Leading the Nation

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Leading the Nation is a 2018 statewide celebration in which Massachusetts public schools and local communities are showcasing their students' academic and creative successes.

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Whether you are a student, parent, teacher, or district leader, it is an exciting time to be part of public education in Massachusetts.

School districts and community groups across the state are organizing local Leading the Nation events for the public: student exhibits, community receptions, art shows, panel discussions, school contests, and many other exciting activities.

While Massachusetts has always had a strong commitment to education, the state's public schools have been recognized as national leaders on many fronts in recent years, thanks to the hard work of teachers, students, families, and communities.

The 2018 Leading the Nation campaign coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act, which increased and stabilized state aid to districts, established common learning expectations statewide, and made it easier to see where schools were doing well and where changes might be needed. Massachusetts' recent successes reflect an enduring bipartisan commitment to those principles.

Leading the Nation events include:

April 5, 2018 May 7–11, 2018 Ongoing
State House celebration: A celebration of 25 years of education reform hosted by the co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Education. Leading the Nation week: A single week of local events throughout the state organized by school districts and community partners. These events could be showcases of student or teacher work, policy discussions, or a celebration of districts' strengths. Media campaign: Includes social media and outreach to news outlets across the state about local districts' successes and celebrations.

Planning guide for schools and community groups

Massachusetts public schools are the best in the nation, and the Leading the Nation campaign is an opportunity for families and communities to showcase and celebrate their students' successes in fun and creative ways.

From May 7–11, 2018, we encourage school districts to organize at least one activity to celebrate student success. The following resources are entirely optional but are included here because they might be helpful as you plan an event:

Resources and materials
Programming ideas
Planning your event(s)
Publicizing your activities
Keeping your community engaged

#1 in the U.S. in reading and math on NAEP, "The Nation's Report Card" (2005-2017)

#1 in the world in reading on the PISA international assessment (2016)

#1 in Advanced Placement success in the country (2017-2018)

Massachusetts' four-year graduation rate has increased each of the last 11 years and the dropout rate has decreased during the same period of time

Local students named US Presidential Scholars

Kudos to Amir Siraj of Brookline, Sivaram S. Emani of Newton, Alkenly S. Ortiz of Lawrence, and Catherine L. Wang of Lexington for being named to this year's class of US Presidential Scholars — one of the nation's highest honors for high school students. read more >>

Students recognized at the national level for accomplishments in overall academics, the arts, and vocational/technical skills

A strong teacher workforce that includes a National Teacher of the Year

A shared commitment to welcoming and supporting all students regardless of race, ethnicity, immigration status, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or gender

The Leading the Nation celebration is coordinated by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in partnership with the following statewide associations, organizations, and groups:

  • Boston Student Advisory Council
  • Executive Office of Education
  • Federation for Children with Special Needs
  • Joint Committee on Education - Massachusetts Legislature
  • Massachusetts Association of School Committees
  • Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents
  • Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators
  • Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education
  • Massachusetts Charter Public Schools Association
  • Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care
  • Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
  • Massachusetts Parents United
  • Massachusetts Parent-Teacher Association
  • Massachusetts School Administrators' Association
  • New England Board of Higher Education
  • Rasky Partners
  • Stand for Children
  • State Student Advisory Council
  • TeachPlus
Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.