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This document provides a framework, including a set of definitions for each of the components of the seven indicators of school quality in practice. The framework, which is a living document, is intended to help guide educators who are designing and operating school models that will achieve a community's shared vision of student success. Positive youth development and educational equity—which should underpin all systems,structures, and practices in a school—are named across all seven indicators because these must exist holistically in order to create learning environments where all students thrive.
Launched in 2009, BPS Arts Expansion, the public-private partnership led by the Boston Public Schools Visual and Performing Arts Department and EdVestors, brings together local foundations, the school district, arts organizations, higher education institutions, and the Mayor's Office to focus on a coherent, sustainable approach to quality arts education for all BPS students. This collaboration of local leaders along with students, families, and school staff, has enabled Boston to emerge as a national leader among urban districts working to expand arts education.The purpose of this study is to examine how access to arts education in BPS influences education outcomes pertaining to student social emotional and academic outcomes as well as parent and teacher perspectives regarding school climate. This research strengthens the case for quality arts education for every student, finding significant evidence increases in arts education lead to improvements on a range of indicators of student and parent school engagement.
Analyses of testing data from fall 2020 indicate the transition to remote learning has resulted in significant learning loss, particularly among low-income and minority students. Using data from the online learning platform Zearn, economists at the Harvard Opportunity Insights project found large losses in math learning for low-income students, whereas students from affluent backgrounds saw gains. This has exacerbated fears that the pandemic is widening the already large achievement gap between students from different income and racial/ethnic groups. The COVID-19 crisis has also had a worrisome impact on students' emotional health — particularly among full-time remote learners, for whom supportive networks of teachers and friends have been disrupted.Findings from the Distance and Disruption study correspond with those of a separate survey of 1,549 Massachusetts parents with school-aged children conducted in October and November 2020. That study found significant gaps by income and racial/ethnic group in access to in-person schooling, and parents of children in remote-learning situations — particularly hybrid in-person/remote arrangements — were more likely to feel their child was falling behind grade level.The Distance and Disruption study further adds to our understanding of the transfer to remote learning by exploring students' perspectives on specific differences in the quality of learning experiences between the in-school and at-home environments. Such differences are a critical link in explaining why remote-learning students are more likely to experience negative outcomes.
From national test scores to graduation rates, we have reason to be proud of the progress we have made over the past decade.1 During that same time, it has become clear that Latinos have played, and will continue to play, a larger role in the Commonwealth's future. Latinos are expected to comprise 15 percent of the population of Massachusetts by 2035 – growth fueled primarily by in-state births rather than immigration.2 It is critical, then, that Massachusetts' workforce, at every level, reflect our population. This work begins now, in the classroom. Investing in a strong education system that meets the needs of Latinos and other students of color, as well as students from low-income backgrounds, is an investment in the workforce of the future.
New K-12 Parent Poll: Student mental health, academics pose challenge to Massachusetts schools COVID recovery plansMay 22, 2022
This poll surveys Massachusetts parents regarding their views about students' safety and academic preparedness related to COVID-19 and the state's COVID recovery plans. The pandemic brought long lasting academic and mental health concerns, which parents say remain serious challenges today.
Massachusetts parents have high expectations that this school year will help their kids catch up after a year of COVID challenges and interruptions. More than a third (35%) of parents now expect their students will be ahead of grade level by the end of this year. That's actually higher than the 28% who said their children were at that level pre-COVID. But it's not clear that schools have the resources to achieve this expected turnaround, or that parents are even getting the information they need to adequately track their students' progress.Those are the top findings from the fifth and latest wave of a survey of K-12 parents statewide conducted by The MassINC Polling Group and sponsored by the Barr Foundation, in collaboration with the Education Trust Massachusetts. The project has tracked parents' attitudes and opinions about their children's education throughout the pandemic since the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
In fall 2020, the Barr Foundation offered high schools the opportunity to hear firsthand from their stakeholders about the teaching and learning experience within the unprecedented educational environment brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ten schools across New England opted to take advantage of this opportunity, partnering with YouthTruth to administer surveys to students (and in some cases, to staff and families), to gather information and insights about how they were faring nearly a semester into the 2020-21 school year.
Study of the Engage New England Initiative Cross-Site Learning Brief 3: Improving Instructional SystemsDecember 1, 2020
SRI Education, the research partner for the Barr Engage New England (ENE) initiative, captured the ENE school and program grantees' learnings about improving instructional systems through interviews of school leaders, school staff members, and external partners; student focus groups; and staff surveys during the 2019-20 school year. This brief describes common facilitators and challenges experienced by grantees as they worked to further their instructional systems. It also provides some promising practices that grantees used to support these efforts or to address challenges.
These results are based on a survey of 1,502 parents of K-12 students in Massachusetts. Live telephone interviews and online interviewing were conducted in English and Spanish June 4-19, 2020. Telephone respondents were reached by both landline and cell phone. Oversamples of Black, Latino, and Asian American respondents were obtained to bring the total interview count up to at least 250 for each group. Results within race and ethnicity were weighted to age, gender, and education level for each group. Groups were then combined and weighted to the population parameters by race for the state as a whole.
Despite the long history of overlap between the education and business sectors, however, relatively little research has examined how business organizations successfully advocate on behalf of education policy priorities. This paper seeks to do just that. It profiles three business advocacy organizations (see Table 1) that have recently supported successful education legislation, with the goal of surfacing lessons that are broadly applicable to other business advocacy organizations interested in pursuing education advocacy work on behalf of students' long-term economic success.
As part of Education First's research into teacher leadership nationally and within Massachusetts, Education First developed this framework as one way to look at the teacher leadership roles and opportunities and the pathways between them. Please note: This does not represent a comprehensive view of every role and opportunity available to teacher leaders in Massachusetts, and captures only a snapshot in time.
An article published by Education First on the importance of teacher leadership.
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