School Success: 11 Indicators Boston Public Schools Recommends Tracking

Last month, Boston Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Tommy Chang spoke with our Board of Directors and shared the progress being made on school success through the BPS “100-Day Plan,” a comprehensive strategic planning effort launched in September to ensure every student achieves excellence.  His presentation covered a wide range of initiatives — from a high-school redesign pilot at Madison Park to best prepare students for college, career and civic participation, to ensuring more equity in how elementary students are enrolled in the system’s rigorous advanced work curriculum. His full presentation can be found here.

Not surprisingly, our Board quickly focused on the question of how Boston Public Schools are measuring success.  Dr. Chang shared the administration’s recommended 11 Key Performance Indicators that will help drive progress across all schools:

  1. Kindergarteners meeting early learning benchmarks
  2. Third graders proficient in Reading
  3. Fifth graders proficient in Science
  4. Eighth graders proficient in Math
  5. 10th graders on track for graduation
  6. High schoolers graduating college and career ready
  7. Post-Secondary completion rates
  8. Minutes devoted to instructional time
  9. Students demonstrating growth in social emotional skills
  10. Students have access to effective and diverse teachers
  11. Schools closing the achievement gap

Much of our community work supports these recommended success indicators. We fund dozens of high-quality early education programs in the City of Boston and are piloting DRIVE, an innovative new program to screen young children for developmental delays and connect them to early intervention and support as quickly as possible.  Over 1,200 Boston students participated in our Summer Learning Collaborative, which last year helped 82% of participating children avoid summer learning loss and 70% advance from the lowest reading level. And last Fall, we partnered with Boston Public Schools and Mayor Marty Walsh to launch BoSTEM, which aims to close the STEM achievement gap among middle school students in the City.

We are proud to be a part of Dr. Chang’s “Culture of We,” which acknowledges and embraces the important roles that families and communities play in student success.  Ensuring youth succeed is one of United Way’s core focus areas. Our work is rooted in the principle that schools alone are not enough to meet every student’s needs and to help overcome all of the challenges outside of school that students face to successful learning.  We believe that more students will succeed when we leverage all of the resources a city has to offer — business partners, nonprofit partners, and volunteers — to help each student reach his or her full potential.