Can ‘pay for success’ boost post-secondary outcomes?

In a recent piece in CommonWealth Magazine, Third Sector Director, H. Kay Howard, argues for more funding in the form of a pay for success model to ensure better post-secondary outcomes for Massachusetts students.

For those eager to see the student achievement gap closed, it was great news when Gov. Charlie Baker recently signed legislation calling for a $1.5 billion increase in K-12 education funding, much of it intended for lower-income communities. But funding is not enough. To promote long-term results, we also need a much stronger focus on 'grade 13' – what happens to students beyond high school – to ensure that Massachusetts promotes access to and success in college across lines of race and class."

Howard explains that there is reason for concern about post-secondary success, "Even the most academically-prepared students who have been accepted to universities often fail to show up on the first day". But there are also a growing number of organizations dedicated to helping to set students up for success in college and beyond that are producing positive and measurable results. Such organizations need funding, and pay for success models may be a helpful tool to drive positive and equitable life outcomes for Massachusetts students after their K-12 education.