Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



This report provides a snapshot of current educational outcomes for Latino students in the city of Holyoke. It is based on publicly available data from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MADESE) that have been analyzed for the community by the Gastón Institute. Using the ethno-racial categories assigned by MADESE, the report focuses on demographic trends and the most recent educational outcomes of Latino students relative to other ethno-racial groups in the school district and to students statewide. The report has four sections:

The first section illustrates the demographic shift occurring in the Holyoke Public Schools. Enrollment has been shrinking among all ethno-racial groups, but less so among Latinos than among other groups, resulting in a larger proportion of Latino students.

The second section compares the performance of Latino students in Holyoke on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) tests with the performance of all students statewide and other ethno-racial groups in Holyoke. Despite persistent disparities in outcomes, the achievement gap between Latino and White students has been shrinking slightly over recent years. Latino students in Holyoke have made especially large improvements on the Grade 10 English Language Arts and Science/Technology/Engineering tests.

The third section shows Latino graduation, dropout, and college enrollment rates, relative to other students in the district and to all students statewide. Here too, while the data show marked discrepancies between Latino and White students in Holyoke, they also show a narrowing of the gaps in recent years. The Latino graduation rate has notably risen, and the decline of the Latino dropout rate has been equally clear.

The fourth section compares outcomes and engagement variables at the two high schools in Holyoke, demonstrating the drastic disparities in outcomes between Holyoke High School and Dean Vocational Technical High School and between Latino and White students at Holyoke High School.

Community Engaged/Serving

Part of the UMass Boston Community-Engaged Teaching, Research, and Service Series.



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