DFER Massachusetts

As the birthplace of public education in the United States, DFER Massachusetts (DFER-MA) remains as a leader in recognizing that a high-quality public education is the cornerstone of a prosperous, free, and just society. Yet even with our high aspirations, we also must recognize that tens of thousands of the state’s children — whether they are English learners,  students with disabilities, students of color, or from low-income families — attend public schools that aren’t delivering the education they need and deserve. DFER-MA believes we have the capacity to make our schools the best in the world for every single student across every classroom.

Working at the nexus of advocacy, policy, and politics, DFER-MA supports Democrats who have the courage to challenge the status quo through bold and transformative leadership, with a goal to ensure every child has access to a high-quality education that empowers them to meet their limitless potential.

Our efforts are centered on equity, and we produce trusted research and data on key educational issues to influence advocacy and policy at every level. Our current work includes:

  • Promoting resource equity by working with nationally-recognized experts at our partner organization, Education Reform Now, to advocate that school districts use federal COVID relief and state Student Opportunity Act funding to address existing inequities and to pioneer innovative ideas to improve student support and outcomes.
  • Highlighting stark disparities, or marked improvements, across student outcomes in districts serving large percentages of historically underserved students, including the Boston Public Schools.
  • Safeguarding Massachusetts’ decades-long success in pairing progressive funding with high standards, common assessments, and transparent accountability measures.
Group of students in a primary school writing on their notebooks

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