Boston Opportunity Agenda sets 2025 goal of getting 66% of Boston students well-prepared for postsecondary work

Annual report finds 48% of 2017 Boston high school graduates met benchmarks around GPA, high attendance, challenging coursework and “anywhere/anytime” learning

May 30, 2019

Boston–Boston students continue to graduate high school and enroll in higher education at historically high levels, but fewer than half have the combination of attendance, GPA, rigorous coursework and internships or volunteer experience shown to vastly improve their chances of success in life after high school, according to the annual report from the Boston Opportunity Agenda.

BOA 2019 Annual_COVERThe release of The 8thAnnual Boston Opportunity Agenda Report Card this morning at the Museum of Fine Arts marks the first time the report has explored how Boston charter, Catholic and Boston Public Schools students performed relative to a set of cooperatively-developed “College, Career and Life Readiness” benchmarks that correlate to a higher-likelihood of postsecondary success.

To be considered “ready” under the benchmark, a student must meet two of the three standards:

  • Achieve and maintain a GPA of 2.7 or higher on a 4.0 cumulative scale, which is an average report card of Bs and Cs throughout high school;
  • Attend 94% of school days or more;
  • Complete rigorous courses, defined as MassCore plus an Advanced Placement, Dual Enrollment or International Baccalaureate experience;

The student must also have participated in “anywhere and anytime learning” such as volunteering, internships, workplace learning, credential badging or credits earned outside of the classroom.

“These research-based standards reflect key parts of the five elements the Opportunity Agenda has defined as critical for future success: the ability to set a vision for their lives, chart a course to that vision, build competence, work with others and change course as is necessary,” said Kristin McSwain, Executive Director of the Boston Opportunity Agenda. “We need to aspire to having every Boston graduate leave high school fully prepared for future success, and look forward to working with our BPS, Catholic and charter partners on it.

For the Class of 2017, 48% of BPS and charter school graduates met the readiness standard. The Opportunity Agenda today announced a goal of 66%, or two thirds, meeting the standard for the Class of 2025.

The report also explores how Boston students and residents fare across a number of other tracked metrics, including:

  • Kindergarten readiness
  • 3rdgrade reading proficiency
  • 6thgrade math proficiency
  • High school dropout rate
  • 4-year high school graduation rate
  • College enrollment
  • College completion
  • Adults (25-64 years old) with postsecondary credentials

Results across the eight historical metrics are largely mixed compared with the previous year. Students in Catholic and Charter public schools outperformed Boston Public Schools on the 3rdand 6thgrade measures in the report. However, the gap narrows between BPS and Charter students on high school graduation and college completion metrics. The results can be explored more fully in the report, which is now available for download on the Boston Opportunity Agenda website,