A highly educated population is Boston and the region’s greatest asset. Greater Boston residents have among the nation’s highest educational attainment, Massachusetts’ K-12 students test highest in the nation on standardized tests and the Boston Public Schools (BPS) is ranked as one of the nation’s best large urban districts. However, persistent racial/ethnic disparities in combination with global and local demographic trends threaten the region’s educational advantage.
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WHAT IS THE EDUCATION SECTOR?
The Education Sector includes formal institutions of learning at all levels—from early education centers to PreK- 12 public school districts, charter schools, private schools, and public and private 2- and 4-year institutions of higher education as well as continuing and adult education programs. In addition, it includes parent organizations, teachers’ unions, after school and summer programs, research institutes, advocacy organizations and volunteer groups.
Massachusetts ’public education system was recently integrated through the
Massachusetts Executive Office of Education
. Established in 2008 by Governor Deval Patrick and led by the state’s first Secretary of Education, the Executive Office of Education encompasses previously separate departments, including:
The Department of
Early Education and Care
(EEC), which supports a network of local and regional early childhood education and caretaking organizations that work with more than 275,000 children every day, provides financial support to more than 60,000 low income families with children and licenses 12,000 EEC programs statewide.
The Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education
, oversees nearly one million children who attend public elementary and secondary schools in Massachusetts’ 389 school districts as well as curriculum frameworks, teacher licensure, approval and oversight of Charter Schools, Adult Education, Community Learning and ESOL, as well as the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) and is the link to Federal programs and policy such as No Child Left Behind and President Obama’s Race to the Top stimulus funding for education.
The Department of
, with responsibility for the more than 260,000 students who attend the Commonwealth’s 15 Community Colleges serving over 118,000 students, nine State Colleges serving 72,000 students and the 5 campuses of the University of Massachusetts system .The
University of Massachusetts
, is aligned under a Board of Trustees and the President’s Office with five campuses—Boston, Lowell, Dartmouth, Worcester, location of the world-renowned
UMASS Medical School
and the flagship campus in Amherst. Together, they enroll nearly 50,000 undergraduates, and 15,000 graduate students, with a network of more than 375,000 alumni, 225,000 living in Massachusetts.
The Commonwealth’s largest school district, the
Boston Public School
s (BPS) is comprised of 143 schools from Pre-K 0 for 3-year olds through high school. To meet the academic needs of the highly diverse student body of more than 56,000, the BPS offers 6 Early Learning Centers, 60 Elementary Schools serving grades K-5, 28 K-8 programs—18 of which are single schools, 16 Middle Schools serving grades 6-8, 1 Middle-High School for grades 6-12, 30 High Schools, including 3 Exam Schools, 6 Special Education Schools Spanning grades K to 12, and 3 in-district alternative programs. Additionally, BPS has opened 21 Pilot schools since 1995, which have increased teacher and programming autonomy, has established the Newcomers Academy for recently-arriving immigrant and English Language Learner students and continues to offer extensive Voc-Tech options at Madison Park High School.
Greater Boston is also home to 74 institutions of public and private higher education—from MIT, Harvard, Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern and Tufts to many excellent liberal arts colleges and specialized professional schools—with a combined annual enrollment of more than 260,000 students. Of these institutions, about half —35 public and private colleges and universities—are located within Boston’s city limits