Facts and Figures
Over the past twenty years, the Boston Public Schools (BPS) has been transformed from a failing school district to one of the most renowned urban public school systems in the country. We educate more than 56,000 students in 125 schools — 73 percent of the school-age children who live in Boston.
We are proud to be one of the most diverse school districts in the nation. Nearly one in every two students speaks a language other than English at home, and our students come from 139 different countries. One in five BPS students has a disability, and half are economically disadvantaged.
On the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in Mathematics – also known as the “Nation’s Report Card” – Boston 4th and 8th grade students’ gains exceeded the national average for all public schools, including suburban schools. This is the first time since measurements began that any urban school district has met this mark.
Since 2007, the BPS four-year graduation rate has steadily increased, reaching its highest rate ever in 2015 despite more demanding standards required by the state for graduation; and the percentage of ninth-graders who dropped out before graduation decreased to its lowest point ever for the Class of 2014. Since 2009, BPS has increased the number of schools with extended learning time from four to 24. Today, one in five students attends a school with a longer school day; and one in five students attends one of our award-winning summer learning initiatives -- named the best in the nation in 2013.
BPS is the home of many firsts in the nation: first public school (Boston Latin School, 1635), first public elementary school (Mather Elementary School, 1639), first public school system (1647), first public high school (English High School, 1821).
- Our 2015 graduation rate of 66.7 percent was the highest it has ever been—up nine points since 2007.
- Graduation rates for African American students have risen from 54.2 percent in 2007 to 64.5 percent today.
- Graduation rates for English language learners increased 7.4 percent just this year and are at an all-time high of 59.3 percent.
- BPS offers pathways to graduation to students who may have dropped out through our Re-Engagement Center and our summer graduation programs. We have cut the dropout rate by 32 percent since 2006.
- Thirty percent more students take AP exams today than three years ago, with Black and Hispanic students seeing the greatest growth in performance.
- Nine out of 10 elementary and middle school students are receiving weekly arts education, up from 67% in 2009; and the number of high school students accessing arts education has doubled in three years.
- In 2008, just four percent of 8th grade students who were not in an exam school were enrolled in Algebra I. Today, 34 percent of 8th grade students take this advanced mathematics course.
- The percent of 10th grade students who pass all MCAS tests has risen from 44 percent in 2009 to 53 percent today.
- We offer full-day pre-kindergarten education for 2,400 four-year-olds, up from 700 seats in 2005.