The paper begins by examining segregation in the United States and in Massachusetts. While schools became more racially balanced in the 1970s, that trend has been reversed in more recent decades. In Massachusetts more than one quarter of African American students and similar numbers of Hispanic students attend heavily segregated schools.
About Katherine Apfelbaum
Katherine Apfelbaum is Pioneer’s Peters Fellow in Education, and she is conducting the Institute’s research initiatives on the financial impact of charter schools and school choice programs in Massachusetts. She earned a master’s degree in comparative social policy at the University of Oxford in 2013, writing a thesis on the unintended segregation effects of priority education in Paris and New York City. Prior to that, she worked with the Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability in Albany, New York, on charter school and parent trigger research. She is a graduate of Trinity College, where she majored in education studies and minored in philosophy. In her free time, Kate coaches for the Boston University rowing team.
Has Massachusetts made progress towards providing a better quality of life for its residents while maintaining financial stability over the past decade or so? In July 2014, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law the eighth and final budget of his administration with only a few vetoes and recommendations to the General Court. Five years after the financial crisis, this is an opportune moment to review and reflect upon the fiscal state of Massachusetts and what has changed since the beginning of this governorship more than seven years ago.
Charter public schools are one of the few public school choice options available in Massachusetts largely due to restrictions the state constitution imposes on public education spending. Charters outperform traditional public schools; statewide, charter school students gain an additional month and a half of learning in English and two and a half months in math compared to students in traditional public schools.