What is Leading the Nation, and why are we celebrating now?
While Massachusetts has always had a strong commitment to education, the state's public schools have been recognized as national leaders on many fronts in recent years, thanks to the hard work of teachers, students, families, and communities.
The Leading the Nation campaign is scheduled for 2018 and coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act, which increased and stabilized state aid to districts, established common learning expectations statewide, and made it easier to see where schools were doing well and where changes might be needed. Massachusetts' recent successes reflect an enduring bipartisan commitment to those principles.
Massachusetts public schools are leading the nation. The numbers show Massachusetts public schools and students are at the top:
- Number 1 in the U.S. in reading and math on NAEP, “The Nation’s Report Card” (2015)
- Top scores in the world in reading on the PISA international assessment (2016)
- Number 1 in Advanced Placement success in the country (2017)
- A four-year graduation rate that has increased each of the last 10 years
- Students recognized at the national level for accomplishments in overall academics, the arts, and vocational/technical skills
- A strong teacher workforce that includes a National Teacher of the Year
- A shared commitment to welcoming and supporting all students regardless of race, ethnicity, immigration status, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or gender
- A shared recognition that despite our successes, we need to and can do better for many students
It’s time we celebrate our hard work! The Department is excited to announce the launch of the Leading the Nation campaign, a statewide celebration in which Massachusetts public schools and local communities showcase their students’ academic and creative successes.
Campaign events that are in development to reach parents, educators, students, elected officials, and the general public include:
Thursday, April 5, 2018
10:00 - 11:30 am
State House celebration: A celebration of 25 years of education reform hosted by the co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Education.
May 7-11, 2018
Leading the Nation week: A single week of local events throughout the state organized by school districts and community partners. These events could be showcases of student or teacher work, policy discussions, or a celebration of districts' strengths.
The Leading the Nation week builds on our celebration of educators during National Teacher Appreciation Week. Leading the Nation provides an exciting opportunity for school districts and schools to spread the word about what’s working and to more fully engage parents, the local business community, the nonprofit sector, and other groups in the successes of your students and teachers.