Education






Education is a point of pride for the MetroWest region, which has overall high elementary reading scores and high school graduation rates as well as an extremely well-educated adult population and strong, varied educational institutions including Wellesley College, Bentley University, Framingham State University and Massachusetts Bay Community College.

But the educational benefits of the region do not pertain to all in MetroWest – all educational metrics are lower for economically disadvantaged students and adults of color. The reasons for such disparities are complex and have historical roots, including inequitable access to high quality schools.

Consider:

  • Third-grade reading proficiency in 2021 – which is critical to overall academic success – was at 70% among Asian students, 64% among white students, and just 38% and 31% among Black or African American students and Hispanic or Latino students, respectively. Proficiency rates were lowest in Framingham (35%), Marlborough (39%), Milford (41%) and Waltham (42%) – most of which have more diverse and more disadvantaged student bodies.

  • Eighth-grade math proficiency in 2019 was at 72% among Asian students, 41% among white students, and 18% and 17% among African American and Latino students, respectively. These rates were lowest in Bellingham (20%), Marlborough and Boston (21%), Hudson and Milford (both 22%) and Framingham (27%). Rates for all groups in MetroWest were slightly higher than those at the state level, but the region’s racial and ethnic disparities were similar to Massachusetts as a whole.

  • High school graduation rates in 2021 are 89% among African American students and 83% among Latino students, lower than the rates for Asian students and white students (97% and 93%, respectively).

  • A majority (51%) of adults in MetroWest hold at least a bachelor’s degree, up from 39% in 2000 and far above the national rate of 33%. Yet, much lower shares of people of color have bachelor’s or higher degrees: 36% of African American residents of the region and 28% of Hispanic residents.

  • This degree stratification is reflected in admission rates for public colleges and universities in MetroWest: these are not only becoming more selective in admissions, but have lower rates of acceptance for Black (16%) and Latino (19%) students, as compared to white (22%) and Asian (23%) students.

Prekindergarten helps prepare children both socially and academically for school and can be especially important in preparing low-income children for kindergarten. In MetroWest in 2020, 49% of 4-year-olds were enrolled in public or private prekindergarten programs, up from 37% in 2002 and about level with the state rate. The vast majority of these children, or 77%, were enrolled in public prekindergarten programs.

School attendance also is critical to students’ ability to develop key skills and their future success in school. In 2021, 14% of students were chronically absent in MetroWest, below the state rate (18%). Rates were highest in Wayland (35%), Milford (27%), Maynard and Marlborough (26%), and lowest (2%) in Wellesley. A significant year-over-year jump in chronic absenteeism in 2021 as compared to 2020 and previous years, shared by the state and every school district, is undoubtedly related to the COVID-19 pandemic; therefore, 2021 results should be interpreted with care.





INDICATORS TREND
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Maintaining
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Decreasing
Reports of Domestic Violence Maintaining
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Increasing
Households Without Vehicles Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Voter Participation Rate Increasing
Average Charitable Contribution Maintaining
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate Increasing
Crimes Against People Decreasing
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Total Population Increasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Population by Age Not Applicable
Change in Population by Age/Gender Not Applicable
Seniors Living Alone Decreasing
People with Disabilities Maintaining
Change in Total Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate Increasing
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Share of Workers who are Professionals, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
High-Tech Jobs Maintaining
Female to Male Earnings Ratio Maintaining
Prekindergarten Participation Decreasing
School Spending Per Student Maintaining
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Group Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group Not Applicable
Chronically Absent Students Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Increasing
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
College Admission Rate, by Race/Ethnicity Decreasing
People Living in Poverty Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance Maintaining
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
80/20 Income Ratio Maintaining
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Increasing
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership Increasing
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Rent Not Applicable
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homelessness Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Share of Workers who are Professionals, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Group Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group Not Applicable
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Increasing
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
College Admission Rate, by Race/Ethnicity Decreasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable


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