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.


  • Third-grade reading proficiency – which is critical to overall academic success – is at 74% among Asian students, 63% among white students, and just 36% and 34% among black or African American students and Hispanic or Latino students, respectively. In Framingham, just 20% of economically disadvantaged students and 23% of Hispanic or Latino students achieved proficiency, while 50% of students identified as not economically disadvantaged achieved proficiency
  • High school graduation rates are 87% among African American students and 80% among Latino students, lower than the rates for Asian students and white students (96% and 94%).
  • A fabulous 50% of adults in MetroWest hold at least a bachelor’s degree, up from 39% in 2000 and far above the national rate of 31%. Yet much lower shares of people of color have bachelor’s or higher degrees: 33% of African American residents of the region and 27% of Hispanic residents.

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 2018, 53% 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 74%, 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 2017, 10% of students were chronically absent in MetroWest, below the state rate (14%). Rates were highest (14%) in Milford, Framingham and Marlborough, and lowest (3%) in Lexington. Absence rates decreased most since 2009 in Waltham (5 percentage points) and Ashland (4 points).

Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
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People Living in Poverty Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level Not Applicable
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Household Receiving Temporary Assistance Not Applicable
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