• About the Project

Explore the indicators and measures below.

Please note that we are in the process of evaluating the current indicators and measures.  As a result, the data on some measures is more robust than others.

Goals & Indicators:
Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
Educational Attainment
  • Educational Attainment, Adults 25 Years and Older

Metro Boston ranks 4th among the nation’s largest metro’s in the percent of adults 25 years or older with a BA or higher at 43%, behind DC, San Jose and San Francisco.  However, Boston ranks 1st in the percent of highly educated young workers with 54% of 25-34 year olds holding a BA or Higher.  The metro is anchored by Boston’s high educational attainment where 62% of 25 to 34 year old hold a BA or higher, topping all other large US cities.

4th and 8th Grade NAEP Results
  • Not Currently Available

In 2011, Massachusetts ranked first in the nation in reading and math for both fourth and eighth graders for the fourth consecutive testing year, but with stark and persistent achievement gaps by race/ethnicity and income.

  • 4th math: With a 2011 average scaled score of 253, 58% of 4th graders were proficient or higher in NAEP math, up from 31% in 2000.  However, 76% of Asian and 67% of white students were proficient compared to 32% of Latino and 27% of African American students.  Similarly, 70% of non-low income students were proficient in math compared of 36% of low income students.
  • 4th reading: the average scaled score increased to 237 in 2011, up from 228 in 2003, and 50% were proficient or above.  However, proficiency rates for white and Asian students were more than two times higher than African American and Latino students: 59% and 56% compared to 24% and 23%, respectively.  Sixty-three percent of non-low income students were proficient compared to 25% of low income students.
  • 8th math: Fifty-one percent of students scored proficient or above in 2011, compared to 30% in 2000 and the average scaled score of 299 was 17 points higher than the US average.  However, 21% of Latino and 26% of African American 8th graders were proficient in math compared to 58% of white and 76% of Asian students.  Over 60% of non-low income students were proficient compared to 29% of low income 8th graders.
  • 8th reading: reading proficiency rates increase to 46% in 2011, up from 43% in 2003.  However, 62% of Asian and 53% of white students were proficient or above compared to 20% of African American and 18% of Latino students.  
Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
Access to High Quality Early Education
  • Boston's Early Education Facilities by Type
  • Number of K1 Seats in BPS versus Number of Four Year Olds
Boston has more than 28,000 registered public and private early education facilities ranging from large group centers serving over 300 children to small family providers with just two or three available seats.  As of 2011 there were 42 providers in Boston with a capacity of over 300 children and nearly 800 providers with a capacity of fewer than 10 children.

The greatest number of providers are located in Dorchester with 222 facilities, Roslindale with 98 and Roxbury with 97.  However, the greatest number of places for children as measured by capacity are Dorchester serving up to 4,346, Roxbury with a capacity of 2,276, Roslindale with 1,481 places and Jamaica Plain with 1,451 places.

Kindergarten registrations increased to more than 2,300 in SY 2012-13, up 25% from about 1,800 the previous year.  As of the start of SY 2012-13 BPS had added 12 new kindergarten classrooms to accommodate the increase in registrations, but as many as 300 children did not have kindergarten placement.

Enrollment by School District
  • Enrollment of Students with Disabilities
  • Enrollment of English Language Learners
  • Enrollment of Low Income Students
Boston has among the highest degree of student need in the state: as of the 2010-11 school year, 75% of students were low income, 20% had a learning, behavioral or physical disability, more than 43% were English Language Learners and 28% had Limited English Proficiency.
Boston Public Schools Enrollment of Special Populations
  • Enrollment of Students with Dissabilities
  • Enrollment English Language Learners
  • Enrollment of Low Income Students
  • Measure
Boston has among the highest degree of student need in the state: as of the 2010-11 school year, 75% of students were low income, 20% had a learning, behavioral or physical disability, more than 43% were English Language Learners and 28% had Limited English Proficiency.

Low Income: Within BPS, the percent of students who are low income ranges from 28.5% of students at the Boston Latin School to more than 95% at the Donald McKay K-8 school in East Boston. 

Students with Disabilities: BPS has a number that only serve students with disabilities, as well as the Lyon K-8 and High School that have full immersion and more than 35% of students have a disability while a number of schools—including the 3 exam schools—have fewer than 5% students with disabilities. 

English Language Learners: Boston International High School is dedicated to serving the ELL population, and 100% of students are non-native English speakers, while at BPS schools such as the Otis School, the Curtis Guild School and the McKay School, more than 80% of students are English Language Learners compared to a number of Boston’s Charter schools where fewer than 10% of students are English Language Learners.

Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
Boston Schools by Type
  • Boston Schools by Type

As of SY 2011-12, BPS total enrollment was 57,000, a figure that has remained relatively steady for them past few years. 

About 25% of Boston’s children (18,860) did not attend BPS.  Of these

  • 5,700 attend parochial schools;
  • 4,000 attend other private schools;
  • 3,020 are enrolled in suburban districts through the METCO program;
  • 5,440 attend a Boston charter school;
  • 460 attend special education programs outside of the district; and
  • 170 are home schooled.


Within BPS, 21 innovation pilot schools and 3 Horace Mann Charter Schools which are run by the district but offer curriculum and staffing autonomies similar to Charter Schools.  These schools enrolled XX in SY 2011-12.

Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
Access to Physical Activities and Healthy Food
  • Weekly In-School Arts Programming
  • Percent of BPS High School Students without Physical Education

Arts: As of SY 2011, 81% of K-8 student received weekly, year-long arts instruction, up from 67% in 2008 and 47% of High School Students received any type of arts instruction, up from 26% in 2011.  The Boston Arts Expansion Initiative aims to have 100% of BPS students in K-8 receiving weekly, year-long arts education.

Physical Activity: Research by the Boston Globe found that in the 2008-09 school year 15 elementary schools did not provide physical education, 4,800 high school students and 1,400 students in K-8 schools had no access to physical education.  In 2011, BPS announced Healthy Connections to advance health and physical activity throughout BPS by increasing phys-ed teachers and classes and integrating physical activity across the school day.  The program has added phys-ed to 17 new schools, trained 75 wellness coaches in 46 schools, and conducted fitness assessments in 57 schools.

Available Guidance Counselors and Social Workers
  • Not Currently Available

Employment of guidance counselors, social workers and other support staff has declined considerably between 2008 and 2011.  As of SY2011, BPS employed 51 full-time guidance counselors, down from 56 in 2008 and the number of School Adjustment Counselors declined from 44 to 21.  The number of full-time Social Workers available for regular education students also declined from 31 in 2008 to 10 in 2011.  However, the number of social workers for students with disabilities increased from 27 to 47.

Boston Public School Amenities
  • Not Currently Available

Schoolyards: as of 2012, Boston Schoolyards Initiative had completed 81 schoolyard and outdoor classroom projects and renovations.  The most recent completions in 2011 were: Edison K-8 in Allston, Elihu Greenwood Leadership Academy in Hyde Park and Young Achievers Science & Math Pilot School in Mattapan

Technology: In SY 2009-10 (most recent data) there were 3.3 students per modern computer in BPS, down from 8 students per computer in 2004 and 100% of classrooms had internet access. 

Libraries:  The Target School Library Makeover Program has funded the complete renovation of a BPS school library each year for the last four years: the Mather School in 2009, the Marshall School in 2010, the Hennigan School in 2011 and the Trotter School in 2012.  The renovation updates walls, floors, ceiling and furniture using eco-friendly materials, provides new computers and ipads, 2,000 new books and 7 new books for each student in the school.  As of SY2011, BPS employed 18 full-time equivalent Librarians and Media Center Directors.

Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
Highly Qualified and Subject Matter Licensed Teachers
  • Percent of Subject Matter Licensed Teachers
  • Percent of Core Subjects Taught by Highly Qualified Teachers

District-wide, 97.5% of BPS teachers were subject-matter licensed and 94% of core subject teachers were “highly qualified” in SY 2010-11.  At 78 of 131 BPS schools 100% of teachers were subject-matter licensed and the lowest rates were 77% at the Edwards Middle School, 84% at the Blackstone and 85% at the Ellison/Parks Early Education School.  At 41 schools, 100% of core subject teachers were “highly qualified” with the lowest rates at some of Boston’s alternative schools such as 64% at Community Academy, 71% at Boston Middle School, and 73% at Greater Egleston Community High School.

Teachers who reflect the diversity and academic needs of students
  • Not Currently Available

Race/Ethnicity: In SY2011-12, 87% of BPS students were of color compared to 38% of all BPS teachers.  By race/ethnicity: 47% of students and 10% of teachers were Latino; 35% of students and 23% of teachers were African American; 8% of students and 5% of teachers were Asian; and13% of students were white compared to 62% of teachers.

Linguistic Diversity: BPS students come from 101 different countries and speak 77 different languages.  While more than 44% of all students are English Language Learners, just 10% of the district’s teachers are specialized for ELL teaching.

Special Education: BPS is well-balanced in serving Students with Disabilities.  About  20% of BPS students have a special cognitive, learning, behavioral or physical need and about 20% of all teachers are licensed in Special Education.

Ratio of Students to Teachers in Regular Education Programs in Boston Public Schools
  • Ratio of Students to Teachers

In SY2011-12 BPS readjusted the optimal student to teacher ratios to provide higher-need and younger grades with smaller classes and more teachers while maximizing teachers and building space in the higher grades.  In pre-K to grade 2, the new goal is an average class size of 19 down from the current average of 21, for grades 3-5 the class size would decrease to 20 from the current average of 22, in grades 6-8 the minimum would increase to 23 from the current 22 and in high school the minimum class size would increase to 25 from the current average of 22.

However, when accounting for all full- and part-time teachers and specialists, many schools that serve special populations have a student to teacher ratio of less than 10:1.  

Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
Non Profit Partners with Boston Public Schools
  • Education Nonprofit Organizations, Boston

Boston is home to more than 700 education-related nonprofit organizations.  These range from large institutions, such as colleges and universities, to literacy volunteer organizations to education advocacy organizations such as Strategies for Children.

Out-of-School Time Recreation Opportunities
  • Not Currently Available

According to BostoNavigator, there are more tan 120 facilities across the city of Boston providing hundreds of different programming options for out of school time activity and learning.  The Boston Center for Youth and Families also runs 34 different sites across the city, including pools that are open seasonally.  Together, City and private out-of-school facilities provide programming in the arts, sports, college prep, technology and media literacy, jobs an career exploration among many other options.  

Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
High Attendance Rate in Boston Public Schools
  • Annual Attendance Rates by School

The average daily attendance rate at Boston's public schools had remained above 90% since 2006, with a majority of schools (86) reporting an average daily attendance rate of above 93% in SY 2010-11.  However, a handful of schools report average attendance rates below 80%, these are typically schools with alternative programming serving students with a higher level of need.

Stable Enrollment
  • Annual Retention Rates by School
  • Mobility Rates

Mobility: The percent of students transferring in and out of Boston Public Schools was 21% in 2011, down from 25% over the previous four years.  A number of schools, 57, had a student mobility rate below 20% but in as many as 11 schools, more than 50% of the student body did not complete a full academic year at a single school.

Retention: 5.8% of BPS students were made to repeat a grade in 2011, down from a high of 7.4% in 2005.   However, in 12 BPS schools more than 15% and as many as 25% of students had to repeat a grade. 

Low Suspension and Expulsion Rate
  • Annual Expulsion Rates by School
  • Annual Truancy Rates by School
  • Annual Dropout Rates by School

Suspensions: The BPS district-wide suspension rate has remained around 6% for the last few academic years, but is down from near 9% in 2007.  However, a number of schools had a suspension rate near 18% or higher in 2011 including a number of BPS high schools and charter schools.

Truancy: the BPS district average truancy rate has remained at about 1%.  However, 6 schools in Boston--including 5 charter schools--had an annual truancy rate greater than 4% in 2011.

Dropouts: Annual dropout rates in BPS dropped 6.4% in 2011, the lowest rate on record.  However, at as many as 28 schools (both district and charter schools) the annual dropout rate was greater than 15%.

Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
First Grade DIEBLS Reading Benchmark
  • Not Currently Available

In SY2011 67% of BPS first graders were reading at or above grade level on DIBELS, up from 64% in 2010 and 57% in 2009.  However, this fell below the Acceleration Agenda target of 75% in 2011 on the way to 80% proficient or above by 2014.

Third Grade Reading Proficiency
  • Third Grade Reading Proficiency, African American Students
  • Third Grade Reading Proficiency, Asian Students
  • Third Grade Reading Proficiency, Latino Students
  • Third Grade Reading Proficiency, White Students

In 2011, 35% of third graders were Proficient or Advanced in MCAS English Language Arts, nearly 40 percentage points below the Acceleration Agenda target of 72%.  Since 2011, third grade proficiency rates have not risen above 37%, driven largely by a deep, persistent achievement gap. 

  • Race/Ethnicity: In 2011, 62% of white students and 51% of Asian students scored Proficient in third grade reading compared to 31% of Latino students and 28% of African American students.  Since 2001, the proficiency gap between white and Asian students and African American and Latino students has remained between 20 and 30 percentage points.  However, across Boston there are schools where all students out-perform the district average including the Edward Brooke Charter School where 82% of African American students scored proficient and the Ellis Mendell where 82% of Latino students scored proficient.
  • Low Income: 31% of low income third graders were proficient readers in 2011.  Because more than 75% of Boston’s students are low income, their performance tends to track the district average.  However, at the Edward Brooke Charter School 79% of low income students were proficient as well as 66% at the Warren-Prescott and Perkins schools.
  • English Language Learners: 27% of ELL third graders were proficient readers in 2011 up from 21% in 2009 and 17% in 2007.
  • Students with Disabilities: 10% scored proficient in 2011, down from 14% in 2010.  

Eighth Grade Math Proficiency
  • Eighth Grade Math Proficiency, African American Students
  • Eighth Grade Math Proficiency, Asian Students
  • Eighth Grade Math Proficiency, Latino Students
  • Eighth Grade Math Proficiency, White Students

8th Grade Math Proficiency & Growth: in 2011, 34% of BPS 8th graders were proficient or Advanced in MCAS Math, unchanged from 2010 but up from 28% in 2009. 

  • Race/Ethnicity: 76% of Asian students and 60% of shite students scored proficient or advanced in 2011 compared to 26% of Latino and 21% of African American students.  In 2011, only Asian students had a growth percentile above 60; all other student groups were between 40 and 60.
  • Low Income: 29% of low income eighth graders were proficient in Math compared to 51% of non-low income eighth graders, unchanged from 2010.  BPS low income students ranked in the 48th percentile for growth while non-low income students ranked in the 51st.
  • English Language Learners: 13% of ELL eighth graders were proficient in MCAS math, relatively unchanged from 14% in 2010.  ELL students ranked in the 57% percentile in growth from 2010 to 2011.
  • Students with Disabilities: just 8% were proficient or advanced in MCAS math up from 6% in 2010 and ranked in the 46th percentile for growth.

Algebra I enrollment: in 2011, 25% of non-Exam school eighth graders were enrolled in Algebra 1, up from 4% in 2009 and exceeding the Acceleration Agenda goal of 20%.

Tenth Grade MCAS Proficiency
  • Proficiency by Race Ethnicity
  • Tenth Grade ELA Proficiency, All Students
  • Tenth Grade Math Proficiency All Students
  • Tenth Grade Science Proficiency, All Students

2007/08 BPS 10th graders are the Class of 2011, for whom a score of Proficient is required to graduate. These students are surpassing previous class scores but with persistent racial/ethnic achievement gaps: Math: 59% of BPS 10th graders achieved Proficient or Advanced—a dramatic improvement over 28% in 2001—including: 92% of Asian and 80% of whites (about 20% of all students); 54% of Latinos and 46% of African Americans (80% of all students); 41% of English Language Learners (ELL) and 19% of Students With Disabilities (SWD). English Language Arts: 58% of BPS 10th graders achieved Proficient or Advanced, including 80% of Asians, 79% of whites, 50% of Latinos, 48% of African Americans, 18% of ELL and 24% of SWD. Science: BPS 10th graders participated in MCAS science for the first time and 29% achieved Proficient or Advanced: 68% of Asians, 65% of whites, 28% of African Americans and 24% of Latinos. BPS Proficiency outcomes continued to improve in 2009—up 3 percentage points in Math, 5 in Science and 6 in ELA.


Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
AP and SAT Scores
  • Not Currently Available

Advanced Placement: AP courses enable High School students to study a subject at a college level. Scored on a scale from 1 to 5, a score of 3 or higher on an AP exam may be honored for college credit. The availability of AP courses speaks to the capacity of a District and a school to prepare students for college, while student performance on AP exams reflects how well a school or District has actually prepared its students.

SAT: As of 2006/07, nearly 70% of BPS 12th graders took the SAT, scoring, on average, 390 in Critical Reading, 406 in Math and 388 in Critical Writing. By comparison, at the BPS Exam Schools, 100% of 12th graders took the SAT, scoring an average of 536 in Critical Reading, 563 in Math and 536 in Critical Writing. Among Charter schools serving grades 9 to 12, 100% of 12th graders took the SAT in 2006/07, scoring an average 429 in Critical Reading, 458 in Math and 432 in Writing

Four-Year Outcomes
  • Not Currently Available

Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
Vocational and Technical Training Certificates
  • Vocational and Technical Training Certificates
Certificates and Associates Degrees Awarded by Community Colleges

A total of 11,136 Associate’s Degrees and Certificates were awarded in FY2009, up from 10,299 in FY2005, According to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.  The number of certificates awarded increased to 2,587 from 2,309 and the number of Associate’s Degrees conferred increased to 8,549 from 7,990.

At Bunker Hill the total awards increased to 817 in FY09 from 679 in FY05, with the number of certificates declining to 160 from 174 and the number of associate’s increasing to 657 from 505.

At Roxbury Community College, the number of awards declined to 212 in FY09 from 229 in FY05, with the number of certificates declining to 18 from 39 and the number of associates degrees awarded increasing to 194 from 190.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, among those entering community college in 2004, after four years 33.6% had graduated, 16% transferred, 20.3% had earned at least 30 credits and 2% were still enrolled.  At Bunker Hill, 25% had graduated, 19% transferred, 20% had earned 30 credits and 2.4% were still enrolled.  At Roxbury Community College, 22% graduated, 22% transferred, 25% had earned 30 credits and 2% were still enrolled.


Adult Basic Education ESOL
  • ABE ESOL Waitlist

After falling consistently from 2004, through 2008, Massachusetts, total waitlist for Adult Basic Education (ABE) and ESOL courses increased to more than 21,000--the highest number since 2004.  The waitlist for ESOL reached 16,199 in 2009, up from 14,401 in 2008, while the ABE waitlist increased to 5,314 up from 5,223 in 2008.Though Massachusetts made headway towards eliminating waitlists for ABE and ESOL prior to the economic recession, a survey of participants conducted in 2007 found that some 30% of those who completed a program did not achieve their goals of higher education, a GED or employment. 

Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
Funding for Early Education & Care
  • Funding for the Massachusetts Department of Early Education & Care

The Department of Early Education & Care received more than $506 million in funding in FY12, which is roughly the same amount received in FY10 and 11.  However, this is a reduction from the decade-long peak in FY09 when EEC received more than $569 million.

Massachusetts Funding for K-12 Education
  • Chapter 70 Funding
  • Non-Chapter 70 Funding

Massachusetts Chapter 70 funding fell slightly in FY12 to $3.9 billion from a high of near $4.1 billion in FY11.  However, total funding is up from just over $2.9 billion in FY01.  Non-Chapter 70 funding for K-12 education has been inconsistent over the last decade, but increased in FY12 to over $511 million from $423 million in FY11.  However, funding remains below the peak of $583 million in FY09.

Despite consistently strong funding for K-12 Education, recent research has found that nearly every extra dollar allocated to school districts through Chapter 70 has been off-set by the increasing cost of employee health care.

Department of Higher Education Funding
  • Funding for the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education

The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education received $954 million in state funding in FY12, down from over $1 billion in FY11 and the peak of $1.17 billion in FY07.  In 2011, Massachusetts ranked 30th among all states in per student higher education funding, falling from 13th among all states in FY01.