Massachusetts public schools among best in nation, according to new study

By Audrey Martin
Boston University News Service

Almost half of all Massachusetts public schools are in the top 25 percent of public schools in the country, according to a recent ranking by U.S. News and World Report. Boston Latin School ranked the highest among Massachusetts schools, claiming the No. 26 spot in the nation. 

The annual report was done in collaboration with RTI International, a nonprofit social science research firm, and ranked approximately 17,840 public high schools, taking into account a variety of factors. 

“The highest ranked U.S. public schools in U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 Best High Schools rankings are those whose students demonstrated outstanding outcomes above expectations in math, reading and science state assessments, earned qualifying scores in an array of college-level exams, and graduated in high proportions,” the report states. 

Rounding out the top five Massachusetts public schools were Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School in Marlborough, Sturgis Charter Public School in Hyannis, Lexington High School and 

John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science in Boston.

Claudia Rowe, writing for the Seattle Times, stated that she believed the reason Massachusetts consistently ranks high in educational achievement is because of the amount of money the Commonwealth allocates toward their schools. 

“Meanwhile, since 1993, Massachusetts has more than tripled state aid devoted to education and hiked scores for its least-advantaged students by double digits,” Rowe writes. 

In 1993, Massachusetts instituted an overhaul of its education system, allocating more funding and resources toward its schools as a way to increase academic achievement. 

“​​At its most basic level,” states a report of the overhaul, “the Act required the establishment of high standards that each student would be expected to meet, a statewide assessment system designed to measure progress towards that goal, and an accountability system to hold schools and districts responsible for progress in meeting the new standards.

“To help districts meet the new standards, the Act established a new school finance system designed to make available an adequate level of resources to each school district irrespective of each community’s fiscal capacity.” 

The overhaul had the intended effect of establishing Massachusetts as a hub for superior education. 

“That reform led to major increases in the amount of state aid that flows to schools,” the report states, “and it also established high standards and required more accountability across the entire education system.”

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