Tag Archive | Educational Data

Where Young College Graduates Are Choosing to Live: New York Times

A popular subject today:

Where Young College Graduates Are Choosing to Live

We need to get Cape Cod added to this list!


Report sees fewer educated workers: Boston Gobe

Report sees fewer educated workers

Some scary predictions. The Cape, Pioneer Valley and the Berkshires continue to be left behind as other parts of the state’s college trained population grows. And it is a rather large hit given the net result is a drop in college trained population on a statewide basis.

The report predicts that between 2010 and 2030, the number of working-age adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher will fall by 41 percent on Cape Cod; 27 percent in the Pioneer Valley; and 9 percent in the Berkshires.

Meanwhile, the rest of the state will see gains of 1 percent in the southeast region; 5 percent in the northeast region; 9 percent in Central Massachusetts; and 10 percent in both the Metrowest region and in Greater Boston.


Many factors play into an areas economy.  The discussions on this blog will be targeted towards promoting strengths in the Town of Dennis, while also recognizing areas where changes may need to be, and are being, made.

This first discussion focuses on the educational system in the town.  The numbers show that the Town of Dennis is served by a good educational system.  Standardized test scores and the percentage of high school graduates attending college illustrate community strengths.  Encouraging these graduates to return to town after college is one of the weaknesses of the local economy – the lack of quality jobs for college graduates and housing affordable to people starting their post-college lives.

The quality of the education system plays a critical role in the town by providing an educated workforce which can attract higher quality employers.  Higher quality employers, in turn will place increased demands upon the school system.  An educated workforce also leads to increased earning power that has a direct effect on business profits and local tax revenues.  An effective educational program can also improve the success rates for students from at-risk families, reduce crime, drug and alcohol abuse, and welfare dependence. The quality of the learning environment is reflected in the school district’s pupil-to-teacher ratios, per-pupil spending, expulsion rates, and teacher qualifications.  The effectiveness of the school system includes indicators such as graduation rates, drop-out rates, and standardized test scores.  The following discussion draws upon the data available for the Dennis-Yarmouth School District from the State Department of Education.

During the 2007-2008 school year there were 3,586 students in the Dennis Yarmouth School System, of these 1,002 were enrolled in the Dennis Yarmouth Regional High School.  Dennis is served by two elementary schools, the Ezra Baker School serving 424 pre-kindergarten to third grade students and the Nathaniel Wixon School serving 513 grade 4 through 8 students.

Quality Learning Environment

Pupil-to-teacher ratios in the Dennis Yarmouth School District are generally better than state levels with the district averaging 11.9 to 1.  The total expenditures per student, indicates the amount of money the school district spends on each student in a given year.  The Dennis Yarmouth School District spends $11,726 per pupil, which is slightly below the state level.

Quality Learning Environment

Indicator           Year            Ezra       Nathaniel  Dennis              State

..                                          Baker     Wixon       Yarmouth

High School

Pupil                 2007-2008 11.3      11.6         12.0                 13.6



Dennis Yarmouth                       State

School District

Total                 2006-2007         $11,726                               $11,859

Expenditures     2005-2006         $11,254                              $11,210

Per Student       2004-2005          $10,511                              $10,599

2003-2004                                  $ 8,363                               $ 8,591

The Massachusetts Legislature determines each year how much in total operating revenues school districts receive from the state general fund.  Town appropriations are limited by Proposition 2 ½ and the ability to obtain over-rides when the Proposition 2 ½ limits are inadequate to meet local school needs. State funding is based upon many different factors, however, the consensus on Cape Cod is that the formula does not favor any of the Cape School Districts

Effective Learning Environment

The effectiveness of an education system can be indicated in a number of ways: such as graduation rates, drop-out rates, and test scores.

Graduation rate is the percentage of students who receive a high school diploma versus those who were enrolled and could have graduated during a four-year period. Enrollment for the graduation rate is calculated by the number of eighth-graders in the district four years earlier and adjusted for transfers in and out of the district during the high school years.  Graduation rates are 78.9% in the Dennis Yarmouth School District this is below the state graduation level.

Indicator                       Year                 Dennis Yarmouth           State

Graduation Rate            2007                            78.9                  80.9

in Percentages              2006                             83.9

Drop-out rates are 4.8% in the school district, and tends to run above the state average drop out rate. A drop-out is a student who leaves school for any reason, except death, expulsion, or transfer, prior to completing a high school diploma. If a student leaves a school district without a request to forward educational records, the student is considered a drop-out, although he or she may have enrolled in another school without the district’s knowledge.

Indicator                       Year                 Dennis Yarmouth           State

Drop-out                       2007                             10.7                  3.8

Rate                               2006                              6.7

in Percentages

Standardized tests are included in this section because they currently provide the most consistent and available indicators that can be collected for all school districts. The SAT measures student readiness for college.  The SAT Scores for Dennis Yarmouth tend to run above the state and national averages on these tests.

Indicator                       Year                 Dennis Yarmouth  State National

Average SAT Scores


.                                2006-07                   509                   502     502

.                                2005-06                  513                    503     503

.                                2004-05                  513                   508     508


.                                2006-07                   504                   494       494

.                                2005-06                   497                   497       497

.                                2004-05


.                               2006-07                   520                   515       515

.                               2005-06                  506                   518       518

.                              2004-05                  507                   518        520

The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment Test (MCAS) measures student progress toward meeting state performance standards in reading, writing, math, and science. MCAS scores in Dennis Yarmouth are up

Indicators                      Year                Ezra Baker        State

Grade 3 Reading             2007                   51                  59

% Proficient                    2006                    48                  48

and Above                      2005                   64                  62

. 2004                   70                  63

Grade 3 Math                  2007                   57                  60

% Proficient                     2006                    50                  52

and Above

Indicators                      Year                Nathaniel Wixon            State

Grade 4                          2007                     50                            56

Language Arts                2006                      46                            50

% Proficient                    2005                      54                            50

and Above                      2004                     62                            44

Grade 4                           2007                     36                            48

Math % Proficient            2006                       33                            40

and Above                      2005                      46                            41

. 2004                      46                            42

Indicators                      Year                Nathaniel Wixon            State

Grade 8                           2007                      76                            75

Language Arts                 2006                       77                           74

% Proficient                     2005                       77                           66

and Above                       2004                      66                           68

Grade 8                            2007                      48                           45

Math % Proficient             2006                        43                           49

and Above                        2005                      31                           39

.   2004                       45                            39

Indicators                      Year                Dennis Yarmouth           State

High School

Grade 10                          2007                      78                            71

Language Arts                  2006                       72                           69

% Proficient                      2005                       67                           65

and Above                        2004                      64                           62

Grade 10                          2007                     74                            69

Math % Proficient             2006                       66                            67

and Above                        2005                     63                           62

.   2004                      51                           57

Community and parental involvement play a critical role toward ensuring that all children receive a quality education. Research during the past 30 years demonstrates that parents who are involved in their children’s education substantially increase student achievement. Parents are most effective when they help their children with learning projects at home, stress the importance of education and doing well in school, and work as partners with their child’s teachers. Volunteers can contribute significantly to the quality of education in their communities by serving as tutors and mentors in the schools, particularly for students whose families don’t have the capacity to be fully involved in their children’s education.

Healthy communities ensure that all students receive a high quality education by providing adequate funding for school programs and infrastructure. Although significant education-funding decisions are made in the state Legislature, the role of local communities given the Proposition 2 ½ restrictions also have significant impacts on the quality of education.  In recent years the Dennis Yarmouth School System has faced Proposition 2 ½ over-rides to maintain school services.  Community support is critical in successfully passing these over-rides.  Communities can also support education through volunteerism with and/or contributions to non-profit organizations that provide supplemental educational services for our schools. Furthermore, we should continue to support and assess educational alternatives, including charter schools, home-schooling, and shared-schooling options. Most of all, healthy communities realize that learning is a lifelong process that’s supported through continued educational opportunities for all its citizens – young and old.

The blog will discuss demographic trends, land available for development, and permitting and zoning initiatives to address the economic future of the town.  It is the hope of the town that people starting businesses, or people looking to relocate a business will find the information on this site useful and informative.  We also hope that after reviewing this site, and information at the Dennis Planning Department site, you will choose to make Dennis a part of your future as well.