Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Logo
Office of Planning and Research

Strategic Planning and Performance Management

The agency's goal is to prepare all students for success after high school. To help us reach this goal, DESE has established five strategies:

  • Strengthen curriculum, instruction, and assessment
  • Improve educator effectiveness
  • Support social-emotional learning, health, and safety
  • Turn around the lowest performing districts and schools
  • Enhance resource allocation and data use

These strategies are outlined in DESE's Strategic Plan and Strategic Plan Summary .

Agency Performance Targets

We measure our success based upon our ability to improve outcomes across public education. The targets presented below are grouped by the audience for which we expect to see this success. The agency regularly monitors our progress towards meeting these targets and helps identify bright spots and initiate course corrections when necessary.

K–12 Students

Increase in:

  • Four- and five-year graduation rates
  • Rigorous high school program of study (MassCore) completion rate
  • Reading, mathematics, and science performance on state, national, and international assessments
  • Performance on state, national, and international assessments for historically underperforming groups of students
  • Achievement and growth in Level 3, 4, and 5 schools and districts
  • Student participation in high quality college and career pathways

Increase in:

  • Diverse educators
  • Effective educators in districts and schools
  • Performance on state assessments among students taught by teachers in their first years
  • Retention of highly effective educators

Decrease in:

  • Number of teachers on license waivers
Postsecondary and Adult Students
Increase in:
  • Postsecondary enrollment and persistence
  • Adult learning gains
Decrease in:
  • Developmental coursework enrollment, i.e. remedial courses

Performance Targets across the Education Secretariat

(Early Education, K–12 Education, and Higher Education)

In accordance with Chapter 6A of the General Laws, and at the direction of our Governor, the agencies of Executive Office of Education have identified several important outcome metrics and targets, which we will use to monitor and improve the state's services.

Last Updated: May 17, 2022

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway, Everett, MA 02149

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.