College, Career and Life Readiness
on October 2 at Bank of America 


The Boston Opportunity Agenda
Early Education Convening

We look forward to continuing our
collective impact effort to align our work on behalf of infants, toddlers,
 young children and families
 throughout the city.

Friday, October 6, 2017
from 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM


Goals and Benchmarks

The education pipeline begins by building a solid education foundation for all of our city’s children and continues through the entire K-16 education system, effectively preparing Boston’s students for high school and college graduation and success in our workforce.  It extends to adults, including parents and immigrants who have missed or been denied opportunities for education and job training in order to prepare them for jobs with family-sustaining wages. 

The Boston Opportunity Agenda has set goals and benchmarks at critical points along the education pipeline in order to track the health of our educational systems.  Working with the Boston Indicators Project and the Boston Public Schools Office of Data and Accountability, the Boston Opportunity Agenda annually publishes a report card detailing progress against the goals using data from the Boston Public Schools and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  In 2014, we expanded our K-12 pipeline goals to include Catholic and charter schools in Boston.  This represents 93% of the school age population in Boston and gives a better picture of how all learners are progressing.

A Strong Educational Foundation

Early Literacy

Children who participate in high-quality early education programs are 40% less likely to repeat a grade, 30% more likely to graduate from high school and more than twice as likely to go to college.  They develop better language skills, score higher on school readiness tests and have fewer behavioral problems once they enter school.  Finally as adults, they have higher annual earnings and are more likely to be homeowners.

Goal: Percent of students ready for kindergarten as measured by the DIBELS.

Reading Proficiency

From 1st to 3rd grade, students are learning to read and from 4th grade on they must be able to read to learn.  “One in six children not reading proficiently in 3rd grade fail to graduate from high school on time, a rate four times greater than that for proficient readers,” says the Annie E. Casey Foundation. "Black and Hispanic children who are not reading proficiently in 3rd grade are about twice as likely as similar white children not to graduate from high school."

Goal: Percent of third graders reading proficiently at the end of third grade as measured by MCAS.

On Track for High School Completion

Access to High Level Mathematics

Frequently referred to as a “gateway” or “gatekeeper” course, Algebra is the first in a series of higher level math courses required for success in work and life.  Offering Algebra in the 8th grade increases academic rigor and allows students to pursue higher levels of mathematics coursework throughout their high school career.  Research has shown that with each additional level of math complete in high school, students increase the likelihood that they will complete a Bachelor’s degree.

Goal: Increase the number of non-exam 8th Graders enrolled in Algebra I.

High School Completion

MCAS Proficiency

While many in the general population understand that proficiency on the MCAS is necessary in order to graduate from high school, MCAS proficiency also serves as an indicator of whether a student will enroll in and complete postsecondary education. According to the Center for Labor Studies, "not only are students with stronger reading and math scores more likely to attend college, but they are also much more likely to enroll in 4-year colleges and graduate with a Bachelor’s degree."

Goal:  Percent of 10th Graders who are proficient on MCAS in English Language Arts, Mathematics and Science.

Drop Out Rate and 4 year completion

Lost lifetime earnings in Massachusetts for the class of 2010 dropouts alone will total nearly $3.7 billion, according to the Alliance for Excellent Education.  If the state’s male graduation rate grew by just 5%, the Massachusetts economy would see crime-related savings and additional revenue of about $115 million each year.

Goal: Percent of young people who drop out of high school.

Goal: Percent of young people who complete high school in four years.

Post-Secondary Attainment

A postsecondary degree is essential for success in Greater Boston’s knowledge economy, where more than half of all job vacancies require at least an Associate’s degree – a percentage that is expected only to grow.  In addition, a typical Bachelor’s degree holder will earn $1 million more than a high-school dropout over the course of a lifetime.

Goal: Percent of high school graduates enrolling in postsecondary education and completing in six years.

Goal: Percent of 25- to 65- year-olds with postsecondary credentials.


Goals & Measures along the Education Pipeline

Strong Educational Foundation On Track for HS Graduation High School Completion Post Secondary Attainment

Boston Opportunity Agenda full

Please direct inquiries to:

Kristin McSwain
Executive Director
The Boston Opportunity Agenda
420 Boylston Street, 4th Floor
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 338-1620

As a member of
The Boston Opportunity Agenda
the Boston Foundation is pleased to provide administrative support and web services for this site.

© 2017