Massachusetts is widely known for its place in U.S. history, its reputation as the ultimate “college town,” and for being home to some of the very best education our nation has to offer. Yet despite these assets, the Bay State is fraught with inequity—home to some of the largest educational attainment gaps in the country, as well as some of the very largest gaps in earnings and wealth. Despite the state’s beautiful landscapes and unique cultural offerings, social inequity is pervasive.
However, many here believe that if true educational equity at scale is going to happen anywhere, it will happen in Massachusetts. Our state enjoys a unique combination of resources—a rich tradition of prioritizing public education, a strong pipeline of talent, numerous colleges and universities, a forward-thinking state Department of Education, a rich nonprofit sector, and a generous philanthropic community. Massachusetts also is home to innovative and promising approaches to lasting improvements within traditional districts, such as school and district turnaround and transformation efforts, alongside arguably the strongest charter public school sector in the US. We no longer question can it be done? In Massachusetts, the question is how can we accelerate the student success that we know is possible?
Central to our efforts is the belief that no social movement, in the past or today, can be successful unless communities are themselves at the forefront leading the work. Our state attracts great talent from around the country and around the world—and also has tremendous assets in the brilliant, inspiring, and dynamic students we are fortunate to work with. Our hope is that our students and families will be the teachers, principals, advocates, and policy makers that continue this work into the future.
There is much work to be done in Massachusetts—but there is also incredible potential.
What role will you play?