We stand up for a Massachusetts where everyone gets a fair shot, does and pays their fair share, and plays by the same rules.
This week, Massachusetts released the 2014 MCAS scores, which in general show strong overall performance but also reveal cause for concern. Third grade reading, which is one of the key measures of future academic success, showed no improvement from last year: 43% of Bay State third-graders failed to reach the “proficient” level. And despite other gain in student performance, 3rd grade reading proficiency remains stagnant.
Children who struggle with reading in third grade are four times less likely than other children to finish high school by age 19.
One of the leading drivers in this gap is the gap in access to early education and care.
Massachusetts Fair Share has previously examined the correlation between access to early education and third grade reading based on MCAS results. Our results showed exactly what you would expect to see based on the many national studies on the benefits of preschool education—higher achievement in school, lower dropout rates, less need for special education, and greater success in post-school life. Read more about our findings here.
Massachusetts should lead on education, but when it comes to early education we are falling behind. While states like Oklahoma offer free preschool to all, Massachusetts has 30,000 kids on waiting lists for early education programs.