School Quality Framework

  • School Quality Framework Header  

    Beyond Test Scores: A New Framework for Measuring School Quality

    The School Quality Framework (SQF) is a new system of measurement that redefines how the quality of a school is assessed. The Boston Public Schools (BPS) believes that school quality is best determined by looking not only at how students perform on standardized tests but also how they grow from year to year, along with examining certain key areas of a school, such as its culture. This framework provides families more comprehensive data about our schools so they can make better-informed and more customized school choices.


  • The Boston School Committee in 2013 asked a group of community members and experts to create a policy that sets forth a new framework to measure school quality by looking at the whole school, not just students’ test scores.The School Quality Working Group (SQWG) used community input and prior BPS analysis to develop the characteristics of a high-quality school.This new system uses multiple metrics to evaluate a school, forming a more well-rounded assessment of what students, families and teachers experience.

    School Quality Framework Scores by Tiers

    The SQF will provide families more information about schools to help them make better-informed school choices and focus on the aspects of a school that they value, from academic achievement to quality teaching to school culture.

    Under the SQF, a school will receive a score from 0-100. These scores will then correlate to a tier, from 1-4, that will be used for the school-choice process under home-based assignment.

    The measurements in the SQF fall into five broad categories: Student Performance; Teaching and Learning; Family, Community and Culture; Leadership and Collaboration; and Student Access and Opportunities.

    A school receives a score from 0-100 based on metrics in these categories, which are given different weights:
    SQF Methodology chart
    • Student Performance: 75%
    • Family, Community, and Culture: 10%
    • Teaching and Learning: 7.5%
    • Leadership and Collaboration: 7.5%

    Student Access and Opportunities is currently not included in a school’s score; BPS is working to develop reliable metrics to assess areas such as physical education, arts instruction, nursing staff, etc.

    The measurements contained in these categories reflect what the BPS community values in its schools and believes should be found in every high quality school.

    While Student Performance — at 75% of a school’s quality score — is most important and the ultimate goal, other aspects of the school are also important and can contribute to a positive learning environment for every student. Families can view their customized choice list at

    graphic - What makes a school high quality?

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