Closing the Achievement Gap

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Governor Patrick    FY 2013 Budget Recommendation:
    Issues in Brief

    Deval L. Patrick, Governor
    Timothy P. Murray, Lt. Governor


A well-educated citizenry is the key to Massachusetts’ continued social, economic and civic growth and its prosperity.  The Patrick-Murray Administration has consistently demonstrated its commitment to building a world-class public education system.  Massachusetts is lauded as a national leader with regard to overall student achievement and the implementation of innovative education policies such as the groundbreaking legislation, An Act Relative to the Achievement Gap, which the Governor signed into law in January 2010.

Closing the persistent achievement gap is the central principle to all of the Commonwealth’s education initiatives. In Quality Counts 2012, a comprehensive ranking of state education performance and policy by Education Week, Massachusetts ranked third overall and first in the K-12 Achievement and Chance for Success categories. While the Administration is proud of its accomplishments, doing well is simply not good enough.  Government has an educational, economic, and moral obligation to ensure that all students, regardless of their background or zip code, have the opportunity to reach their potential and achieve academic, career and personal success.

The Achievement Gap Act, the Commonwealth’s Race to the Top awards, and the Massachusetts Vision Project (among other education initiatives) all focus on increasing student performance and closing the achievement gap.  The Gateway Cities Education Agenda and other proposals in the Governor’s FY 2013 budget represent the next chapter in education improvement and reform in Massachusetts.

Closing the Achievement Gap

The Commonwealth cannot close the achievement gap without addressing the impact of poverty and other factors on student engagement, achievement and success.  Investments in the Governor’s FY 2013 budget proposal will target schools in the Gateway Cities, maintain or increase funding for schools in every community and support early education and higher education initiatives. 

Gateway Cities Education Agenda

At the Education Summit on November 9, 2011, Governor Patrick described his vision for education in Massachusetts.  The Gateway Cities Education Agenda is based on five core principles: 1) renewing our commitment to high standards and rigorous accountability; 2) providing comprehensive support so that all students come to school healthy and ready to learn; 3) offering differentiated services and support to all students; 4) promoting new expectations for college and career readiness; and 5) promoting innovative educational practices and building stronger partnerships across the state.

The Executive Office of Education will dedicate nearly $10 M to support the implementation of important new initiatives in the Gateway Cities, including:

The Gateway Cities Education Agenda will build upon the positive social, cultural, economic and civic contributions of the 24 Gateway Cities, while providing targeted support to close the achievement gap.  These investments will build upon the progress made in FY 2011 and FY 2012 to help close the achievement gap in addition to programs supported by federal grants awards such as the $50 M Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant and the $250 M K-12 Race to the Top grant.

Continued Commitment to Public Education

The Patrick-Murray Administration maintains its commitment to strong investment in public education.  Highlights from the FY 2013 budget include:

The budget proposal also includes essential funding to support ongoing initiatives across early education, K-12 and higher education, including:

Department of Early Education and Care

Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Department of Higher Education

Governor Patrick’s FY 2013 budget proposal will give the Commonwealth the resources to support ongoing, successful initiatives as well as implement new and exciting strategies to boost overall student achievement and close the achievement gap.

Prepared by the Executive Office for Administration and Finance ·
For more information email: (617) 727-2040