Twenty-five years after the passage of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act (MERA), Massachusetts has what is widely considered to be the best school system in the country. Yet beneath the surface of that top ranking are a host of persistent income and racial disparities. A diverse coalition of advocates including Educators for Excellence Boston, Stand for Children Massachusetts, Teach Plus, and The Education Trust—collectively known as the Massachusetts Education Equity Partnership (MEEP)—recently released a report titled Number One for Some: Opportunity & Achievement in Massachusetts that takes aim at addressing these disparities head on.
The report includes three highlights:
- An honest look at the data — MEEP believes change begins by taking stock of where the state is currently. To that end, the report includes a host of facts and figures illustrating the gaps in both opportunity and achievement between Black and Latino students and their White peers.
- Opportunity drives outcomes — MEEP underscores the inequitable distribution of resources that impacts the students most in need. These resources include financial inequities, lack of access to early childhood programs, distribution of effective teachers, underrepresentation in AP courses, and overrepresentation among students who are suspended.
- Disparities have consequences — MEEP calls out the rapidly changing demographics of Massachusetts, and ties the state’s long-term success to its ability or inability to sufficiently support low-income students and students of color.
Read the full report here.