Find data and research to inform policy

For school committees, councilors, legislators, and policymakers at all levels of government, access to high-quality data and research can help make better decisions about education in Massachusetts. We’ll highlight a few tools to get you started.

What are we spending on education?

These tools and resources help you use data to make smart policy decisions about education spending. 
Break down per-pupil spending by category and easily compare finances with other districts. Choose up to 10 districts to compare or select an auto-generated list of schools similar in demographics or wealth. Colorful charts track trends in enrollment, outcomes, staffing, and spending.   

Prefer to customize your data tables? Download the Excel workbook to access five years of data on per-pupil expenditures in all districts.
Chart from RADAR shows spending per pupil on teachers, benefits, fixed costs and other.
Track and compare annual state aid contributions by municipality dating back to FY2007. Graphs also show trends in:  
  • Foundation enrollment
  • Foundation budget 
  • Local property values 
  • Municipal revenue growth 
  • Income per pupil 
  • Local contributions
Download data on the key factors influencing Chapter 70 (.xlsx).
Find district allocations and read spending plans for Student Opportunity Act funds to ensure every child has access to a high-quality education. The 2019 law requires all school districts to implement evidence-based practices that help close achievement gaps among targeted student groups. 
Explore the distribution of federal COVID-19 relief funds designed to keep schools operating through the pandemic and to address learning loss in its wake. The dashboard maps the distribution of funds and tracks what has been spent to date as well as additional grants to schools across the state. 
College Tuition and Fees 
Scroll through 10 years of tuition and fees charged by each UMass campus, state university, and community college, all in one easy-to-read chart.
For more advanced data users, access the complete dataset here, try our filter and visualization tools, and export to your preferred file type or API.

Equity Lens 

How do we stem the increasing burden on students and families and meet their true financial needs? Drawing on rich data collected over a decade, "Advancing the Equity Agenda Through Financial Aid Redesign and Beyond” details the rising costs of public higher education, the increase in the percentage of students with unmet needs, and how it affected their enrollment and ability to complete their degree. A financial aid redesign and innovative new programs like Early College are proposed. 

How do we measure school performance?

These tools can help you evaluate academic opportunity, performance, accountability, and outcomes. 
Bar graph compares year over year MCAS scores in School and District Report Cards.
Scroll through easy-to-read charts and frequently asked questions and answers to assess how schools are performing in different areas, including:  
  • Student enrollment and teaching information
  • Student attendance and discipline 
  • Academic opportunities 
  • College and career readiness 
  • MCAS performance 
  • School spending 
  • Accountability information 
Find more assessment and accountability information in Statewide Reports
MCAS Data Explorer
Our new interactive data explorer makes it easy to see trends in MCAS results since 2017. Use the filters to select a school or district, grade, and subject, and among student group categories of race/ethnicity, gender, English learner, students with disabilities, low-income status, and more. Companion charts help you compare results across schools, grades, or test subjects.
Evaluates each of the Massachusetts community colleges and state universities on factors including: 
  • Enrollment trends
  • Tuition as a percentage of household income 
  • Student retention rates  
  • Workforce alignment 
  • Overall financial health  
The PMRS dashboard highlights differences in outcomes by ethnicity, race, gender, and Pell Grant eligibility.   
Screenshot from the Performance Measurement Reporting System on Affordability and Student Debt
Measuring Progress Toward Racial Equity in Higher Education
A new set of aspirational universal targets will help move public higher education in Massachusetts toward its goal of racial equity over the next decade. The plan details strategies and priorities to eliminate racial disparities, with the metrics and targets providing the means to measure progress and hold decision-makers accountable for achieving the vision. 

How are students finding success after graduation?

These tools highlight data on college and employment, career paths, and earnings.  
Explore post-secondary outcomes in this state-level review of high school graduation rates, college attendance, and earnings by industry. Scroll through the simple charts and graphs, and select filters by gender, race, ethnicity, income, and disability. Note key takeaways about trends, successes, and shortfalls. 

More advanced data users can access and export all data on employment and earnings of high school graduates since 2010 including:
Dig deeper into labor market information to understand the opportunity awaiting our graduates in the workforce. View employment statistics by municipality going back to 2010 and look ahead to long-term industry projections by Workforce Development Area (WDA).