Massachusettes Children are Leading the Nation

Leading the Nation

Leading the Nation Logo

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


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#1 in the U.S. in reading and math on NAEP, "The Nation's Report Card" (2015)

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

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

A four-year high school graduation rate that has increased each of the last 10 years and a dropout rate that has decreased year after year 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

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 Leading the Nation campaign is scheduled for 2018 and 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.

Planned 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

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

Local school districts and community groups are gearing up for the Leading the Nation celebration with a series of events: student exhibits, community receptions, art shows, panel discussions, school contests, and many other exciting activities.

Beginning in January 2018, you will be able to search for local events, find out how to participate in statewide activities, and join our celebration online through social media.

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 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

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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.