accessed May 20, 2014
  7. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  8. The Official Website of the Governor of Massachusetts, "Secretary of Education," accessed May 20, 2014
  9. Massachusetts General Laws, "Part I, Title II, Chapter 15, Section 1E," accessed May 20, 2014
  10. Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State,” accessed June 12, 2014
  11. Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, "Common Core State Standards Initiative," accessed June 17, 2014
  12. 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
  13. 13.0 13.1 United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
  14. ACT, "2012 ACT National and State Scores," accessed May 13, 2014
  15. Commonwealth Foundation, "SAT Scores by State 2013," October 10, 2013
  16. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Dropout and Graduation Rate Data File, School Year 2010-11, Provision Version 1a and School Year 2011-12, Preliminary Version 1a," accessed May 13, 2014
  17. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2011-2013," accessed February 21, 2014
  18. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
  19. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
  20. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
  21. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
  22. 22.0 22.1 United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11," accessed May 13, 2014
  23. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 211.60. Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2012-13," accessed May 13, 2014
  24. Thomas E Fordham Institute, " How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison," October 29, 2012
  25. Center for Union Facts, "Massachusetts Teachers Association," accessed June 10, 2014
  26. Center for Union Facts, "Massachusetts Federation of Teachers," accessed June 10, 2014
  27. Center for Union Facts,"Massachusetts teachers unions," accessed May 15, 2010
  28. The Daily News Tribune, "Bringing Transparency to the Budget," June 9, 2009

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