While student enrollment in Massachusetts public schools is growing more diverse, the state's public schools are becoming increasingly segregated along race and class lines. The inequality of educational opportunities and outcomes is compounded when, as is usually the case, racially segregated schools are also schools of concentrated poverty. This report explores two decades of school segregation trends in the state and provides recommendations for policymakers and advocates.
In Lost Opportunity: A 50 State Report on the Opportunity to Learn in America, the Schott Foundation for Public Education establishes a metric for determining the opportunity to learn for students. Providing a state-by-state comparison of both academic proficiency (percentage of students scoring at or above proficient on the eighth grade NAEP reading exam) and equity (as measured by the Schott Foundation’s Opportunity to Learn Index, or OTLI), Lost Opportunity identifies the four baseline minimum resources that are necessary for a child – regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status – to have a fair and substantive Opportunity to Learn.
In the United States, every student should have the equal right to a high-quality education. But as our most recent data demonstrates, for far too many students, quality and equity are aspirations, not realities. Few states are providing public school educations that result in academic proficiency for students. And even fewer states are providing access to a high-quality education to all students, particularly those from historically disadvantaged groups.
Schott and our partners have been working on this infographic for some time, and it is being released while our nation is mourning and the national narrative around trans students has been singularly focused on bathroom facilities. These current issues only highlight why we need to do more to support transgender students in a more comprehensive way.
Over three thousand students staged a walk-out on Monday to protest impending budget cuts to Boston Public Schools. Students marched downtown, through Boston Common, and rallied at the state house in an inspiring display of student power:
Schott's Senior Vice President of National Partnerships, Cassie Schwerner, was so impressed with Youth on Board’s new Boston Student Rights app – the first of its kind in the country – she decided to talk with staff and student leaders to learn more about it. Here, she chats with Carlos Rojas, Education Policy Organizer for Youth on Board (YOB).
CASSIE SCHWERNER: Why did young people, youth organizers, in the Boston area feel the need to create the Boston Student Rights app?
On February 17th, Boston parents, teachers, and students participated in nationwide walk-ins to #ReclaimOurSchools. Organized by the Alliance to Reclaim our Schools, these walk-ins were a show of community support for public schools and a demand for fully funded, high-quality, and equitable education. 40,000 people participated in the walk-ins across the country, which took place in over 30 cities.
Massachusetts is facing a lawsuit that will likely lead to lifting the state’s cap on charter schools, further depriving traditional public schools of funding by allowing a potentially unlimited number of charter schools to develop. To combat this plan, education advocates are trying to demonstrate how lifting the cap will hurt students. The Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance (MEJA) is asking supporters to testify against the plan at a public hearing on Feb.