Exploring Massachusetts Parent Mindsets About Education

Learning Heroes engaged a diverse set of organizations to conduct research into parent mindsets in Massachusetts. Our national poll revealed that nine in 10 parents believe their child is at/above grade level in both reading and math. However, both national and state student performance data reveals that only about one-third are performing at grade level nationally and about half in Massachusetts.

The project included qualitative and quantitative research exploring whether this perception gap exists in Massachusetts, and, if so, what efforts are underway to address this gap and what additional actions could help ensure parents are best equipped to support their children’s success.

Overall, we found that:

  • Massachusetts parents are highly engaged in their child’s education and academics are a priority but not a top concern.
  • Massachusetts parents have a more realistic view of their child’s academic achievement than parents nationally; however, a stark disconnect remains between perception and reality.
  • The landscape is ripe to help parents have a more accurate picture of their child’s achievement and thus better support their progress.

The goal of this work was to help local advocacy organizations support the critical role of families in promoting student achievement and school improvement throughout the state.

Below are tools and materials that can support dissemination of this research to a broader audience:

In addition, check out these resources for families to use in taking positive, proactive steps to support their children’s learning:

This project was generously funded by the One8 Foundation and the Barr Foundation. 

Super Parent Illustration

*Exploring Massachusetts Mindsets About Education, 2018; **2018 MCAS for MA 3-8 grades

*Exploring Massachusetts Mindsets About Education, 2018; **2018 MCAS for MA 3-8 grades

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Eighty-eight percent (88%) of Massachusetts parents believe their chid is at or above grade level in math*. What percentage of Massachusetts students are actually performing at or above grade level in math**?

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About Our Team

Learning Heroes leverages research to better understand parent mindsets around their child’s academic and developmental success, and to develop information, tools, and resources for parents and guardians. To inform the Massachusetts research, we partnered with Massachusetts leaders from EdNavigator, Hyde Square Task Force, MA Parents United, MA PTA, Phenomenal Moms, and the Urban League of Springfield.

Edge Research is a national research firm that partners with organizations to develop and execute quantitative and qualitative research.