School Choice Score: 0%
The state permits parents some choices among traditional public schools, which permits students to attend any public school in the state, but moving from one district to another requires the districts to agree to such transfers.
Charter Schools Score: 75%
The only authorizer, the State Board of Education, holds charters to performance and operational targets, although with more bureaucracy lately. Not having an independent authorizer is a hindrance to true expansion. Boston, and other traditionally low-performing districts, have reached the charter school cap, meaning that no new schools will be able to open in places that need choice the most until the law is amended.
Online Learning Score: 0%
Overall Massachusetts earned an F for digital learning driven primarily by its limits on student access to online learning options. There are restrictions on enrollment and on the types of providers of digital content, too. During 2013, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts converted its first Commonwealth virtual school, the Massachusetts Virtual Academy at Greenfield, which opened in 2010. The virtual school serves students from kindergarten through 12th grade. While some student choice models exist, local districts still control access to digital learning at the school/student level.
- Source: Digital Learning Now!
Teacher Quality Score: 82%
Objective evidence of student learning is not the main criteria of teacher evaluations in Massachusetts. Ineffective classroom performance is grounds for dismissal, although tenured teachers have multiple opportunities to appeal their dismissals. The “Last hired, first fired” layoff policy is prohibited in Massachusetts. Teachers in some Massachusetts districts may receive performance pay, if negotiated with the local bargaining unit, and teachers with highly effective evaluations can earn additional compensation.