Massachusetts aims to reduce the proficiency gap by one-third over the next six years.


Although the state is transitioning to new assessments and the results will not be available until the summer of 2017, the state has provided a sample set of performance targets based on its prior state assessments. Similarly, Massachusetts is waiting for more current data on English language proficiency, and in the meantime has provided placeholder goals that it plans to update in the near future.


Massachusetts’ proposed “long-term goal” for graduation rates is set for 2020 — but it would still leave large gaps among different student groups.


Encouragingly, the state has set gap-closing graduation rate improvement goals for lower-performing subgroups, and it says the goals are based on historical improvement rates. However, the state does not explain how it derived its 2020 goals, nor provide historical data to demonstrate that they are truly ambitious.


Massachusetts does not provide a comprehensive vision or set long-term goals for the future.


While Massachusetts does highlight five overarching strategies to support all students, based on clear gaps that the state is currently experiencing, these strategies are not cohesively pulled through the plan as submitted.




Louisiana’s goals are ambitious, attainable and backed by clear data. The state is proposing to sustain its recent gains and annually increase its proficiency rates. Louisiana has set the same final target for all groups of students but it expects faster progress for groups that are starting further behind.


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