New Study Finds High Quality Career and Technical Education Can Significantly Improve Student Outcomes
It is no longer news that students who attend high-quality career and technical education programs in Massachusetts also perform well academically and are more likely to graduate from high school. This policy brief summarizes new academic research suggesting that these impressive outcomes are due to what takes place inside these schools, not merely differences in the backgrounds and motivations of students who enter the programs.
As Massachusetts schools move beyond strict zero tolerance discipline policies, the report examines how school districts could implement reforms that reduce student suspensions and foster a positive learning environment. The analysis estimates how much it might cost to implement these reforms in Massachusetts school districts.
Organized as a series of charts, this paper details major trends in enrollment and state support for our two-year community colleges, four-year state universities, and the UMass system. And it makes several comparisons to other states. Overall, we find that despite the growing importance of public higher education to the long-term health of our state, Massachusetts has cut support since Fiscal Year 2001, and tuition and fees have grown substantially as a result.
As educators prepare our young people with the skills to thrive in the years ahead, vocational education is a growing focus of education debates. Enrollment in career, vocational and technical education has grown. Demand for such programs is outpacing supply, especially in Gateway Cities which have some of the longest waiting lists to enter these programs. Studies of successful examples of vocational programs within traditional high schools, regional vocational schools, and in-district vocational schools show common elements necessary to success. The cost of addressing existing waitlists are estimated.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has recognized that recent improvements to school meals programs can unintentionally reduce funding for low-income school districts as the result of less accurate headcounts of low-income students. The Department has already made significant improvements to its data systems and is developing further recommendations at the direction of the Legislature. Based on MassBudget’s ongoing research on direct certification and its impact on Chapter 70 funding, MassBudget has developed six recommendations to improve the Commonwealth’s low-income student count.
In this brief we describe three proposed changes to the treatment of low-income students in the Chapter 70 formula for FY 2017, analyze their combined effect for every district, and present a couple of alternative options.
This brief describes a number of solutions that would improve the effectiveness of the direct certification system and its ability to accurately identify low-income students.
Effective economic policies can create a more highly productive state economy and make it possible to improve economic opportunity and security for working families. This paper examines the economic research on the relationship between effective investments in education and transportation and improved economic productivity. The paper also examines the economic effects of tax reforms that can fund those investments.