2018 PPI Score
School Choice Score: 0%
Charter Schools Score: 82%
Massachusetts moves up in the national ranking this year, making a substantial jump from 27th to 10th place. It earns a “B.” A renewed focus on rewarding the independence and autonomy that are provided to charters in practice facilitated the Bay State’s rise in the rankings.
Despite onerous caps on the number of charter schools that can be established in the Commonwealth, Massachusetts ensures that its charters operate with significant autonomy. Furthermore, the state supports innovative schools, despite regulations that it could interpret differently.
The Commonwealth’s sole authorizer, the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education allows charter schools all of autonomies they are promised by law. This has enabled Massachusetts’ charters to produce some of the best results in the country for students.
- Law passed in 1993
- Number of charters: 82
- Estimated charter enrollment: 44,200 (up 10 percent from 2015- 16)
- Virtual charter schools are banned
- Charter schools offering pre-k programs in districts where pre-k is funded receive per-pupil funding for pre-k
- Massachusetts has a cap of 72 charter schools statewide as well as caps restricting the amount of tuition that districts can send to charter schools when students enroll; Tuition caps, in particular, have significantly hindered the growth of charters in MA
- A study by the university of Arkansas showed that charters in Boston had a 17 percent disparity in funding compared to traditional public schools.
- Massachusetts earns a 9 of 15 points for “authorizing” because the law allows for only one authorizer, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
- Massachusetts earns a 6 out of 15 for “growth” due to its two different kinds of charter school caps. The first is a statewide cap on the number of schools that can exist. The second is a tuition cap, which limits how much per-pupil funding districts can send to charter schools (effectively limiting the number of charter school seats in each district.
- Massachusetts earns 15 of 20 points for “operations” because charter schools operate free from most regulations that apply to districts. Additionally, the state allows charters significant operational autonomy in practice.
- Massachusetts earns an 11 out of 15 for “funding equity.” The state mandates that districts send the same per-pupil amount they would spend on each student to the charter school of his or her choice. The law provides some (but not enough) facilities funding (roughly $893 per pupil in 2017).
Teacher Quality Score: 82%
Delivering Well Prepared Teachers B+
Expanding the Pool of Teachers C
Identifying Effective Teachers B
Retaining Effective Teachers D+
Exiting Ineffective Teachers D+
Overall State Grade B-