The 2016 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.
The Condition of Education in the Commonwealth Action Guide presents an overview of the current policy landscape and context in areas of need, along with suggested program steps for bringing successful practices to scale. The Action Guide and the larger Condition of Education in the Commonwealth project provides a common foundation for more informed action statewide, building bridges between what we know how to do and what we aspire to achieve for all students.
A number of promising reform activities, including several highlighted in the 2015 Condition of Education Action Guide, emphasize partnerships between schools and community-based organizations to supplement a broader range of student learning needs. As we look at current patterns in student performance and consider where, as a state, we have the greatest opportunity to improve outcomes, social-emotional learning emerges as a clear priority.
In this year’s Condition of Education Action Guide, we explore the critical role social-emotional learning plays at several stages of the schooling pipeline, noting where the state has made progress and how Massachusetts leaders can support a more comprehensive and research-based vision for social-emotional learning for all educators, students, and their families.
Below is a link to explore an interactive feature that highlights programs in Massachusetts’ districts, schools, and communities featured in the 2015 and 2016 Condition of Education Action Guides. Approaches highlighted in the map represent the two underlying notions: 1. Education encompasses more than academic learning; 2. Schools should not—and cannot—work in isolation. Criteria for these featured programs, includes but is not limited to, the following: