REL Northeast & Islands


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Map of Northeast and Islands showing Massachusetts

Massachusetts is the largest of the six New England states in population, with nearly one million pre-K–12 students in 1,800 public schools across three major cities, a dozen small cities, and several rural areas. The state, particularly its urban centers, has a diverse population, with one-third of students identifying as non-white and/or Hispanic, nearly 17 percent having a first language other than English, and 7 percent classified as limited English proficient. About a third of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. Massachusetts has one of the highest per-pupil education spending rates in the nation, and its students consistently outperform all or most other states on the National Assessment of Educational Progress and other national and international tests.

In 2010, Massachusetts was awarded a four-year, $250 million Race to the Top grant from the US Department of Education to promote reform in four areas: standards and assessments, great teachers and leaders, school turnaround, and data systems. REL-NEI is working with state educators and policymakers to advance these reforms through several research alliances, including:


Email State Liaison Maria-Paz Avery.


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