The State of Rhode Island Public Education

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Introduction

Welcome to RI-CAN’s State of Public Education data tool, your one-stop shop for the facts on Rhode Island public schools.

Below you’ll see where our education system stands and how it has changed over time. You’ll see the gains we’ve made—as well as continued areas of needed improvement in Rhode Island public education—and you’ll see how our state compares to others across New England and the nation.

The data are interactive and easy to use. To see comparisons across years, between schools and districts, or between Rhode Island and the U.S., just click through the tabs next to the graphs. We also keep the data as up-to-date as possible so you can stay informed. We will add new data to this page as they are made available to the public, and we will also build on the existing historical data to give you an even more robust picture of the state of education in Rhode Island.

The numbers highlight areas where concerted action could have a real, positive impact on the state of our schools. We must, for example, do even more to increase access to high-quality pre-K for our youngest learners; to recruit and retain diverse, highly effective educators; to provide high-quality public school options and personalized learning experiences across the state; and to substantially increase academic growth and proficiency for all students. We hope this tool provides not only helpful data, but also meaningful guidance on the policy decisions and investments we need to make as a state.

We invite you to explore and interact with RI-CAN’s State of Public Education data tool, and to use it both to celebrate our students’ progress and engage in the conversation about the work left to do for Rhode Island’s learners. Please share these data widely with friends and colleagues on social media and elsewhere.

Students

Our education system

Student demographics

Rhode Island’s student population is growing more diverse every year. Today, four in ten students are students of color (nationwide, the number is five in ten). Enrollment in our public schools is lower now than it was a decade ago, but this enrollment decline has slowed in recent years.

PreK–12 enrollment by race/ethnicity
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian Pacific
Native American
Multi-race
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian Pacific
Native American
Multi-race
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian Pacific
Native American
Multi-race
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian Pacific
Native American
Multi-race
PreK–12 enrollment by other subgroups
Free or reduced-price lunch eligible
Free or reduced-price lunch eligible
Free or reduced-price lunch eligible
Limited English proficiency
Limited English proficiency
Limited English proficiency
Special education (IEP)
Special education (IEP)
Special education (IEP)

Notes:
1. Percentages may not add to 100 due to rounding.
2. Group names are reported here the same way they are reported in the original source. This holds true throughout the State of Public Education data tool.

Source
  1. “Enrollment, Dropout and Graduation Data,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed January 22, 2016, http://www.ride.ri.gov/InformationAccountability/RIEducationData/EnrollmentGraduationData.aspx.

Teachers

Our education system

Teacher demographics

Rhode Island’s teacher workforce is significantly less diverse than its student body.

Rhode Island teachers
White
Non-white
Teachers nationwide
White
Non-white

Note: As above, the group names are reported here the same way they are reported in the original source. This holds true throughout the State of Public Education data tool.

Source
  1. Ulrich Boser, “Teacher Diversity Revisited: A New State-by-State Analysis,” Center for American Progress (May 2014), p. 8, accessed October 14, 2015, https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/TeacherDiversity.pdf.

Teacher preparation

Our teacher preparation programs are starting to reflect greater diversity in their teacher candidates. And while the number of candidates graduating from traditional preparation programs has dipped in recent years, an alternative program—Teach For America—has been adding new teachers.

Rhode Island teacher preparation program
enrollment by race/ethnicity
White
Black or African American
Hispanic/Latino
Asian
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
American Indian or Alaskan Native
Two or more races
White
Black or African American
Hispanic/Latino
Asian
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
American Indian or Alaskan Native
Two or more races

Note: Percentages are calculated using enrollment among candidates for whom race/ethnicity is reported (1,899 candidates in 2012–2013; 1,937 candidates in 2013–2014). All ten Rhode Island preparation programs reported race/ethnicity figures. Percentages may not add to 100 due to rounding.

Rhode Island teacher preparation program
enrollment by gender
Female
Male
Female
Male
Rhode Island teacher preparation program selectivity
Preparation program* Median GPA of accepted individuals at admission
Teach for America3.6
Rhode Island College, postgraduate3.5
Brown University, undergraduate3.4
Providence College, undergraduate3.4
Rhode Island School of Design, postgraduate3.4
University of Rhode Island, postgraduate3.4
Providence College, postgraduate3.3
Rhode Island College, undergraduate3.3
University of Rhode Island, undergraduate3.3
Johnson & Wales University, postgraduate3.2
Roger Williams University, undergraduate3.2
Roger Williams University, postgraduate3.1
Salve Regina University, undergraduate3.1
Brown University, postgraduate3.0
swipe to explore the table
Preparation program* Median GPA of accepted individuals at admission
Rhode Island College, postgraduate3.9
University of Rhode Island, postgraduate3.8
Providence College, postgraduate3.6
Teach For America3.6
Rhode Island College, undergraduate3.5
Brown University, undergraduate3.4
Providence College, undergraduate3.4
Rhode Island School of Design, postgraduate3.4
Salve Regina University, undergraduate3.4
University of Rhode Island, undergraduate3.3
Roger Williams University, undergraduate3.2
Roger Williams University, postgraduate3.1
Brown University, postgraduate3.0
Brown University, postgraduate3.0
swipe to explore the table

*Bryant University did not report data.

Credential areas pursued by teaching candidates in Rhode Island preparation programs
Elementary Education (Grades 1–6)
Elementary/Middle Special Education (Grades K–8)
Secondary Social Studies (Grades 7–12)
Secondary English (Grades 7–12)
Early Childhood Education (Grades PK–2)
Secondary Mathematics (Grades 7–12)
Secondary Biology (Grades 7–12)
Health (Grades PK–12)
Physical Education (Grades PK–12)
Secondary General Science (Grades 7–12)
Music (Grades PK–12)
Middle/Secondary Special Education (Grade 7–12)
Special Education (no grades specified)
Adapted Physical Education (Grades PK–12)
Secondary World Language (Grades 7–12)-Spanish
Art (Grades PK–12)
Special Education-Severe Intellectual Disability (Grades PK–12)
Secondary Chemistry (Grades 7–12)
Early Childhood Special Education (Birth-Grade 2)
Secondary Education (no subject specified)
Secondary Physics (Grades 7–12)
Technology Education (Grades PK–12)
Business Education
Secondary World Language (Grades 7–12)-Chinese
Secondary World Language (Grades 7–12)-Italian
Secondary World Language (Grades 7–12)-French
Elementary Education Teacher, Grades 1–6
Elementary/Middle Special Education Teacher, Grades K-8
Secondary Grades English Teacher, Grades 7–12
Early Childhood Education Teacher, Grades PK-2
Secondary Grades Social Studies Teacher, Grades 7–12
Secondary Grades Mathematics Teacher, Grades 7–12
All Grades Physical Education Teacher, Grades PK–12
All Grades Music Teacher, Grades PK–12
Secondary Grades Biology Teacher, Grades 7–12
Secondary Grades World Language Teacher, Grades 7–12 – Spanish
All Grades Adapted Physical Education Teacher, Grades PK–12
All Grades Health Teacher, Grades PK–12
Middle/Secondary Special Education Teacher, Grades 7–12
Secondary Grades General Science Teacher, Grades 7–12
All Grades Art Teacher, Grades PK–12
Secondary Grades Chemistry Teacher, Grades 7–12
Early Childhood Special Education Teacher, Birth Through Grade 2
Secondary Grades World Language Teacher, Grades 7–12 – French
All Grades Special Education – Severe Intellectual Disability Teacher
All Grades Technology Education Teacher, Grades PK–12
Secondary Grades World Language Teacher, Grades 7–12 – Chinese
Secondary Grades World Language Teacher, Grades 7–12 – Latin

*Salve Regina University did not report data in 2013–2014. The table includes only self-reported numbers from teacher preparation programs and may not contain the full number of candidates prepared in each credential area.

*Bryant University and Johnson & Wales University did not report data in 2012–2013. The table includes only self-reported numbers from teacher preparation programs and may not contain the full number of candidates prepared in each credential area.

Note: Percentages do not add to 100 due to rounding.

Distribution of candidates completing Rhode Island teacher preparation programs
Brown University
Providence College
Rhode Island College
Rhode Island School of Design
Roger Williams University
Salve Regina University
Teach for America
University of Rhode Island
Brown University
Providence College
Rhode Island College
Rhode Island School of Design
Roger Williams University
Salve Regina University
Teach for America
University of Rhode Island
Brown University
Providence College
Rhode Island College
Rhode Island School of Design
Roger Williams University
Salve Regina University
Teach for America
University of Rhode Island
Brown University
Providence College
Rhode Island College
Rhode Island School of Design
Roger Williams University
Salve Regina University
Teach for America
University of Rhode Island

*Bryant University and Johnson & Wales University did not report data. However, the statewide total number of program completers does include those universities, and therefore percentages do not add to 100.

Number of candidates completing teacher preparation programs in Rhode Island, by route
2004–2005 2008–2009 2011–2012 2012–2013 2013–2014
Traditional preparation programs989832719715594
Alternative preparation programs00232426
swipe to explore the table
Sources
  1. Graphs 1, 2, 4, 6: “Rhode Island 2014 Title II Report,” U.S. Department of Education, accessed December 14, 2015, https://title2.ed.gov/Public/Home.aspx.
  2. Graphs 3, 5: “Rhode Island Educator Preparation Index,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed December 14, 2015, http://www3.ride.ri.gov/RIEdPrepIndex/.
  3. Graph 6: “The Secretary’s Sixth Annual Report on Teacher Quality,” U.S. Department of Education (2009), accessed December 14, 2015, https://title2.ed.gov/Public/Title_II_09.pdf.
  4. Graph 6: “Rhode Island: AY 2009-10 State Snapshot: Teacher Preparation Programs,” U.S. Department of Education, accessed December 14, 2015, https://title2.ed.gov/Public/Snapshot2012/RI.pdf.

Teacher effectiveness

Rhode Island districts may choose between several state-approved teacher evaluation systems, and much of the data used to evaluate teachers is locally driven—therefore districts report a wide range of teacher effectiveness results. Overall, the vast majority of teachers are rated effective or highly effective.

Percentage of teachers rated in each effectiveness category, statewide
Ineffective
Developing
Effective
Highly Effective
Ineffective
Developing
Effective
Highly Effective
Percentage of teachers rated effective or highly effective
Sources
  1. Graph 1: “RI Educator Evaluation Systems: Improving Teaching and Learning,” Rhode Island Department of Education (October 2014), p. 4, accessed December 14, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Teachers-and-Administrators-Excellent-Educators/Educator-Evaluation/Education-Eval-Main-Page/FER_Year2_Report_Final.pdf.
  2. Graph 2: “LEA-Level Evaluation Results 2012-13,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed January 22, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/TeachersAdministrators/EducatorEvaluation.aspx#12760-annual-reports.

Schools

Our education system

School types and options

Due to declining student enrollment, Rhode Island has fewer schools now than 10–15 years ago. At the same time, choices for Rhode Island families have expanded. Today families have access not only to long-standing options such as career and technical education centers, state-operated schools and a collaborative school; they also have access to more than two-dozen public charter schools.

Number of public schools
All public schools: {{max}}
Traditional public schools
Public charter schools
CTE centers*, other state schools** and collaborative schools***
Traditional public schools
Public charter schools
CTE centers*, other state schools** and collaborative schools***
Traditional public schools
Public charter schools
CTE centers*, other state schools** and collaborative schools***
Traditional public schools
Public charter schools
CTE centers*, other state schools** and collaborative schools***
*Career and technical education (CTE) centers, comprised of Davies Career and Technical High School and the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center. CTE centers are state-operated.
**Other state operated schools, comprised of RI School for the Deaf and the RI Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) Alternative Education Program.
***Comprised of the Urban Collaborative Accelerated Program (UCAP), an independent public middle school serving at-risk students from Providence, Central Falls and Cranston.
K–12 public school enrollment
All public schools: {{max}}
Traditional public schools
Public charter schools
CTE centers, other state schools and collaborative schools
Traditional public schools
Public charter schools
CTE centers, other state schools and collaborative schools
Traditional public schools
Public charter schools
CTE centers, other state schools and collaborative schools
Traditional public schools
Public charter schools
CTE centers, other state schools and collaborative schools
Source
  1. “Enrollment, Dropout and Graduation Data,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed December 14, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/InformationAccountability/RIEducationData/EnrollmentGraduationData.aspx. To calculate totals, 50CAN staff downloaded the spreadsheets for each year and manually separated each type of school. Calculating the total number of schools requires first removing any rows containing “home instruction,” private schools, and district central offices (although all rows must remain in place when calculating student enrollment).

School demographics by type

Public school demographics by race/ethnicity
Native American
Asian Pacific
Black
White
Hispanic
Multi-race
Native American
Asian Pacific
Black
White
Hispanic
Multi-race
Native American
Asian Pacific
Black
White
Hispanic
Multi-race
Native American
Asian Pacific
Black
White
Hispanic
Multi-race
Native American
Asian Pacific
Black
White
Hispanic
Multi-race
Native American
Asian Pacific
Black
White
Hispanic
Multi-race

Note: Percentages do not always add to 100 due to rounding

Public school demographics by other subgroups
Free or reduced-price lunch eligible
Free or reduced-price lunch eligible
Free or reduced-price lunch eligible
Free or reduced-price lunch eligible
Free or reduced-price lunch eligible
Free or reduced-price lunch eligible
Limited English proficiency
Limited English proficiency
Limited English proficiency
Limited English proficiency
Limited English proficiency
Limited English proficiency
Special education (IEP)
Special education (IEP)
Special education (IEP)
Special education (IEP)
Special education (IEP)
Special education (IEP)
Source
  1. “Enrollment, Dropout and Graduation Data,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed December 14, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/InformationAccountability/RIEducationData/EnrollmentGraduationData.aspx. To calculate totals, 50CAN staff downloaded the spreadsheets for each year and manually separated each type of school.

Public charter school geography

Public charter schools are located throughout Rhode Island. Some public charter schools serve single communities, while others draw from a collection of communities or serve the entire state.

Rhode Island public charter schools and the grades and communities they serve, 2015–2016
Academy for Career Exploration
Achievement First Providence Mayoral Academy Elementary School
Achievement First Providence Mayoral Academy Elementary School (Iluminar)
Beacon Charter High School
Beacon Charter School—Founder’s Academy
Blackstone Academy Charter School
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy—Elementary School 1
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy – Elementary School 2
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy – Elementary School 3
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy – Middle School
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy – High School
Highlander Charter School
Hope Academy
International Charter School
Kingston Hill Academy
New England Laborers’/CPS Construction & Career Academy
Paul Cuffee School
Rhode Island Nurses Institute Middle College
RISE Prep Mayoral Academy
Segue Institute for Learning
Sheila “Skip” Nowell Leadership Academy – Central Falls
Sheila “Skip” Nowell Leadership Academy – Providence
Southside Elementary Charter School
The Compass School
The Greene School
The Learning Community
The Village Green Virtual Charter School
Times2 STEM Academy
Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts

*There are three types of public charter schools in Rhode Island: Mayoral Academies, independent charter schools, and district charter schools. Mayoral Academies are “Schools created by a mayor of any city or town within the State of Rhode Island, acting by or through a nonprofit organization (regardless of the time said nonprofit organization is in existence) to establish a mayoral academy.” Independent charter schools “Schools created by: (i) Rhode Island nonprofit organizations provided that these nonprofit organizations shall have existed for at least two (2) years and must exist for a substantial reason other than to operate a school or (ii) Colleges or universities within the State of Rhode Island.” District charter schools are “Schools created by existing public schools, groups of public school personnel, public school districts, or a group of school districts.”

Sources
  1. “Rhode Island’s Charter Schools: List of Charter Schools,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed December 14, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/StudentsFamilies/RIPublicSchools/CharterSchools.aspx#1977598-list-of-charter-schools; and “List of Rhode Island’s Public Charter Schools,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed December 14, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Students-and-Families-Great-Schools/Charter-Schools/Charter%20Schools%202015/List_of_RI_Charter_Schools.pdf.
  2. “Rhode Island’s Charter Schools: Types of Rhode Island Charter Schools,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed December 20, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/StudentsFamilies/RIPublicSchools/CharterSchools.aspx#1977597-about-charter-schools.

Pre-kindergarten access

Over the last decade, access to schooling before kindergarten in Rhode Island has improved. The state has taken steps in recent years to expand the number of state-funded pre-K seats, but total state-funded enrollment remains low. Head Start access has remained stable.

Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds not attending school (public or private)
Rhode Island
National
Rhode Island
National
Rhode Island
National
Rhode Island
National

Note: These figures are estimates based on U.S. Census data.

Access to the Rhode Island State Pre-K Program
Percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs0%
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs5%
Total enrollment in state-funded pre-K programs594
Rhode Island’s national ranking in access to state-funded pre-K programs for 3-year-olds (National Institute for Early Education Research)*No three-year-olds served
Rhode Island’s national ranking in access to state-funded pre-K programs for 4-year-olds (National Institute for Early Education Research)*40th
swipe to explore the table
Percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs0%
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs3%
Total enrollment in state-funded pre-K programs306
Rhode Island’s national ranking in access to state-funded pre-K programs for 3-year-olds (National Institute for Early Education Research)*No three-year-olds served
Rhode Island’s national ranking in access to state-funded pre-K programs for 4-year-olds (National Institute for Early Education Research)*40th
swipe to explore the table
Percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs0%
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs2%
Total enrollment in state-funded pre-K programs234
Rhode Island’s national ranking in access to state-funded pre-K programs for 3-year-olds (National Institute for Early Education Research)*No three-year-olds served
Rhode Island’s national ranking in access to state-funded pre-K programs for 4-year-olds (National Institute for Early Education Research)*40th
swipe to explore the table
Percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs0%
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs1%
Total enrollment in state-funded pre-K programs108
Rhode Island’s national ranking in access to state-funded pre-K programs for 3-year-olds (National Institute for Early Education Research)*No three-year-olds served
Rhode Island’s national ranking in access to state-funded pre-K programs for 4-year-olds (National Institute for Early Education Research)*40th
swipe to explore the table
Percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs0%
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs1%
Total enrollment in state-funded pre-K programs126
Rhode Island’s national ranking in access to state-funded pre-K programs for 3-year-olds (National Institute for Early Education Research)*No three-year-olds served
Rhode Island’s national ranking in access to state-funded pre-K programs for 4-year-olds (National Institute for Early Education Research)*40th
swipe to explore the table
Percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs0%
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs0%
Total enrollment in state-funded pre-K programs0
Rhode Island’s national ranking in access to state-funded pre-K programs for 3-year-olds (National Institute for Early Education Research)*No three-year-olds served
Rhode Island’s national ranking in access to state-funded pre-K programs for 4-year-olds (National Institute for Early Education Research)*No four-year-olds served
swipe to explore the table

*Rhode Island provides a limited number of state-funded Head Start seats (130 state funded Head Start slots in 2015–2016 and in 2014–2015). According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), however, the number of students in state-funded Head Start seats is typically in the low triple digits.

*Although Rhode Island provides a limited number of state-funded Head Start seats, the data have historically been insufficient to report an exact number of children served. According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), however, the number of students in state-funded Head Start seats is typically in the low triple digits.

*Although Rhode Island provides a limited number of state-funded Head Start seats, the data have historically been insufficient to report an exact number of children served. According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), however, the number of students in state-funded Head Start seats is typically in the low triple digits.

*Although Rhode Island provides a limited number of state-funded Head Start seats, the data have historically been insufficient to report an exact number of children served. According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), however, the number of students in state-funded Head Start seats is typically in the low triple digits.

*Although Rhode Island provides a limited number of state-funded Head Start seats, the data have historically been insufficient to report an exact number of children served. According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), however, the number of students in state-funded Head Start seats is typically in the low triple digits.

*Although Rhode Island provides a limited number of state-funded Head Start seats, the data have historically been insufficient to report an exact number of children served. According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), however, the number of students in state-funded Head Start seats is typically in the low triple digits.

Head Start access in Rhode Island*
Percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled in Head Start programs9%
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in Head Start programs12%
Federally funded** Head Start enrollment (3- and 4-year-olds)2,134
swipe to explore the table
Percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled in Head Start programs7%
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in Head Start programs13%
Federally funded** Head Start enrollment (3- and 4-year-olds)2,085
swipe to explore the table
Percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled in Head Start programs7%
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in Head Start programs13%
Federally funded** Head Start enrollment (3- and 4-year-olds)2,206
swipe to explore the table
Percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled in Head Start programs5%
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in Head Start programs11%
Federally funded** Head Start enrollment (3- and 4-year-olds)1,776
swipe to explore the table
Percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled in Head Start programs8%
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in Head Start programs14%
Federally funded** Head Start enrollment (3- and 4-year-olds)2,386
swipe to explore the table

** Although Rhode Island provides a limited number of state-funded Head Start seats, the data have historically been insufficient to report an exact number of children served. According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), however, the number of students in state-funded Head Start seats is typically in the low triple digits.

** Although Rhode Island provides a limited number of state-funded Head Start seats, the data have historically been insufficient to report an exact number of children served. According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), however, the number of students in state-funded Head Start seats is typically in the low triple digits.

** Although Rhode Island provides a limited number of state-funded Head Start seats, the data have historically been insufficient to report an exact number of children served. According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), however, the number of students in state-funded Head Start seats is typically in the low triple digits.

** Although Rhode Island provides a limited number of state-funded Head Start seats, the data have historically been insufficient to report an exact number of children served. According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), however, the number of students in state-funded Head Start seats is typically in the low triple digits.

** Although Rhode Island provides a limited number of state-funded Head Start seats, the data have historically been insufficient to report an exact number of children served. According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), however, the number of students in state-funded Head Start seats is typically in the low triple digits.

* Head Start is a federal program that is primarily funded by federal dollars. However, Rhode Island also provides a small amount of additional state funding to supplement federal funding. In 2013–2014 and 2014–2015, Rhode Island provided approximately $800,000 in state general funds for Head Start.

Sources
  1. Graph 1: "American Fact Finder: Table B14003," U.S. Census Bureau, last accessed June 9, 2016, http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/searchresults.xhtml?refresh=t.
  2. Graph 2: “Rhode Island KIDS COUNT Data & Publications: The Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook,” Rhode Island KIDS COUNT (see the current Kids Count Factbook and the Publications Archive), last accessed June 9, 2016, http://www.rikidscount.org/DataPublications/DataPublicationsOverview.aspx.
  3. Graphs 2. 3: "Annual State Pre-K Reports: State Preschool Yearbooks," National Institute for Early Education Research, last accessed June 9, 2016, http://nieer.org/publications/annual-state-pre-k-reports-state-preschool-yearbooks.

Early programs quality and accountability

Percentage of Rhode Island early learning programs participating in BrightStars*
  Early Learning Centers (serving infants to preschools) Public Schools with pre-K Programs (serving preschoolers)
2015–201682%60%
2014–201578%40%
2013–201478%N/A
2012–201315%N/A
2011–201212%N/A
2010–20117%N/A
swipe to explore the table

*BrightStars is Rhode Island’s Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System (TQRIS). It is used to assess the quality of early learning programs, communicate that information to parents and help early learning programs improve their services. Early learning programs participate in BrightStars on a voluntary basis. Most other states also utilize a TQRIS.

Note: programs that serve children participating in the Child Care Assistance Program and programs that operate a State Pre-K classroom are required to participate in BrightStars. Also note that licensed family child care providers participate in BrightStars and are considered early learning programs.

Percentage of Rhode Island early learning programs participating in BrightStars that earned a 4- or 5-star rating*
Early learning centers (serving infants through preschoolers)17%
Public schools with pre-K programs (serving preschoolers)13%
swipe to explore the table

Only about 2% of family child care centers are high quality as of 2015–2016.

* Programs participating in BrightStars are awarded a rating on a scale of 1–5, with 5 stars indicating the highest quality programs.

Source
  1. “Rhode Island KIDS COUNT Data & Publications: The Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook,” Rhode Island KIDS COUNT (see the current Kids Count Factbook and the Publications Archive), last accessed June 9, 2016, http://www.rikidscount.org/DataPublications/DataPublicationsOverview.aspx.

Kindergarten access

Rhode Island has been near the national average in kindergarten enrollment and full-day kindergarten access. In 2015, Governor Raimondo signed a budget requiring universal access to full-day kindergarten for Rhode Island students by the 2016–2017 school year.

Percentage of eligible children enrolled in any kindergarten program
Rhode Island
National
Percentage of kindergarten students enrolled in full-day programs
Rhode Island
National
Rhode Island
National
Rhode Island
National
Rhode Island
National
Sources
  1. Introduction: “R.I. Gov. to Sign $8.67B State Budget for 2016,” NECN (June 30, 2015), accessed February 12, 2015, http://www.necn.com/news/new-england/RI-Gov-to-Sign-867B-State-Budget-for-2016-310997591.html.
  2. Graph 1: “Called to Account: New Directions in School Accountability,” Education Week, p. 5, accessed February 12, 2016, http://www.edweek.org/media/ew/qc/2016/shr/16shr.ri.h35.pdf.
  3. Graph 2: “Rhode Island KIDS COUNT Data & Publications: The Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook,” Rhode Island KIDS COUNT (see the current Kids Count Factbook and the Publications Archive), last accessed June 9, 2016, http://www.rikidscount.org/DataPublications/DataPublicationsOverview.aspx.
  4. Graph 2: “Preparing to Launch: Early Childhood’s Academic Countdown: Rhode Island State Highlights 2015,” Education Week, p. 5, accessed December 15, 2015, http://www.edweek.org/media/ew/qc/2015/shr/16shr.ri.h34.pdf.

The cost

Our education system

In 2010, our General Assembly created a new formula for disbursing state education aid to school districts. Under this student-centered funding formula, districts receive a basic per-pupil funding amount for each enrolled student and an additional 40 percent of that amount for each low-income student. Of the total designated funding amount for each district, the state covers a portion with state revenues and the district covers a portion with local revenues; higher-wealth districts are responsible for a greater share of their total funding than lower-wealth districts. The state also offers a limited amount of additional funding to districts to cover expenses such as extraordinary special education costs, career and technical education programs and early childhood programs. The funding formula will not be fully phased in until 2020, and lawmakers are considering revisions to the formula in 2016.

With the spotlight cast on school funding in Rhode Island, RI-CAN recently issued a special State of Education report that contains a comprehensive overview of the school funding landscape across the state. Some of that data is highlighted below.

To access RI-CAN’s full State of Education: Spotlight on School Funding report, click here.

Expenditures

Like many states, per-pupil expenditures in Rhode Island have been growing over time. Our per-pupil spending is above the national average, but in line with regional peers.

Current expenditures per pupil for public elementary and secondary schools in Rhode Island (constant 2013–2014 dollars)
2001–2002
2004–2005
2007–2008
2010–2011
2013–2014

Notes:

  1. 2013–2014 data are from the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), while data for years 2001–2002, 2004–2005, 2007–2008 and 2010–2011 are from the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE). It was necessary to use two data sources due to data limitations on the RIDE website and because only the USDOE presents data in constant 2013–2014 dollars (i.e., only the USDOE adjusts for inflation over time). As a result of using two data sources, there may be discrepancies between 2013–2014 and earlier years based on differences in data classification and data collection methodology.
  2. Both RIDE data and USDOE data exclude capital expenditures and debt service expenditures and include public charter school expenditures. In Rhode Island, capital expenditures include any land and buildings that are capitalized (regardless of the value and useful life); infrastructure and building improvements that are capitalized at a cost of $1 million or more with a useful life of one year or more; and equipment that is capitalized at a cost of $5,000 or more. Debt service includes payments on debt obligations, including principal and interest payments.
  3. RIDE data excludes expenditures funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
  4. USDOE per-pupil expenditures are calculated using fall enrollment, while RIDE per-pupil expenditures are calculated using average daily membership (enrollment averaged over the course of the school year). Average daily membership is calculated by dividing the aggregate days of student membership (enrollment) by total school days.
Current expenditures per pupil for public elementary and secondary schools (Not adjusted for inflation)
 Value
1. District of Columbia
District of Columbia
$20,530Value
$20,530
2. New York
New York
$19,529Value
$19,529
3. New Jersey
New Jersey
$18,523Value
$18,523
4. Alaska
Alaska
$18,217Value
$18,217
5. Connecticut
Connecticut
$17,321Value
$17,321
6. Vermont
Vermont
$17,286Value
$17,286
7. Wyoming
Wyoming
$15,815Value
$15,815
8. Massachusetts
Massachusetts
$15,321Value
$15,321
9. Rhode Island
Rhode Island
$14,889Value
$14,889
10. Maryland
Maryland
$14,086Value
$14,086
11. New Hampshire
New Hampshire
$14,050Value
$14,050
12. Delaware
Delaware
$13,653Value
$13,653
13. Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
$13,445Value
$13,445
14. Maine
Maine
$12,655Value
$12,655
15. Illinois
Illinois
$12,443Value
$12,443
T-16. Hawaii
Hawaii
$11,743Value
$11,743
T-16. Nebraska
Nebraska
$11,743Value
$11,743
18. North Dakota
North Dakota
$11,615Value
$11,615
19. Ohio
Ohio
$11,276Value
$11,276
20. West Virginia
West Virginia
$11,257Value
$11,257
21. Wisconsin
Wisconsin
$11,186Value
$11,186
22. Minnesota
Minnesota
$11,065Value
$11,065
23. Virginia
Virginia
$10,960Value
$10,960
United States
United States
$10,763Value
$10,763
24. Montana
Montana
$10,662Value
$10,662
25. Louisiana
Louisiana
$10,539Value
$10,539
26. Michigan
Michigan
$10,515Value
$10,515
27. Iowa
Iowa
$10,291Value
$10,291
28. Kansas
Kansas
$10,011Value
$10,011
29. Washington
Washington
$9,714Value
$9,714
30. Missouri
Missouri
$9,702Value
$9,702
31. Arkansas
Arkansas
$9,538Value
$9,538
32. South Carolina
South Carolina
$9,444Value
$9,444
33. Indiana
Indiana
$9,421Value
$9,421
34. Kentucky
Kentucky
$9,274Value
$9,274
35. California
California
$9,258Value
$9,258
36. Oregon
Oregon
$9,183Value
$9,183
37. New Mexico
New Mexico
$9,164Value
$9,164
38. Georgia
Georgia
$9,121Value
$9,121
39. Alabama
Alabama
$8,773Value
$8,773
40. Colorado
Colorado
$8,693Value
$8,693
41. South Dakota
South Dakota
$8,630Value
$8,630
42. Florida
Florida
$8,623Value
$8,623
43. Tennessee
Tennessee
$8,588Value
$8,588
44. North Carolina
North Carolina
$8,342Value
$8,342
45. Texas
Texas
$8,261Value
$8,261
46. Mississippi
Mississippi
$8,117Value
$8,117
47. Nevada
Nevada
$8,026Value
$8,026
48. Oklahoma
Oklahoma
$7,914Value
$7,914
49. Arizona
Arizona
$7,495Value
$7,495
50. Idaho
Idaho
$6,761Value
$6,761
51. Utah
Utah
$6,432Value
$6,432
 Value
1. District of Columbia
District of Columbia
$20,530Value
$20,530
2. New York
New York
$19,529Value
$19,529
3. New Jersey
New Jersey
$18,523Value
$18,523
4. Alaska
Alaska
$18,217Value
$18,217
5. Connecticut
Connecticut
$17,321Value
$17,321
6. Vermont
Vermont
$17,286Value
$17,286
7. Wyoming
Wyoming
$15,815Value
$15,815
8. Massachusetts
Massachusetts
$15,321Value
$15,321
9. Rhode Island
Rhode Island
$14,889Value
$14,889
10. Maryland
Maryland
$14,086Value
$14,086
11. New Hampshire
New Hampshire
$14,050Value
$14,050
12. Delaware
Delaware
$13,653Value
$13,653
13. Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
$13,445Value
$13,445
14. Maine
Maine
$12,655Value
$12,655
15. Illinois
Illinois
$12,443Value
$12,443
T-16. Hawaii
Hawaii
$11,743Value
$11,743
T-16. Nebraska
Nebraska
$11,743Value
$11,743
18. North Dakota
North Dakota
$11,615Value
$11,615
 Value
19. Ohio
Ohio
$11,276Value
$11,276
20. West Virginia
West Virginia
$11,257Value
$11,257
21. Wisconsin
Wisconsin
$11,186Value
$11,186
22. Minnesota
Minnesota
$11,065Value
$11,065
23. Virginia
Virginia
$10,960Value
$10,960
United States
United States
$10,763Value
$10,763
24. Montana
Montana
$10,662Value
$10,662
25. Louisiana
Louisiana
$10,539Value
$10,539
26. Michigan
Michigan
$10,515Value
$10,515
27. Iowa
Iowa
$10,291Value
$10,291
28. Kansas
Kansas
$10,011Value
$10,011
29. Washington
Washington
$9,714Value
$9,714
30. Missouri
Missouri
$9,702Value
$9,702
31. Arkansas
Arkansas
$9,538Value
$9,538
32. South Carolina
South Carolina
$9,444Value
$9,444
33. Indiana
Indiana
$9,421Value
$9,421
34. Kentucky
Kentucky
$9,274Value
$9,274
35. California
California
$9,258Value
$9,258
 Value
36. Oregon
Oregon
$9,183Value
$9,183
37. New Mexico
New Mexico
$9,164Value
$9,164
38. Georgia
Georgia
$9,121Value
$9,121
39. Alabama
Alabama
$8,773Value
$8,773
40. Colorado
Colorado
$8,693Value
$8,693
41. South Dakota
South Dakota
$8,630Value
$8,630
42. Florida
Florida
$8,623Value
$8,623
43. Tennessee
Tennessee
$8,588Value
$8,588
44. North Carolina
North Carolina
$8,342Value
$8,342
45. Texas
Texas
$8,261Value
$8,261
46. Mississippi
Mississippi
$8,117Value
$8,117
47. Nevada
Nevada
$8,026Value
$8,026
48. Oklahoma
Oklahoma
$7,914Value
$7,914
49. Arizona
Arizona
$7,495Value
$7,495
50. Idaho
Idaho
$6,761Value
$6,761
51. Utah
Utah
$6,432Value
$6,432
 Value
1. New Jersey
New Jersey
$12,568Value
$12,568
2. New York
New York
$11,961Value
$11,961
3. District of Columbia
District of Columbia
$11,847Value
$11,847
4. Connecticut
Connecticut
$11,057Value
$11,057
5. Massachusetts
Massachusetts
$10,460Value
$10,460
6. Vermont
Vermont
$10,454Value
$10,454
7. Rhode Island
Rhode Island
$10,349Value
$10,349
8. Alaska
Alaska
$9,870Value
$9,870
9. Delaware
Delaware
$9,693Value
$9,693
10. Maine
Maine
$9,344Value
$9,344
11. Maryland
Maryland
$9,153Value
$9,153
12. Wisconsin
Wisconsin
$9,004Value
$9,004
13. Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
$8,997Value
$8,997
14. Wyoming
Wyoming
$8,985Value
$8,985
15. Michigan
Michigan
$8,781Value
$8,781
16. Ohio
Ohio
$8,632Value
$8,632
17. New Hampshire
New Hampshire
$8,579Value
$8,579
18. West Virginia
West Virginia
$8,319Value
$8,319
19. Illinois
Illinois
$8,287Value
$8,287
20. Minnesota
Minnesota
$8,109Value
$8,109
21. Hawaii
Hawaii
$8,100Value
$8,100
22. Nebraska
Nebraska
$8,074Value
$8,074
23. Indiana
Indiana
$8,057Value
$8,057
United States
United States
$8,044Value
$8,044
24. Virginia
Virginia
$7,822Value
$7,822
25. Georgia
Georgia
$7,774Value
$7,774
26. Iowa
Iowa
$7,574Value
$7,574
27. California
California
$7,552Value
$7,552
28. Montana
Montana
$7,496Value
$7,496
29. Missouri
Missouri
$7,495Value
$7,495
30. Oregon
Oregon
$7,491Value
$7,491
31. Kansas
Kansas
$7,454Value
$7,454
32. Colorado
Colorado
$7,384Value
$7,384
33. Washington
Washington
$7,252Value
$7,252
34. Texas
Texas
$7,136Value
$7,136
35. New Mexico
New Mexico
$7,125Value
$7,125
36. South Carolina
South Carolina
$7,040Value
$7,040
37. Louisiana
Louisiana
$6,922Value
$6,922
38. North Dakota
North Dakota
$6,870Value
$6,870
39. Kentucky
Kentucky
$6,661Value
$6,661
40. North Carolina
North Carolina
$6,562Value
$6,562
41. South Dakota
South Dakota
$6,547Value
$6,547
42. Arkansas
Arkansas
$6,482Value
$6,482
43. Florida
Florida
$6,439Value
$6,439
44. Alabama
Alabama
$6,300Value
$6,300
45. Arizona
Arizona
$6,283Value
$6,283
46. Tennessee
Tennessee
$6,118Value
$6,118
T-47. Nevada
Nevada
$6,092Value
$6,092
T-47. Oklahoma
Oklahoma
$6,092Value
$6,092
49. Idaho
Idaho
$6,081Value
$6,081
50. Mississippi
Mississippi
$5,792Value
$5,792
51. Utah
Utah
$4,838Value
$4,838
 Value
1. New Jersey
New Jersey
$12,568Value
$12,568
2. New York
New York
$11,961Value
$11,961
3. District of Columbia
District of Columbia
$11,847Value
$11,847
4. Connecticut
Connecticut
$11,057Value
$11,057
5. Massachusetts
Massachusetts
$10,460Value
$10,460
6. Vermont
Vermont
$10,454Value
$10,454
7. Rhode Island
Rhode Island
$10,349Value
$10,349
8. Alaska
Alaska
$9,870Value
$9,870
9. Delaware
Delaware
$9,693Value
$9,693
10. Maine
Maine
$9,344Value
$9,344
11. Maryland
Maryland
$9,153Value
$9,153
12. Wisconsin
Wisconsin
$9,004Value
$9,004
13. Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
$8,997Value
$8,997
14. Wyoming
Wyoming
$8,985Value
$8,985
15. Michigan
Michigan
$8,781Value
$8,781
16. Ohio
Ohio
$8,632Value
$8,632
17. New Hampshire
New Hampshire
$8,579Value
$8,579
18. West Virginia
West Virginia
$8,319Value
$8,319
 Value
19. Illinois
Illinois
$8,287Value
$8,287
20. Minnesota
Minnesota
$8,109Value
$8,109
21. Hawaii
Hawaii
$8,100Value
$8,100
22. Nebraska
Nebraska
$8,074Value
$8,074
23. Indiana
Indiana
$8,057Value
$8,057
United States
United States
$8,044Value
$8,044
24. Virginia
Virginia
$7,822Value
$7,822
25. Georgia
Georgia
$7,774Value
$7,774
26. Iowa
Iowa
$7,574Value
$7,574
27. California
California
$7,552Value
$7,552
28. Montana
Montana
$7,496Value
$7,496
29. Missouri
Missouri
$7,495Value
$7,495
30. Oregon
Oregon
$7,491Value
$7,491
31. Kansas
Kansas
$7,454Value
$7,454
32. Colorado
Colorado
$7,384Value
$7,384
33. Washington
Washington
$7,252Value
$7,252
34. Texas
Texas
$7,136Value
$7,136
35. New Mexico
New Mexico
$7,125Value
$7,125
 Value
36. South Carolina
South Carolina
$7,040Value
$7,040
37. Louisiana
Louisiana
$6,922Value
$6,922
38. North Dakota
North Dakota
$6,870Value
$6,870
39. Kentucky
Kentucky
$6,661Value
$6,661
40. North Carolina
North Carolina
$6,562Value
$6,562
41. South Dakota
South Dakota
$6,547Value
$6,547
42. Arkansas
Arkansas
$6,482Value
$6,482
43. Florida
Florida
$6,439Value
$6,439
44. Alabama
Alabama
$6,300Value
$6,300
45. Arizona
Arizona
$6,283Value
$6,283
46. Tennessee
Tennessee
$6,118Value
$6,118
T-47. Nevada
Nevada
$6,092Value
$6,092
T-47. Oklahoma
Oklahoma
$6,092Value
$6,092
49. Idaho
Idaho
$6,081Value
$6,081
50. Mississippi
Mississippi
$5,792Value
$5,792
51. Utah
Utah
$4,838Value
$4,838

Notes:

  1. Current expenditures exclude capital expenditures and debt service. In Rhode Island, capital expenditures include any land and buildings that are capitalized (regardless of the value and useful life); infrastructure and building improvements that are capitalized at a cost of $1 million or more with a useful life of one year or more; and equipment that is capitalized at a cost of $5,000 or more. The definition of capital expenditures varies between states. Debt service includes payments on debt obligations, including principal and interest payments.
  2. State disparities in current per-pupil expenditures may exist based on what states classify as current expenses (for example, states set different capitalization thresholds that determine which expenses qualify as capital outlays and which do not).
  3. Data for this graph are from the U.S. Department of Education.
Current expenditures per pupil by LEA

Notes:

  1. RI School for the Deaf is not included due to extraordinary special education costs. It’s annual curent per-pupil expenditure in 2013–2014 was $102,915.
  2. Current expenditures exclude capital expenditures and debt service. In Rhode Island, capital expenditures include any land and buildings that are capitalized (regardless of the value and useful life); infrastructure and building improvements that are capitalized at a cost of $1 million or more with a useful life of one year or more; and equipment that is capitalized at a cost of $5,000 or more. Debt service includes payments on debt obligations, including principal and interest payments.
Sources
  1. Introduction: “Funding Formula Summary,” Rhode Island Department of Education (2010), accessed November 13, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Funding-and-Finance-Wise-Investments/Funding-Sources/State-Education-Aid-Funding-Formula/Funding-Formula-Summary-2-19-11-version.pdf.
  2. Graphs 1, 3: “RIDE’s Uniform Chart of Accounts: Annual Per Pupil Expenditure Reports,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed November 12, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/FundingFinance/SchoolDistrictFinancialData/UniformChartofAccounts.aspx#18211075-annual-per-pupil-expenditure-reports.
  3. Graph 2: “Current expenditure per pupil in fall enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools, by state or jurisdiction,” U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics, accessed November 24, 2015, https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/.
  4. Graph notes: “Capital Budgeting in the States,” National Association of State Budget Officers (2014), accessed November 24, 2015, https://www.nasbo.org/sites/default/files/Capital%20Budgeting%20in%20the%20States.pdf.

Revenues

According to the most recent data, a majority of funding for Rhode Island schools comes from local sources. The distribution of funding sources varies between states, with some states providing the bulk of funding at the state level, and other states relying more heavily on school districts and municipalities to generate funding.

Percentage of revenues for public elementary and secondary schools by source
 FederalStateLocal
United States 9.3 45.2 45.5
Alabama 11.8 54.8 33.4
Alaska 12.1 68.5 19.3
Arizona 13.6 42.2 44.1
Arkansas 12.1 51.9 35.9
California 11.2 54.3 34.5
Colorado 7.9 42.3 49.9
Connecticut 4.4 39.5 56.2
Delaware 10.1 58.8 31.1
Florida 12.6 38.6 48.8
Georgia 10.7 43.6 45.8
Hawaii 13.3 84.2 2.5
Idaho 11.9 64 24
Illinois 8.6 26.1 65.3
Indiana 8.7 56 35.3
Iowa 7.8 51.7 40.5
Kansas 8.6 55.1 36.4
Kentucky 12.3 54.5 33.2
Louisiana 15.2 43.3 41.6
Maine 7.6 39.9 52.5
Maryland 6.0 44.2 49.8
Massachusetts 5.7 39.4 54.9
Michigan 9.8 58.7 31.5
Minnesota 6.3 64.5 29.2
Mississippi 16.1 50.4 33.5
Missouri 9 32.8 58.2
Montana 12.9 48.1 39
Nebraska 9.4 32 58.5
Nevada 9.7 33.7 56.5
New Hampshire 5.7 35.5 58.8
New Jersey 4.4 40.8 54.8
New Mexico 15.2 68.6 16.2
New York 5.5 40.1 54.4
North Carolina 12.6 62.2 25.2
North Dakota 11.8 51 37.3
Ohio 8.6 43.5 47.9
Oklahoma 12.4 49.2 38.5
Oregon 9.2 49.4 41.4
Pennsylvania 8 35.9 56.2
Rhode Island 8.7 38.9 52.4
South Carolina 10 46.4 43.6
South Dakota 15 31.2 53.8
Tennessee 13 45.7 41.3
Texas 11.7 40.2 48
Utah 9.2 52 38.7
Vermont 7.1 88.9 4
Virginia 7.3 38.9 53.7
Washington 8.6 59 32.4
West Virginia 10.7 59 30.3
Wisconsin 7.9 45 47.2
Wyoming 6.7 52 41.3
 FederalStateLocal
United States 9.3 45.2 45.5
Alabama 11.8 54.8 33.4
Alaska 12.1 68.5 19.3
Arizona 13.6 42.2 44.1
Arkansas 12.1 51.9 35.9
California 11.2 54.3 34.5
Colorado 7.9 42.3 49.9
Connecticut 4.4 39.5 56.2
Delaware 10.1 58.8 31.1
Florida 12.6 38.6 48.8
Georgia 10.7 43.6 45.8
Hawaii 13.3 84.2 2.5
Idaho 11.9 64 24
Illinois 8.6 26.1 65.3
Indiana 8.7 56 35.3
Iowa 7.8 51.7 40.5
Kansas 8.6 55.1 36.4
Kentucky 12.3 54.5 33.2
Louisiana 15.2 43.3 41.6
Maine 7.6 39.9 52.5
Maryland 6.0 44.2 49.8
Massachusetts 5.7 39.4 54.9
Michigan 9.8 58.7 31.5
Minnesota 6.3 64.5 29.2
Mississippi 16.1 50.4 33.5
Missouri 9 32.8 58.2
 FederalStateLocal
Montana 12.9 48.1 39
Nebraska 9.4 32 58.5
Nevada 9.7 33.7 56.5
New Hampshire 5.7 35.5 58.8
New Jersey 4.4 40.8 54.8
New Mexico 15.2 68.6 16.2
New York 5.5 40.1 54.4
North Carolina 12.6 62.2 25.2
North Dakota 11.8 51 37.3
Ohio 8.6 43.5 47.9
Oklahoma 12.4 49.2 38.5
Oregon 9.2 49.4 41.4
Pennsylvania 8 35.9 56.2
Rhode Island 8.7 38.9 52.4
South Carolina 10 46.4 43.6
South Dakota 15 31.2 53.8
Tennessee 13 45.7 41.3
Texas 11.7 40.2 48
Utah 9.2 52 38.7
Vermont 7.1 88.9 4
Virginia 7.3 38.9 53.7
Washington 8.6 59 32.4
West Virginia 10.7 59 30.3
Wisconsin 7.9 45 47.2
Wyoming 6.7 52 41.3
 FederalStateLocal
United States 8.5 48.7 42.8
Alabama 11.6 57.6 30.9
Alaska 17.7 56.8 25.5
Arizona 11.4 48.4 40.2
Arkansas 11.7 55.2 33.0
California 9.9 58.9 31.3
Colorado 6.5 43.1 50.4
Connecticut 5.2 37.4 57.4
Delaware 8.6 63.4 28.0
Florida 10.5 43.6 45.8
Georgia 8.1 48.2 43.7
Hawaii 8.2 90.1 1.7
Idaho 9.8 59.1 31.1
Illinois 8.5 33.0 58.5
Indiana 7.6 58.8 33.5
Iowa 7.4 46.6 46.0
Kansas 9.1 57.1 33.8
Kentucky 10.6 58.8 30.7
Louisiana 13.2 49.1 37.7
Maine 8.9 42.9 48.1
Maryland 6.7 38.3 55.0
Massachusetts 6.0 40.9 53.1
Michigan 7.8 63.3 28.9
Minnesota 5.9 73.8 20.2
Mississippi 15.4 53.8 30.8
Missouri 8.0 35.8 56.2
Montana 14.5 46.3 39.2
Nebraska 8.9 34.4 56.7
Nevada 7.0 30.2 62.8
New Hampshire 5.2 48.9 45.9
New Jersey 4.3 43.5 52.2
New Mexico 15.0 72.1 12.9
New York 7.0 45.6 47.5
North Carolina 9.6 63.7 26.7
North Dakota 15.3 36.8 47.9
Ohio 6.4 44.8 48.7
Oklahoma 12.7 54.7 32.6
Oregon 9.1 50.9 40.0
Pennsylvania 7.7 36.6 55.6
Rhode Island 6.5 42.0 51.5
South Carolina 9.8 48.1 42.1
South Dakota 15.7 33.7 50.6
Tennessee 10.0 43.8 46.1
Texas 9.9 40.9 49.2
Utah 9.3 56.4 34.3
Vermont 7.0 67.8 25.3
Virginia 6.6 39.6 53.8
Washington 9.0 61.8 29.2
West Virginia 10.6 61.4 27.9
Wisconsin 6.1 53.4 40.6
Wyoming 8.8 50.9 40.3
 FederalStateLocal
United States 8.5 48.7 42.8
Alabama 11.6 57.6 30.9
Alaska 17.7 56.8 25.5
Arizona 11.4 48.4 40.2
Arkansas 11.7 55.2 33.0
California 9.9 58.9 31.3
Colorado 6.5 43.1 50.4
Connecticut 5.2 37.4 57.4
Delaware 8.6 63.4 28.0
Florida 10.5 43.6 45.8
Georgia 8.1 48.2 43.7
Hawaii 8.2 90.1 1.7
Idaho 9.8 59.1 31.1
Illinois 8.5 33.0 58.5
Indiana 7.6 58.8 33.5
Iowa 7.4 46.6 46.0
Kansas 9.1 57.1 33.8
Kentucky 10.6 58.8 30.7
Louisiana 13.2 49.1 37.7
Maine 8.9 42.9 48.1
Maryland 6.7 38.3 55.0
Massachusetts 6.0 40.9 53.1
Michigan 7.8 63.3 28.9
Minnesota 5.9 73.8 20.2
Mississippi 15.4 53.8 30.8
Missouri 8.0 35.8 56.2
 FederalStateLocal
Montana 14.5 46.3 39.2
Nebraska 8.9 34.4 56.7
Nevada 7.0 30.2 62.8
New Hampshire 5.2 48.9 45.9
New Jersey 4.3 43.5 52.2
New Mexico 15.0 72.1 12.9
New York 7.0 45.6 47.5
North Carolina 9.6 63.7 26.7
North Dakota 15.3 36.8 47.9
Ohio 6.4 44.8 48.7
Oklahoma 12.7 54.7 32.6
Oregon 9.1 50.9 40.0
Pennsylvania 7.7 36.6 55.6
Rhode Island 6.5 42.0 51.5
South Carolina 9.8 48.1 42.1
South Dakota 15.7 33.7 50.6
Tennessee 10.0 43.8 46.1
Texas 9.9 40.9 49.2
Utah 9.3 56.4 34.3
Vermont 7.0 67.8 25.3
Virginia 6.6 39.6 53.8
Washington 9.0 61.8 29.2
West Virginia 10.6 61.4 27.9
Wisconsin 6.1 53.4 40.6
Wyoming 8.8 50.9 40.3
State and local revenues by district poverty level in Rhode Island
Highest poverty districts
2nd quartile
3rd quartile
Lowest poverty districts

Note: District poverty level is measured by the percentage of students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.

Sources
  1. Graph 1: "Revenues for public elementary and secondary schools, by source of funds and state or jurisdiction," U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics (search by year), last accessed June 20, 2016, https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/.
  2. Graph 2: “The State of Funding Equity Data Tool,” Education Trust (2015), accessed November 12, 2015, https://edtrust.org/map/.

K–12 Achievement

How the system is working

Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) proficiency rates

Rhode Island fully implemented the Common Core State Standards in 2013–2014. The following year, 2014–2015, was the first year that students took Common Core-aligned math and English language arts (ELA)/literacy assessments through the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). Rhode Island joined ten other states and the District of Columbia in administering the PARCC assessment.

The rates of students meeting expectations in 2014–2015–highlighted below–provide a new baseline against which future results will be compared. The 2014–2015 data show, for example, that:

  • One in four students met expectations in math, and slightly more than one in three students met expectations in ELA/literacy.
  • There are large gaps across the board. The percentage of Black and Hispanic students meeting expectations was approximately 22 percentage points behind white students in math and 25 percentage points behind white students in ELA/literacy.

Then, the 2016–2016 data show, for example, that:

  • The percentage of proficient students in math jumped from 24.8 percent in 2014–15 to 29.6 percent in 2015–16.
  • The proficiency gap largely remained the same over the past year, decreasing from 25 percentage points to 24.9 in ELA and jumping from 22.1 percentage points in 24.4 in math.”
Mathematics: percentage of students scoring at each PARCC level
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations

*Only 74 percent of 8th grade test-takers took the 8th grade math assessment in 2014–2015. The remainder took the Algebra I assessment or the Geometry assessment.

Mathematics: PERCENTAGE OF STUDENTS ACHIEVING PROFICIENCY
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)

*Only 74 percent of 8th grade test-takers took the 8th grade math assessment in 2014–2015. The remainder took the Algebra I assessment or the Geometry assessment.

English language arts/literacy: percentage of students scoring at each PARCC level
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
Level 2: Partially met expectations
Level 3: Approached expectations
Level 4: Met expectations
Level 5: Exceeded expectations
English language arts/literacy: PERCENTAGE OF STUDENTS ACHIEVING PROFICIENCY
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Proficient (Levels 4 & 5)
Mathematics: percentage of students achieving proficiency on PARCC (scoring at Levels 4 or 5), all grades
All students
American Indian
Asian
Black or African American
Hispanic or Latino
White
Pacific Islander
Two or more races
Low-income*
Non-low-income
Limited English proficiency
Limited English proficiency – monitored**
Non-limited English proficiency
IEP (students with disabilities)
Non-IEP
All students
American Indian
Asian
Black
Hispanic
White
Pacific Islander
Two or more races
Low-income*
Non-low-income
Limited English proficiency
Limited English proficiency – monitored**
Non-limited English proficiency
IEP (students with disabilities)
Non-IEP

*Low-income students are those eligible for the National School Lunch Program. Students with family incomes below 130 percent of the Federal Poverty Level are entitled to free school lunch, and students with family incomes below 185 percent of the Federal Poverty Level are entitled to a reduced-price lunch. The 2015 Federal Poverty Level for a family of four was $24,250 in annual income. In 2016, it is $24,300.
**When students are no longer designated as having Limited English proficiency, they are monitored for two years after the designation is removed to ensure they are making expected academic gains, per federal law.

Mathematics: Proficiency gaps between student subgroups (in percentage points)
White/Black gap
White/Hispanic gap
White/American Indian gap
White/Pacific Islander gap
White/Two or more races gap
Low-income/non-low income gap
Limited English proficiency/Non-limited English proficiency gap
IEP/Non-IEP gap
White/Black gap
White/Hispanic gap
White/American Indian gap
White/Pacific Islander gap
White/Two or more races gap
Low-income/non-low income gap
Limited English proficiency/Non-limited English proficiency gap
IEP/Non-IEP gap
English language arts/literacy: percentage of students achieving proficiency on PARCC (scoring at Levels 4 or 5), all grades
All students
American Indian
Asian
Black or African American
Hispanic or Latino
White
Pacific Islander
Two or more races
Low-income*
Non-low-income
Limited English proficiency
Limited English proficiency – monitored**
Non-limited English proficiency
IEP (students with disabilities)
Non-IEP
Male
Female
All students
American Indian
Asian
Black
Hispanic
White
Pacific Islander
Two or more races
Low-income*
Non-low-income
Limited English proficiency
Limited English proficiency – monitored**
Non-limited English proficiency
IEP (students with disabilities)
Non-IEP
Male
Female

*Low-income students are those eligible for the National School Lunch Program. Students with family incomes below 130 percent of the Federal Poverty Level are entitled to free school lunch, and students with family incomes below 185 percent of the Federal Poverty Level are entitled to a reduced-price lunch. The 2015 Federal Poverty Level for a family of four was $24,250 in annual income. In 2016, it is $24,300.
**When students are no longer designated as having Limited English proficiency, they are monitored for two years after the designation is removed to ensure they are making expected academic gains, per federal law.

English language arts/literacy: Proficiency gaps between student subgroups (in percentage points)
White/Black gap
White/Hispanic gap
White/American Indian gap
White/Pacific Islander gap
White/Two or more races gap
Low-income/non-low-income gap
Limited English proficiency/Non-limited English proficiency gap
IEP/Non-IEP gap
White/Black gap
White/Hispanic gap
White/American Indian gap
White/Pacific Islander gap
White/Two or more races gap
Low-income/non-low-income gap
Limited English proficiency/Non-limited English proficiency gap
IEP/Non-IEP gap
Sources
  1. All graphs: “Assessment Results,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed September 6, 2016, http://www.ride.ri.gov/InstructionAssessment/Assessment/AssessmentResults.aspx
  2. Graph notes: “National School Lunch Program,” New America Foundation, Edcyclopedia, accessed December 10, 2015, http://www.edcentral.org/edcyclopedia/national-school-lunch-program/.
  3. Graph notes: “Federal Poverty Level,” healthcare.gov, accessed December 10, 2015, https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/federal-poverty-level-FPL/.
  4. Graph notes: Issue Brief 4: English Language Learners,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed February 25, 2016, http://www.ride.ri.gov/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Funding-and-Finance-Wise-Investments/Funding-Sources/State-Education-Aid-Funding-Formula/FundingFormulaWorkingGroup/Mtg3-Issue_Brief_4.pdf.

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) proficiency rates

Every two years, the NAEP—also known as “The Nation’s Report Card”—tests a sample of students across the U.S., allowing us to assess not just overall proficiency, but also how Rhode Island students are faring relative to their peers in other states. While Rhode Island has seen some progress over time—both in overall proficiency and ranking relative to other states—digging deeper into the data reveals that we are serving some students particularly poorly. For example, proficiency rates among our Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander students are among the lowest in the nation and have been for the past decade. We also continue to be home to some of the worst proficiency gaps in the U.S., especially between white and Hispanic students and non-low-income and low-income students.

Percentage of Rhode Island students scoring proficient or advanced on NAEP: 4th grade math

Note: data are unavailable for Native American/Alaska Native students

Percentage of Rhode Island students scoring proficient or advanced on NAEP: 4th grade reading

Note: data are unavailable for Native American/Alaska Native students

Percentage of Rhode Island students scoring proficient or advanced on NAEP: 8th grade math

Note: data are unavailable for Native American/Alaska Native students

Percentage of Rhode Island students scoring proficient or advanced on NAEP: 8th grade reading

Note: data are unavailable for Native American/Alaska Native students

Rhode Island’s national ranking* in NAEP proficiency: 4th grade reading (proficiency rates in parentheses)
All students
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian/Pacific Islander
Low-income
All students
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian/Pacific Islander
Low-income

*Rankings include DC but are not always out of 51. NAEP does not test every student—it tests a sample of students in each state—and therefore states with small populations of racial/ethnic subgroups do not have large enough samples of those students to report proficiency rates.

Rhode Island’s national ranking* in NAEP proficiency gap size: 4th grade reading (largest gap ranked first)
White/Black gap
White/Hispanic gap
White/Asian or Pacific Islander gap
Non-low-income/low-income gap
White/Black gap
White/Hispanic gap
White/Asian or Pacific Islander gap
Non-low-income/low-income gap

*Rankings include DC but are not always out of 51. NAEP does not test every student—it tests a sample of students in each state—and therefore states with small populations of racial/ethnic subgroups do not have large enough samples of those students to report proficiency rates.

Rhode Island’s national ranking* in NAEP proficiency: 8th grade math (proficiency rates in parentheses)
All students
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian/Pacific Islander
Low-income
All students
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian/Pacific Islander
Low-income

*Rankings include DC but are not always out of 51. NAEP does not test every student—it tests a sample of students in each state—and therefore states with small populations of racial/ethnic subgroups do not have large enough samples of those students to report proficiency rates.

Rhode Island’s national ranking* in NAEP proficiency gap size: 8th grade math (largest gap ranked first)
White/Black gap
White/Hispanic gap
White/Asian or Pacific Islander gap
Non-low-income/low-income gap
White/Black gap
White/Hispanic gap
White/Asian or Pacific Islander gap
Non-low-income/low-income gap

*Rankings include DC but are not always out of 51. NAEP does not test every student—it tests a sample of students in each state—and therefore states with small populations of racial/ethnic subgroups do not have large enough samples of those students to report proficiency rates.

Source
  1. “NAEP data explorer,” U.S. Department of Education, accessed December 15, 2015, https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/naepdata/dataset.aspx.

Proficiency by international standards

A recent report used NAEP data to show how students across the U.S. measure up to international standards in reading and math. Only about one-third of American students hit the international standard for proficiency, and the number was lower in Rhode Island.

Percentage of students hitting international reading and math benchmarks*
Students proficient in math using international standards
Students proficient in math using international standards
Students proficient in reading using international standards
Students proficient in reading using international standards

*Calculated using NAEP scores as a proxy for scores on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)

Source
  1. Paul E. Peterson, Ludger Woessmann, Eric A. Hanushek and Carlos X. Lastra-Anadon, “Globally Challenged: Are U.S. Students Ready to Compete?” Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance (August 2011), accessed February 25, 2016, http://www.hks.harvard.edu/pepg/PDF/Papers/PEPG11-03_GloballyChallenged.pdf.

High school graduation rates

In recent years, Rhode Island’s graduation rates have been rising for most student groups, but our graduation rates continue to lag behind other states.

RHODE ISLAND COHORT GRADUATION RATES*
All students
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian/Pacific Islander
American Indian/Alaskan Native
Two or more races
Low-income
Limited English Proficiency
Students with disabilities
All students
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian/Pacific Islander
American Indian/Alaskan Native
Two or more races
Low-income
Limited English Proficiency
Students with disabilities
All students
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian/Pacific Islander
American Indian/Alaskan Native
Two or more races
Low-income
Limited English Proficiency
Students with disabilities
All students
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian/Pacific Islander
American Indian/Alaskan Native
Two or more races
Low-income
Limited English Proficiency
Students with disabilities
All students
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian/Pacific Islander
American Indian/Alaskan Native
Two or more races
Low-income
Limited English Proficiency
Students with disabilities

*Regulatory adjusted cohort graduation rates (the percentage of students from the original freshman cohort who graduated in four years with a regular high school diploma).

Note: 2014–2015 data were released by the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) in February 2016 and do not yet include percentages for every student subgroup. Data for 2013–2014 and earlier also originated from RIDE, but RI-CAN collected the data using the U.S. Department of Education’s ED Data Express tool, which provides a simple way to access graduation rates.

*Regulatory adjusted cohort graduation rates (the percentage of students from the original freshman cohort who graduated in four years with a regular high school diploma).

*Regulatory adjusted cohort graduation rates (the percentage of students from the original freshman cohort who graduated in four years with a regular high school diploma).

*Regulatory adjusted cohort graduation rates (the percentage of students from the original freshman cohort who graduated in four years with a regular high school diploma).

*Regulatory adjusted cohort graduation rates (the percentage of students from the original freshman cohort who graduated in four years with a regular high school diploma).

RHODE ISLAND’S NATIONAL RANKINGS* IN GRADUATION RATES
All students
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian/Pacific Islander
American Indian/Alaskan Native
Two or more races
Low-income
Limited English Proficiency
All students
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian/Pacific Islander
American Indian/Alaskan Native
Two or more races
Low-income
Limited English Proficiency
All students
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian/Pacific Islander
American Indian/Alaskan Native
Two or more races
Low-income
Limited English Proficiency
All students
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian/Pacific Islander
American Indian/Alaskan Native
Two or more races
Low-income
Limited English Proficiency

*Rankings include DC but are not always out of 51. Some states did not report graduation rates for certain subgroups in certain years to the U.S. Department of Education, the source of our data. The total number of states among which Rhode Island is ranked is noted in the chart.

Sources
  1. Graph 1: "Rhode Island’s High School Graduation Rates: 2009-2015," Rhode Island Department of Education, p. 3, accessed March 3, 2016, http://www.ride.ri.gov/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Students-and-Families-Great-Schools/RI-Public-Schools/Diploma-System/RI_High_School_Graduation_Rates_2009-2015.pdf.
  2. Graph 2: “ED Data Express,” U.S. Department of Education, accessed December 15, 2015, http://eddataexpress.ed.gov/state-tables-main.cfm.

Preparing for postsecondary education

How the system is working

SAT scores

A record number of U.S. students took the SAT in 2015, yet only 42 percent reached the college and career readiness benchmark of 1550. Rhode Island was no exception. Our participation rate has grown in the past five years, and our average score of 1472 is lower than it was five years ago. White students were the only subgroup of Rhode Islanders to score above the college and career readiness benchmark on average. African American, Hispanic and Puerto Rican students scored more than 300 points below the benchmark. While it is challenging to compare Rhode Island to other states due to varying SAT participation rates, the data below show that our SAT performance leaves substantial room for improvement and falls well below the national average.

Changes are coming to the SAT in 2016 and beyond. Test-makers are revising the content to better match what students need to know, and all students will now have access to free online test preparation. And Rhode Island is considering making the PSAT and SAT tests free to all Rhode Island high school students beginning in 2017.

SAT participation in Rhode Island over time
  2005 2010 2015
Grade 12 public school enrollment10,53310,69710,578
Number of public high school students taking the test5,9395,7146,238
swipe to explore the table
Average SAT scores*
  • Critical reading
  • Math
  • Writing
  • Total score (out of 2400 possible points)
{{{values}}} = {{{max}}}
{{{values}}} = {{{max}}}
{{{values}}} = {{{max}}}
{{{values}}} = {{{max}}}
1550 College and career-readiness benchmark

*A total score of 1550 is the college- and career-ready benchmark set by the College Board

Average SAT scores* by subgroup
  • Critical reading
  • Math
  • Writing
  • Total score (out of 2400 possible points)
{{{values}}} = {{{max}}} American Indian or Alaska Native
{{{values}}} = {{{max}}} Asian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander
{{{values}}} = {{{max}}} Black or African American
{{{values}}} = {{{max}}} Mexican or Mexican American
{{{values}}} = {{{max}}} Puerto Rican
{{{values}}} = {{{max}}} Other Hispanic, Latino, or Latin American
{{{values}}} = {{{max}}} White
{{{values}}} = {{{max}}} Other
{{{values}}} = {{{max}}} No response
{{{values}}} = {{{max}}} American Indian or Alaska Native
{{{values}}} = {{{max}}} Asian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander
{{{values}}} = {{{max}}} Black or African American
{{{values}}} = {{{max}}} Mexican or Mexican American
{{{values}}} = {{{max}}} Puerto Rican
{{{values}}} = {{{max}}} Other Hispanic, Latino, or Latin American
{{{values}}} = {{{max}}} White
{{{values}}} = {{{max}}} Other
{{{values}}} = {{{max}}} No response
1550 College and career-readiness benchmark

*A total score of 1550 is the college- and career-ready benchmark set by the College Board

Average SAT scores* nationwide
 Critical readingMathematicsWritingTotal score
United States
United States
495Critical reading
511Mathematics
484Writing
1490Total score
4955114841490
Alabama
Alabama
545Critical reading
538Mathematics
533Writing
1616Total score
5455385331616
Alaska
Alaska
509Critical reading
503Mathematics
482Writing
1494Total score
5095034821494
Arizona
Arizona
523Critical reading
527Mathematics
502Writing
1552Total score
5235275021552
Arkansas
Arkansas
568Critical reading
569Mathematics
551Writing
1688Total score
5685695511688
California
California
495Critical reading
506Mathematics
491Writing
1492Total score
4955064911492
Colorado
Colorado
582Critical reading
587Mathematics
567Writing
1736Total score
5825875671736
Connecticut
Connecticut
504Critical reading
506Mathematics
504Writing
1514Total score
5045065041514
Delaware
Delaware
462Critical reading
461Mathematics
445Writing
1368Total score
4624614451368
District of Columbia
District of Columbia
441Critical reading
440Mathematics
432Writing
1313Total score
4414404321313
Florida
Florida
486Critical reading
480Mathematics
468Writing
1434Total score
4864804681434
Georgia
Georgia
490Critical reading
485Mathematics
475Writing
1450Total score
4904854751450
Hawaii
Hawaii
487Critical reading
508Mathematics
477Writing
1472Total score
4875084771472
Idaho
Idaho
467Critical reading
463Mathematics
442Writing
1372Total score
4674634421372
Illinois
Illinois
599Critical reading
616Mathematics
587Writing
1802Total score
5996165871802
Indiana
Indiana
496Critical reading
499Mathematics
478Writing
1473Total score
4964994781473
Iowa
Iowa
589Critical reading
600Mathematics
566Writing
1755Total score
5896005661755
Kansas
Kansas
588Critical reading
592Mathematics
568Writing
1748Total score
5885925681748
Kentucky
Kentucky
588Critical reading
587Mathematics
574Writing
1749Total score
5885875741749
Louisiana
Louisiana
563Critical reading
559Mathematics
553Writing
1675Total score
5635595531675
Maine
Maine
468Critical reading
473Mathematics
451Writing
1392Total score
4684734511392
Maryland
Maryland
491Critical reading
493Mathematics
478Writing
1462Total score
4914934781462
Massachusetts
Massachusetts
516Critical reading
529Mathematics
507Writing
1552Total score
5165295071552
Michigan
Michigan
594Critical reading
609Mathematics
585Writing
1788Total score
5946095851788
Minnesota
Minnesota
595Critical reading
607Mathematics
576Writing
1778Total score
5956075761778
Mississippi
Mississippi
580Critical reading
563Mathematics
570Writing
1713Total score
5805635701713
Missouri
Missouri
596Critical reading
599Mathematics
582Writing
1777Total score
5965995821777
Montana
Montana
561Critical reading
556Mathematics
538Writing
1655Total score
5615565381655
Nebraska
Nebraska
589Critical reading
590Mathematics
576Writing
1755Total score
5895905761755
Nevada
Nevada
494Critical reading
494Mathematics
470Writing
1458Total score
4944944701458
New Hampshire
New Hampshire
525Critical reading
530Mathematics
511Writing
1566Total score
5255305111566
New Jersey
New Jersey
500Critical reading
521Mathematics
499Writing
1520Total score
5005214991520
New Mexico
New Mexico
551Critical reading
544Mathematics
528Writing
1623Total score
5515445281623
New York
New York
489Critical reading
502Mathematics
478Writing
1469Total score
4895024781469
North Carolina
North Carolina
498Critical reading
504Mathematics
476Writing
1478Total score
4985044761478
North Dakota
North Dakota
597Critical reading
608Mathematics
586Writing
1791Total score
5976085861791
Ohio
Ohio
557Critical reading
563Mathematics
537Writing
1657Total score
5575635371657
Oklahoma
Oklahoma
576Critical reading
569Mathematics
548Writing
1693Total score
5765695481693
Oregon
Oregon
523Critical reading
521Mathematics
502Writing
1546Total score
5235215021546
Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
499Critical reading
504Mathematics
482Writing
1485Total score
4995044821485
Rhode Island
Rhode Island
494Critical reading
494Mathematics
484Writing
1472Total score
4944944841472
South Carolina
South Carolina
488Critical reading
487Mathematics
467Writing
1442Total score
4884874671442
South Dakota
South Dakota
592Critical reading
597Mathematics
564Writing
1753Total score
5925975641753
Tennessee
Tennessee
581Critical reading
574Mathematics
568Writing
1723Total score
5815745681723
Texas
Texas
470Critical reading
486Mathematics
454Writing
1410Total score
4704864541410
Utah
Utah
579Critical reading
575Mathematics
554Writing
1708Total score
5795755541708
Vermont
Vermont
523Critical reading
524Mathematics
507Writing
1554Total score
5235245071554
Virginia
Virginia
518Critical reading
516Mathematics
499Writing
1533Total score
5185164991533
Washington
Washington
502Critical reading
510Mathematics
484Writing
1496Total score
5025104841496
West Virginia
West Virginia
509Critical reading
497Mathematics
495Writing
1501Total score
5094974951501
Wisconsin
Wisconsin
591Critical reading
605Mathematics
575Writing
1771Total score
5916055751771
Wyoming
Wyoming
589Critical reading
586Mathematics
562Writing
1737Total score
5895865621737
 Critical readingMathematicsWritingTotal score
United States
United States
495Critical reading
511Mathematics
484Writing
1490Total score
4955114841490
Alabama
Alabama
545Critical reading
538Mathematics
533Writing
1616Total score
5455385331616
Alaska
Alaska
509Critical reading
503Mathematics
482Writing
1494Total score
5095034821494
Arizona
Arizona
523Critical reading
527Mathematics
502Writing
1552Total score
5235275021552
Arkansas
Arkansas
568Critical reading
569Mathematics
551Writing
1688Total score
5685695511688
California
California
495Critical reading
506Mathematics
491Writing
1492Total score
4955064911492
Colorado
Colorado
582Critical reading
587Mathematics
567Writing
1736Total score
5825875671736
Connecticut
Connecticut
504Critical reading
506Mathematics
504Writing
1514Total score
5045065041514
Delaware
Delaware
462Critical reading
461Mathematics
445Writing
1368Total score
4624614451368
District of Columbia
District of Columbia
441Critical reading
440Mathematics
432Writing
1313Total score
4414404321313
Florida
Florida
486Critical reading
480Mathematics
468Writing
1434Total score
4864804681434
Georgia
Georgia
490Critical reading
485Mathematics
475Writing
1450Total score
4904854751450
Hawaii
Hawaii
487Critical reading
508Mathematics
477Writing
1472Total score
4875084771472
Idaho
Idaho
467Critical reading
463Mathematics
442Writing
1372Total score
4674634421372
Illinois
Illinois
599Critical reading
616Mathematics
587Writing
1802Total score
5996165871802
Indiana
Indiana
496Critical reading
499Mathematics
478Writing
1473Total score
4964994781473
Iowa
Iowa
589Critical reading
600Mathematics
566Writing
1755Total score
5896005661755
Kansas
Kansas
588Critical reading
592Mathematics
568Writing
1748Total score
5885925681748
Kentucky
Kentucky
588Critical reading
587Mathematics
574Writing
1749Total score
5885875741749
Louisiana
Louisiana
563Critical reading
559Mathematics
553Writing
1675Total score
5635595531675
Maine
Maine
468Critical reading
473Mathematics
451Writing
1392Total score
4684734511392
Maryland
Maryland
491Critical reading
493Mathematics
478Writing
1462Total score
4914934781462
Massachusetts
Massachusetts
516Critical reading
529Mathematics
507Writing
1552Total score
5165295071552
Michigan
Michigan
594Critical reading
609Mathematics
585Writing
1788Total score
5946095851788
Minnesota
Minnesota
595Critical reading
607Mathematics
576Writing
1778Total score
5956075761778
Mississippi
Mississippi
580Critical reading
563Mathematics
570Writing
1713Total score
5805635701713
 Critical readingMathematicsWritingTotal score
Missouri
Missouri
596Critical reading
599Mathematics
582Writing
1777Total score
5965995821777
Montana
Montana
561Critical reading
556Mathematics
538Writing
1655Total score
5615565381655
Nebraska
Nebraska
589Critical reading
590Mathematics
576Writing
1755Total score
5895905761755
Nevada
Nevada
494Critical reading
494Mathematics
470Writing
1458Total score
4944944701458
New Hampshire
New Hampshire
525Critical reading
530Mathematics
511Writing
1566Total score
5255305111566
New Jersey
New Jersey
500Critical reading
521Mathematics
499Writing
1520Total score
5005214991520
New Mexico
New Mexico
551Critical reading
544Mathematics
528Writing
1623Total score
5515445281623
New York
New York
489Critical reading
502Mathematics
478Writing
1469Total score
4895024781469
North Carolina
North Carolina
498Critical reading
504Mathematics
476Writing
1478Total score
4985044761478
North Dakota
North Dakota
597Critical reading
608Mathematics
586Writing
1791Total score
5976085861791
Ohio
Ohio
557Critical reading
563Mathematics
537Writing
1657Total score
5575635371657
Oklahoma
Oklahoma
576Critical reading
569Mathematics
548Writing
1693Total score
5765695481693
Oregon
Oregon
523Critical reading
521Mathematics
502Writing
1546Total score
5235215021546
Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
499Critical reading
504Mathematics
482Writing
1485Total score
4995044821485
Rhode Island
Rhode Island
494Critical reading
494Mathematics
484Writing
1472Total score
4944944841472
South Carolina
South Carolina
488Critical reading
487Mathematics
467Writing
1442Total score
4884874671442
South Dakota
South Dakota
592Critical reading
597Mathematics
564Writing
1753Total score
5925975641753
Tennessee
Tennessee
581Critical reading
574Mathematics
568Writing
1723Total score
5815745681723
Texas
Texas
470Critical reading
486Mathematics
454Writing
1410Total score
4704864541410
Utah
Utah
579Critical reading
575Mathematics
554Writing
1708Total score
5795755541708
Vermont
Vermont
523Critical reading
524Mathematics
507Writing
1554Total score
5235245071554
Virginia
Virginia
518Critical reading
516Mathematics
499Writing
1533Total score
5185164991533
Washington
Washington
502Critical reading
510Mathematics
484Writing
1496Total score
5025104841496
West Virginia
West Virginia
509Critical reading
497Mathematics
495Writing
1501Total score
5094974951501
Wisconsin
Wisconsin
591Critical reading
605Mathematics
575Writing
1771Total score
5916055751771
Wyoming
Wyoming
589Critical reading
586Mathematics
562Writing
1737Total score
5895865621737

*A total score of 1550 is the college- and career-ready benchmark set by the College Board

Note: Due to differing SAT participation rates across states, readers are discouraged from making direct comparisons between state scores. In states with low participation rates, scores may be skewed by self-selection into the exam.

Sources
  1. Introduction: Millie Dent, “SAT Scores Drop to Lowest Levels in a Decade,” The Fiscal Times (September 4, 2015), accessed December 9, 2015, http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/09/04/SAT-Scores-Drop-Lowest-Levels-Decade.
  2. Introduction: Alison Stewart and Janet Lorin, “What accounts for the dramatic dip in SAT scores?” PBS Newshour (September 6, 2015), accessed December 9, 2015, http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/sat-scores-low/.
  3. Introduction: Charlotte Alter, “7 Ways the SAT Is Changing,” TIME (June 2, 2015), accessed December 9, 2015, http://time.com/3904911/sat-changes/.
  4. Graph 1: “2005 College-Bound Seniors: State Profile Report: Rhode Island,” College Board, p. 15, accessed December 15, 2015, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/research/cb-seniors-2005-rhode-island.pdf.
  5. Graph 1: Enrollment, Dropout and Graduation Data,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed December 15, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/InformationAccountability/RIEducationData/EnrollmentGraduationData.aspx.
  6. Graphs 1, 2: “2010 College-Bound Seniors: State Profile Report: Rhode Island,” College Board, p. 2, accessed December 15, 2015, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/research/RI_10_03_03_01.pdf.
  7. Graphs 1, 2, 3: “2015 College-Bound Seniors: State Profile Report: Rhode Island,” College Board, p. 2, accessed December 15, 2015, https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/sat/RI_15_03_03_01.pdf.
  8. Graph 2: "2010 College-Bound Seniors: Total Group Profile Report," College Board, p. 1, accessed March 16, 2016, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/research/2010-total-group-profile-report-cbs.pdf.
  9. Graphs 2, 3: "2015 College-Bound Seniors: Total Group Profile Report," College Board, pp. 1 & 3, accessed March 16, 2016, https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/sat/total-group-2015.pdf.
  10. Graph 4: “The 2015 SAT Report on College & Career Readiness,” College Board, accessed December 15, 2015, http://research.collegeboard.org/programs/sat/data/cb-seniors-2015.

ACT scores

Although the ACT is growing in popularity in Rhode Island and across the U.S., many fewer Ocean State students take the ACT than the SAT. For that reason, ACT scores are a less comprehensive and reliable indicator of college and career readiness in Rhode Island compared to SAT scores. (RI students who take the ACT may not be representative of the student population as a whole).

Percentage of high school graduates taking the ACT
Percentage of ACT-takers meeting all four college readiness benchmarks (English, math, reading, science)
All students
African American/Black
American Indian/Alaskan Native
Caucasian American/White
Hispanic
Asian
Two or more races
All students
African American/Black
American Indian/Alaskan Native
Caucasian American/White
Hispanic
Asian
Two or more races
All students
African American/Black
American Indian/Alaskan Native
Caucasian American/White
Hispanic
Asian
Two or more races
All students
African American/Black
American Indian/Alaskan Native
Caucasian American/White
Hispanic
Asian
Two or more races
All students
African American/Black
American Indian/Alaskan Native
Caucasian American/White
Hispanic
Asian
Two or more races
All students
African American/Black
American Indian/Alaskan Native
Caucasian American/White
Hispanic
Asian
Two or more races

Note: 2006 is the first year that ACT began reporting data in its current format and showing the percentage of students meeting college readiness benchmarks by race/ethnicity.

Sources
  1. “ACT High School Profile Report: The Graduating Class of 2006: Rhode Island,” ACT, pp. 7 & 19, accessed March 9, 2016, http://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/Natl-Scores-2006-Rhodeisland.pdf.
  2. “ACT High School Profile Report: The Graduating Class of 2006: National,” ACT, pp. 7 & 19, accessed March 9, 2016, http://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/Natl-Scores-2006-National2006.pdf.
  3. “ACT Profile Report - State: The Graduating Class of 2010: Rhode Island,” ACT, pp. 7 & 22, accessed March 9, 2016, http://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/Natl-Scores-2010-RhodeIsland.pdf.
  4. “ACT Profile Report - National: The Graduating Class of 2010: National,” ACT, pp. 7 & 22, accessed March 9, 2016, http://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/Natl-Scores-2010-National2010.pdf.
  5. “ACT Profile Report - State: The Graduating Class of 2015: Rhode Island,” ACT, pp. 7 & 22, accessed March 9, 2016, http://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/new-research/2015_Profile_Report_Rhode_Island.pdf.
  6. “ACT Profile Report - National: The Graduating Class of 2015: National,” ACT, pp. 7 & 22, accessed March 9, 2016, http://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/new-research/2015_Profile_Report_National.pdf.

AP participation and outcomes

Advanced Placement (AP) test-taking rates have risen significantly over the past decade, but AP access and outcomes remain very inequitable.

Percentage of Rhode Island graduates leaving high school having taken an AP exam
All students
Black/African American
Hispanic/Latino
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander
White
All students
Black/African American
Hispanic/Latino
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander
White
All students
Black/African American
Hispanic/Latino
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander
White
All students
Black/African American
Hispanic/Latino
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander
White
Percentage of Rhode Island graduates leaving high school having scored a 3 or higher on an AP exam
All students
Black/African American
Hispanic/Latino
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander
White
All students
Black/African American
Hispanic/Latino
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander
White
All students
Black/African American
Hispanic/Latino
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander
White
All students
Black/African American
Hispanic/Latino
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander
White
Mean AP exam scores in Rhode Island by race/ethnicity (out of 5)*
All students
American Indian
Asian
Black
Mexican American
Puerto Rican
Other Hispanic
White
All students
American Indian
Asian
Black
Mexican American
Puerto Rican
Other Hispanic
White
All students
American Indian
Asian
Black
Mexican American
Puerto Rican
Other Hispanic
White

*A score of 3 out of 5 indicates a student would be expected to earn at least a C in the college course equivalent of the tested subject.

Sources
  1. “The 10th Annual AP Report to the Nation: Rhode Island,” College Board (February 11, 2014), accessed March 3, 2016, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/ap/rtn/10th-annual/10th-annual-ap-report-state-supplement-rhode-island.pdf.
  2. “The 9th Annual AP Report to the Nation,” College Board (February 13, 2013), p. 17 & 36, accessed March 3, 2016, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/public/pdf/ap/rtn/9th-annual-ap-report-to-the-nation-single-page.pdf.
  3. “The 5th Annual AP Report to the Nation: Rhode Island,” College Board (February 4, 2009), p. 6, accessed March 3, 2016, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/ap/rtn/Rhode-Island-AP-Report-2009.pdf.
  4. Graph 3: "AP Data," CollegeBoard, last accessed June 10, 2016, https://research.collegeboard.org/programs/ap/data.

Postsecondary education outcomes

How the system is working

College enrollment

Rhode Island sends about two-thirds of its high school graduates on to postsecondary institutions, an above-average percentage according to the most recent federal data.

Percentage of Rhode Island high school graduates enrolling in a postsecondary institution within 12 months of graduation
Estimated percentage of high school graduates (public and private) enrolling in college within 12 months of graduation
 Value
1. Mississippi
Mississippi
78.8Value
78.8
2. Connecticut
Connecticut
78.7Value
78.7
3. Massachusetts
Massachusetts
73.2Value
73.2
4. New Mexico
New Mexico
72.4Value
72.4
5. South Dakota
South Dakota
71.8Value
71.8
6. Minnesota
Minnesota
70.9Value
70.9
7. Nebraska
Nebraska
69.5Value
69.5
8. New York
New York
68.9Value
68.9
9. New Jersey
New Jersey
68.6Value
68.6
10. South Carolina
South Carolina
68.3Value
68.3
11. Georgia
Georgia
67.7Value
67.7
12. North Dakota
North Dakota
67.4Value
67.4
13. Iowa
Iowa
66.6Value
66.6
14. Indiana
Indiana
65.8Value
65.8
T-15. Rhode Island
Rhode Island
65.4Value
65.4
T-15. Arkansas
Arkansas
65.4Value
65.4
T-17. Kansas
Kansas
64.7Value
64.7
T-17. Louisiana
Louisiana
64.7Value
64.7
T-19. New Hampshire
New Hampshire
64.3Value
64.3
T-19. Alabama
Alabama
64.3Value
64.3
T-21. Maryland
Maryland
64.0Value
64.0
T-21. North Carolina
North Carolina
64.0Value
64.0
23. Virginia
Virginia
63.9Value
63.9
24. Hawaii
Hawaii
63.6Value
63.6
25. Florida
Florida
63.0Value
63.0
26. Kentucky
Kentucky
62.9Value
62.9
United States
United States
62.8Value
62.8
27. Tennessee
Tennessee
62.0Value
62.0
28. Michigan
Michigan
61.9Value
61.9
29. California
California
61.7Value
61.7
30. Ohio
Ohio
61.5Value
61.5
31. Missouri
Missouri
61.4Value
61.4
32. Colorado
Colorado
61.2Value
61.2
33. Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
60.9Value
60.9
34. Montana
Montana
60.5Value
60.5
35. Wyoming
Wyoming
60.4Value
60.4
36. Oklahoma
Oklahoma
60.2Value
60.2
37. Wisconsin
Wisconsin
60.1Value
60.1
38. West Virginia
West Virginia
59.2Value
59.2
39. Illinois
Illinois
58.7Value
58.7
40. Arizona
Arizona
57.9Value
57.9
T-41. Maine
Maine
56.2Value
56.2
T-41. Texas
Texas
56.2Value
56.2
43. Vermont
Vermont
53.5Value
53.5
44. Utah
Utah
53.3Value
53.3
45. Nevada
Nevada
51.8Value
51.8
46. District of Columbia
District of Columbia
50.7Value
50.7
47. Washington
Washington
48.3Value
48.3
48. Oregon
Oregon
47.8Value
47.8
49. Delaware
Delaware
47.3Value
47.3
50. Alaska
Alaska
46.4Value
46.4
51. Idaho
Idaho
45.1Value
45.1
 Value
1. Mississippi
Mississippi
78.8Value
78.8
2. Connecticut
Connecticut
78.7Value
78.7
3. Massachusetts
Massachusetts
73.2Value
73.2
4. New Mexico
New Mexico
72.4Value
72.4
5. South Dakota
South Dakota
71.8Value
71.8
6. Minnesota
Minnesota
70.9Value
70.9
7. Nebraska
Nebraska
69.5Value
69.5
8. New York
New York
68.9Value
68.9
9. New Jersey
New Jersey
68.6Value
68.6
10. South Carolina
South Carolina
68.3Value
68.3
11. Georgia
Georgia
67.7Value
67.7
12. North Dakota
North Dakota
67.4Value
67.4
13. Iowa
Iowa
66.6Value
66.6
14. Indiana
Indiana
65.8Value
65.8
T-15. Rhode Island
Rhode Island
65.4Value
65.4
T-15. Arkansas
Arkansas
65.4Value
65.4
T-17. Kansas
Kansas
64.7Value
64.7
T-17. Louisiana
Louisiana
64.7Value
64.7
 Value
T-19. New Hampshire
New Hampshire
64.3Value
64.3
T-19. Alabama
Alabama
64.3Value
64.3
T-21. Maryland
Maryland
64.0Value
64.0
T-21. North Carolina
North Carolina
64.0Value
64.0
23. Virginia
Virginia
63.9Value
63.9
24. Hawaii
Hawaii
63.6Value
63.6
25. Florida
Florida
63.0Value
63.0
26. Kentucky
Kentucky
62.9Value
62.9
United States
United States
62.8Value
62.8
27. Tennessee
Tennessee
62.0Value
62.0
28. Michigan
Michigan
61.9Value
61.9
29. California
California
61.7Value
61.7
30. Ohio
Ohio
61.5Value
61.5
31. Missouri
Missouri
61.4Value
61.4
32. Colorado
Colorado
61.2Value
61.2
33. Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
60.9Value
60.9
34. Montana
Montana
60.5Value
60.5
35. Wyoming
Wyoming
60.4Value
60.4
 Value
36. Oklahoma
Oklahoma
60.2Value
60.2
37. Wisconsin
Wisconsin
60.1Value
60.1
38. West Virginia
West Virginia
59.2Value
59.2
39. Illinois
Illinois
58.7Value
58.7
40. Arizona
Arizona
57.9Value
57.9
T-41. Maine
Maine
56.2Value
56.2
T-41. Texas
Texas
56.2Value
56.2
43. Vermont
Vermont
53.5Value
53.5
44. Utah
Utah
53.3Value
53.3
45. Nevada
Nevada
51.8Value
51.8
46. District of Columbia
District of Columbia
50.7Value
50.7
47. Washington
Washington
48.3Value
48.3
48. Oregon
Oregon
47.8Value
47.8
49. Delaware
Delaware
47.3Value
47.3
50. Alaska
Alaska
46.4Value
46.4
51. Idaho
Idaho
45.1Value
45.1
 Value
1. Mississippi
Mississippi
78.8Value
78.8
2. Connecticut
Connecticut
70.8Value
70.8
3. Massachusetts
Massachusetts
70.7Value
70.7
4. New York
New York
70.0Value
70.0
5. Minnesota
Minnesota
69.9Value
69.9
6. New Mexico
New Mexico
69.4Value
69.4
7. South Dakota
South Dakota
68.9Value
68.9
8. New Jersey
New Jersey
67.9Value
67.9
9. Arkansas
Arkansas
67.2Value
67.2
10. Rhode Island
Rhode Island
67.1Value
67.1
11. Georgia
Georgia
66.5Value
66.5
T-12. South Carolina
South Carolina
65.3Value
65.3
T-12. Kansas
Kansas
65.3Value
65.3
14. North Dakota
North Dakota
64.9Value
64.9
15. Delaware
Delaware
64.8Value
64.8
T-16. Hawaii
Hawaii
64.7Value
64.7
T-16. Louisiana
Louisiana
64.7Value
64.7
T-18. Virginia
Virginia
64.6Value
64.6
T-18. Nebraska
Nebraska
64.6Value
64.6
20. Indiana
Indiana
63.0Value
63.0
21. Kentucky
Kentucky
62.9Value
62.9
22. Florida
Florida
62.8Value
62.8
T-23. Missouri
Missouri
61.9Value
61.9
T-23. North Carolina
North Carolina
61.9Value
61.9
T-25. New Hampshire
New Hampshire
61.7Value
61.7
United States
United States
61.7Value
61.7
26. Michigan
Michigan
61.5Value
61.5
27. Maryland
Maryland
60.5Value
60.5
28. Tennessee
Tennessee
60.4Value
60.4
29. Illinois
Illinois
60.2Value
60.2
30. Ohio
Ohio
59.9Value
59.9
31. Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
59.4Value
59.4
32. Alabama
Alabama
59.3Value
59.3
33. Colorado
Colorado
59.2Value
59.2
34. Wisconsin
Wisconsin
58.6Value
58.6
35. California
California
58.5Value
58.5
36. Montana
Montana
58.3Value
58.3
T-37. Texas
Texas
57.7Value
57.7
T-37. Oklahoma
Oklahoma
57.7Value
57.7
39. Wyoming
Wyoming
56.6Value
56.6
40. Iowa
Iowa
56.5Value
56.5
41. West Virginia
West Virginia
55.7Value
55.7
42. Nevada
Nevada
54.1Value
54.1
43. Maine
Maine
53.9Value
53.9
44. Vermont
Vermont
53.2Value
53.2
45. Arizona
Arizona
53.1Value
53.1
46. Utah
Utah
50.8Value
50.8
47. Idaho
Idaho
48.2Value
48.2
48. Washington
Washington
48.0Value
48.0
49. Oregon
Oregon
46.9Value
46.9
50. Alaska
Alaska
45.6Value
45.6
51. District of Columbia
District of Columbia
43.4Value
43.4
 Value
1. Mississippi
Mississippi
78.8Value
78.8
2. Connecticut
Connecticut
70.8Value
70.8
3. Massachusetts
Massachusetts
70.7Value
70.7
4. New York
New York
70.0Value
70.0
5. Minnesota
Minnesota
69.9Value
69.9
6. New Mexico
New Mexico
69.4Value
69.4
7. South Dakota
South Dakota
68.9Value
68.9
8. New Jersey
New Jersey
67.9Value
67.9
9. Arkansas
Arkansas
67.2Value
67.2
10. Rhode Island
Rhode Island
67.1Value
67.1
11. Georgia
Georgia
66.5Value
66.5
T-12. South Carolina
South Carolina
65.3Value
65.3
T-12. Kansas
Kansas
65.3Value
65.3
14. North Dakota
North Dakota
64.9Value
64.9
15. Delaware
Delaware
64.8Value
64.8
T-16. Hawaii
Hawaii
64.7Value
64.7
T-16. Louisiana
Louisiana
64.7Value
64.7
T-18. Virginia
Virginia
64.6Value
64.6
 Value
T-18. Nebraska
Nebraska
64.6Value
64.6
20. Indiana
Indiana
63.0Value
63.0
21. Kentucky
Kentucky
62.9Value
62.9
22. Florida
Florida
62.8Value
62.8
T-23. Missouri
Missouri
61.9Value
61.9
T-23. North Carolina
North Carolina
61.9Value
61.9
T-25. New Hampshire
New Hampshire
61.7Value
61.7
United States
United States
61.7Value
61.7
26. Michigan
Michigan
61.5Value
61.5
27. Maryland
Maryland
60.5Value
60.5
28. Tennessee
Tennessee
60.4Value
60.4
29. Illinois
Illinois
60.2Value
60.2
30. Ohio
Ohio
59.9Value
59.9
31. Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
59.4Value
59.4
32. Alabama
Alabama
59.3Value
59.3
33. Colorado
Colorado
59.2Value
59.2
34. Wisconsin
Wisconsin
58.6Value
58.6
35. California
California
58.5Value
58.5
 Value
36. Montana
Montana
58.3Value
58.3
T-37. Texas
Texas
57.7Value
57.7
T-37. Oklahoma
Oklahoma
57.7Value
57.7
39. Wyoming
Wyoming
56.6Value
56.6
40. Iowa
Iowa
56.5Value
56.5
41. West Virginia
West Virginia
55.7Value
55.7
42. Nevada
Nevada
54.1Value
54.1
43. Maine
Maine
53.9Value
53.9
44. Vermont
Vermont
53.2Value
53.2
45. Arizona
Arizona
53.1Value
53.1
46. Utah
Utah
50.8Value
50.8
47. Idaho
Idaho
48.2Value
48.2
48. Washington
Washington
48.0Value
48.0
49. Oregon
Oregon
46.9Value
46.9
50. Alaska
Alaska
45.6Value
45.6
51. District of Columbia
District of Columbia
43.4Value
43.4

Note: These are U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) data and therefore the numbers may not be completely comparable with Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) numbers.

Source
  1. "Estimated rate of high school graduates attending degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by state," U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics (browse by year), last accessed June 10, 2016, https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/current_tables.asp.

College completion

Only a little more than half of students in Rhode Island’s four-year universities are graduating within six years. African American and Latino students are much less likely to graduate within six years than white students.

Percentage of Rhode Island college students graduating from 2-year public colleges within three years
All students
White
African American
Latino
Asian
Native American
Asian/Pacific Islander
Two or more races
All students
White
African American
Latino
Asian
Native American
Asian/Pacific Islander
Two or more races
All students
White
African American
Latino
Asian
Native American
Asian/Pacific Islander
Two or more races
All students
White
African American
Latino
Asian
Native American
Asian/Pacific Islander
Two or more races

Note: The three-year graduation rate for a cohort year is the percentage of students matriculating in the fall of that year who graduate by the spring of the year three years later. For example, the three-year graduation rate for members of cohort year 2011 is the percentage of those students graduating by the spring of 2014.

Note: The three-year graduation rate for a cohort year is the percentage of students matriculating in the fall of that year who graduate by the spring of the year three years later. For example, the three-year graduation rate for members of cohort year 2011 is the percentage of those students graduating by the spring of 2014.

Percentage of Rhode Island college students graduating from 4-year public universities within six years
All students
White
African American
Latino
Asian
Native American
Asian/Pacific Islander
All students
White
African American
Latino
Asian
Native American
Asian/Pacific Islander
All students
White
African American
Latino
Asian
Native American
Asian/Pacific Islander
All students
White
African American
Latino
Asian
Native American
Asian/Pacific Islander

Note: The six-year graduation rate for a cohort year is the percentage of students matriculating in the fall of that year who graduate by the spring of the year six years later. For example, the six-year graduation rate for members of cohort year 2008 is the percentage of those students graduating by the spring of 2014.

Note: The six-year graduation rate for a cohort year is the percentage of students matriculating in the fall of that year who graduate by the spring of the year six years later. For example, the six-year graduation rate for members of cohort year 2008 is the percentage of those students graduating by the spring of 2014.

Percentage of college students nationwide graduating from 4-year public universities within six years
 Value
1. Delaware
Delaware
73.2Value
73.2
2. Virginia
Virginia
70.4Value
70.4
3. Iowa
Iowa
68.4Value
68.4
4. New Jersey
New Jersey
68.3Value
68.3
5. New Hampshire
New Hampshire
67.8Value
67.8
6. California
California
65.9Value
65.9
7. Vermont
Vermont
64.2Value
64.2
8. Connecticut
Connecticut
63.5Value
63.5
T-9. Maryland
Maryland
63.0Value
63.0
T-9. North Carolina
North Carolina
63.0Value
63.0
11. Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
62.8Value
62.8
12. Illinois
Illinois
62.3Value
62.3
13. South Carolina
South Carolina
61.3Value
61.3
14. Massachusetts
Massachusetts
59.5Value
59.5
15. Washington
Washington
59.3Value
59.3
16. Minnesota
Minnesota
59.2Value
59.2
17. Arizona
Arizona
59.0Value
59.0
18. Wisconsin
Wisconsin
58.6Value
58.6
T-19. Michigan
Michigan
58.2Value
58.2
T-19. Oregon
Oregon
58.2Value
58.2
21. Nebraska
Nebraska
57.0Value
57.0
22. Missouri
Missouri
55.9Value
55.9
United States
United States
55.6Value
55.6
T-23. Colorado
Colorado
54.4Value
54.4
T-23. Rhode Island
Rhode Island
54.4Value
54.4
25. Indiana
Indiana
54.2Value
54.2
26. Wyoming
Wyoming
54.0Value
54.0
27. New York
New York
53.5Value
53.5
28. Kansas
Kansas
53.0Value
53.0
29. Mississippi
Mississippi
52.3Value
52.3
30. Ohio
Ohio
52.2Value
52.2
31. North Dakota
North Dakota
51.3Value
51.3
32. Florida
Florida
50.8Value
50.8
33. Texas
Texas
50.6Value
50.6
34. Alabama
Alabama
50.4Value
50.4
35. South Dakota
South Dakota
50.2Value
50.2
36. Tennessee
Tennessee
49.5Value
49.5
37. Maine
Maine
48.2Value
48.2
38. Kentucky
Kentucky
47.9Value
47.9
39. Louisiana
Louisiana
46.1Value
46.1
40. Hawaii
Hawaii
45.4Value
45.4
41. West Virginia
West Virginia
44.7Value
44.7
42. Montana
Montana
44.5Value
44.5
43. Utah
Utah
43.8Value
43.8
44. Oklahoma
Oklahoma
43.7Value
43.7
45. Arkansas
Arkansas
42.1Value
42.1
46. Georgia
Georgia
41.3Value
41.3
47. New Mexico
New Mexico
40.9Value
40.9
48. Idaho
Idaho
40.8Value
40.8
49. Nevada
Nevada
35.4Value
35.4
50. Alaska
Alaska
26.9Value
26.9
51. District of Columbia
District of Columbia
13.3Value
13.3
 Value
1. Delaware
Delaware
73.2Value
73.2
2. Virginia
Virginia
70.4Value
70.4
3. Iowa
Iowa
68.4Value
68.4
4. New Jersey
New Jersey
68.3Value
68.3
5. New Hampshire
New Hampshire
67.8Value
67.8
6. California
California
65.9Value
65.9
7. Vermont
Vermont
64.2Value
64.2
8. Connecticut
Connecticut
63.5Value
63.5
T-9. Maryland
Maryland
63.0Value
63.0
T-9. North Carolina
North Carolina
63.0Value
63.0
11. Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
62.8Value
62.8
12. Illinois
Illinois
62.3Value
62.3
13. South Carolina
South Carolina
61.3Value
61.3
14. Massachusetts
Massachusetts
59.5Value
59.5
15. Washington
Washington
59.3Value
59.3
16. Minnesota
Minnesota
59.2Value
59.2
17. Arizona
Arizona
59.0Value
59.0
18. Wisconsin
Wisconsin
58.6Value
58.6
 Value
T-19. Michigan
Michigan
58.2Value
58.2
T-19. Oregon
Oregon
58.2Value
58.2
21. Nebraska
Nebraska
57.0Value
57.0
22. Missouri
Missouri
55.9Value
55.9
United States
United States
55.6Value
55.6
T-23. Colorado
Colorado
54.4Value
54.4
T-23. Rhode Island
Rhode Island
54.4Value
54.4
25. Indiana
Indiana
54.2Value
54.2
26. Wyoming
Wyoming
54.0Value
54.0
27. New York
New York
53.5Value
53.5
28. Kansas
Kansas
53.0Value
53.0
29. Mississippi
Mississippi
52.3Value
52.3
30. Ohio
Ohio
52.2Value
52.2
31. North Dakota
North Dakota
51.3Value
51.3
32. Florida
Florida
50.8Value
50.8
33. Texas
Texas
50.6Value
50.6
34. Alabama
Alabama
50.4Value
50.4
35. South Dakota
South Dakota
50.2Value
50.2
 Value
36. Tennessee
Tennessee
49.5Value
49.5
37. Maine
Maine
48.2Value
48.2
38. Kentucky
Kentucky
47.9Value
47.9
39. Louisiana
Louisiana
46.1Value
46.1
40. Hawaii
Hawaii
45.4Value
45.4
41. West Virginia
West Virginia
44.7Value
44.7
42. Montana
Montana
44.5Value
44.5
43. Utah
Utah
43.8Value
43.8
44. Oklahoma
Oklahoma
43.7Value
43.7
45. Arkansas
Arkansas
42.1Value
42.1
46. Georgia
Georgia
41.3Value
41.3
47. New Mexico
New Mexico
40.9Value
40.9
48. Idaho
Idaho
40.8Value
40.8
49. Nevada
Nevada
35.4Value
35.4
50. Alaska
Alaska
26.9Value
26.9
51. District of Columbia
District of Columbia
13.3Value
13.3

Note: The six-year graduation rate for a cohort year is the percentage of students matriculating in the fall of that year who graduate by the spring of the year six years later. For example, the six-year graduation rate for members of cohort year 2008 is the percentage of those students graduating by the spring of 2014.

Percentage of individuals age 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher
Total
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian
Two or more races
Total
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian
Two or more races
Total
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian
Two or more races
Total
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian
Two or more races
Total
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian
Two or more races
Total
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian
Two or more races
Sources
  1. Graphs 1, 2, 3: "IPEDS Trend Generator," U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics, last accessed June 14, 2016, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/trendgenerator/.
  2. Graph 4: "Rates of high school completion and bachelor's degree attainment among persons age 25 and over, by race/ethnicity and state," U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics (browse by year), last accessed June 10, 2016, https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/current_tables.asp.

Education and the workforce

How the system is working

Workforce opportunities for Rhode Island students by education level and field

According to recent estimates, more than seven in 10 Rhode Island jobs will require some kind of postsecondary education by 2020. Likewise, blue-collar jobs have the lowest projected growth rate among the occupations available to our students.

Percentage of jobs requiring minimum levels of education by 2020 (projected)
High school diploma or less
Some college, an associate’s degree, or postsecondary vocational certification
Bachelor’s degree
Master’s degree or higher
High school diploma or less
Some college, an associate’s degree, or postsecondary vocational certification
Bachelor’s degree
Master’s degree or higher
Occupational growth rates in Rhode Island, 2010–2020 (projected)
2010 Jobs 2020 Jobs Growth Rate
STEM fields18,46022,90024%
Social sciences2,5303,13024%
Healthcare support18,62023,02024%
Managerial and professional office59,51072,06021%
Healthcare professional and technical25,82030,45018%
Community services and arts24,79029,02017%
Education31,76036,88016%
Food and personal services80,96093,38015%
Sales and office support128,050146,90015%
Blue collar84,38091,7609%
Total474,870549,49016%
swipe to explore the table
Source
  1. “Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements Through 2020,” Georgetown University (June 2013), pp. 3-7, accessed December 15, 2015, https://cew.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/StateProjections_6.1.15_agc_v2.pdf.

Education level and earnings

As the demand for college-educated workers grows, students without postsecondary credentials are seeing large gaps in earning potential.

Median earnings in the past 12 months by educational attainment for individuals age 25 and over
Source
  1. “Median earnings in the past 12 months (in 2014 inflation-adjusted dollars) by sex by education attainment for the population 25 years and over,” U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder (using guided search), accessed December 17, 2015, http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml.

Conclusion

The data highlighted above help us understand how our students and schools are faring, but this is just a first step. The next is to take what you’ve learned here, use it to reflect on what’s needed and what’s possible for Rhode Island students, and take action to help us reimagine our Rhode Island education system.

While Rhode Island is facing challenges, the good news is that we are also home to many schools and educators that are supporting students as they grow and learn, as well as policymakers and advocates who are dedicated to passing and implementing commonsense policies that will help every student, in every school, thrive.

We hope you will use these data as a starting point to join this conversation and this work, with the goal of building a reimagined Rhode Island where all kids succeed—a vision we know we can and must achieve.

Appendix: RI education policies

Table of contents

Pre-kindergarten

In 2008, the General Assembly passed the Rhode Island Pre-K Education Act, directing the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) to establish a pilot pre-K program that meets high quality standards, builds on existing infrastructure and serves students in communities with concentrations of low-performing schools. Through the Pre-K Program, Rhode Island has made strides toward improving pre-K access. The program began offering pre-K to four-year-olds in the 2009–2010 school year, awarding grants to a variety of qualified vendors, including licensed child-care centers, Head Start programs and public and private schools. In 2015–2016, programs are operating in Central Falls, Cranston, East Providence, Newport, Pawtucket, Providence, Warwick, West Warwick and Woonsocket. All children in these communities are eligible to enroll, but admissions are determined via lottery when space is limited.

The funding formula established by the General Assembly in 2010 calls for a gradual phase-in of Pre-K Program funding, adding $1 million per year up to $10 million total. Enrollment in state-funded pre-K programs grew from 126 students in 2010–2011 to 306 students in 2014–2015, with 17 classrooms operating in eight cities.

In December 2011, Rhode Island became one of nine states to win a first-round award from the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge fund. The grant, totaling $50 million over four years, has been used to implement pre-K quality improvement measures such as BrightStars (our quality rating and improvement system), teacher workforce development, a statewide kindergarten readiness assessment and a new early learning data system.

Sources
  1. “Early Childhood Education Programs,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed June 2, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/InstructionAssessment/EarlyChildhoodEducation/Programs.aspx#13020-pre-k-programs.
  2. “2015 Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook,” RI KIDS Count, pp. 128-129, accessed February 12, 2016, http://www.rikidscount.org/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Factbook%202015/Education/Ind54-ChildrenEnrolledinStatePreK-2015.pdf.
  3. “Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge,” Rhode Island Department of Education (2013), accessed June 2, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Instruction-and-Assessment-World-Class-Standards/Early-Childhood/Early-Learning-Challenge/RTTT-ELC_Information_Sheet_June_2013.pdf.

Kindergarten

In 2012, the General Assembly passed the Full-Day Kindergarten Accessibility Act. The law empowered the commissioner of education to disburse limited, one-time grants to as many as four school districts per year to help cover the start-up costs of expanding access to full-day kindergarten. In December 2013, grants were awarded to four school districts for use beginning in the 2014–2015 school year: Cranston, Exeter-West Greenwich Regional, Glocester and Woonsocket. Awards ranged from $33,000 to $99,000, and districts awarded the funds are required to operate newly established full-day kindergarten programs for at least five years.

In 2015, Governor Raimondo signed into law universal access to full-day kindergarten by the 2016–2017 school year. During the 2015–2016 school year, six communities, including Coventry, Cranston, East Greenwich, Johnston, Tiverton and Warwick, will receive additional funds through the education funding formula to assist with transitioning from half-day to universal full-day kindergarten.

Sources
  1. “RIDE awards funds to four districts to expand full-day kindergarten,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed June 2, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/InsideRIDE/AdditionalInformation/News/ViewArticle/tabid/408/ArticleId/117/RIDE-awards-funds-to-four-districts-to-expand-full-day-kindergarten.aspx.
  2. “R.I. Gov. to Sign $8.67B State Budget for 2016,” NECN (June 30, 2015), accessed February 12, 2015, http://www.necn.com/news/new-england/RI-Gov-to-Sign-867B-State-Budget-for-2016-310997591.html.

School choice

Rhode Island’s public charter school law, passed in 1995, allows school districts and nonprofit entities to apply to open district-affiliated and independent public charter schools. Mayors may also apply to open public charter schools in their communities, known as mayoral academies, through a law passed in 2008. In Rhode Island, the state board of education is the only public charter school authorizer and the law states that it may issue no more than 35 charters in the state.

The autonomy afforded to public charter schools in Rhode Island is dependent on their type: district, independent or mayoral academy. District charter schools are subject to district collective bargaining agreements and must pay into the state pension system, provide tenure and follow prevailing wage laws. Independent charter schools must pay into the state pension system, provide tenure, and follow prevailing wage laws but are not subject to district bargaining agreements. Mayoral academies are exempt from each of these regulations.

Another option for Rhode Island families is the Urban Collaborative Accelerated Program (UCAP), the state’s first independent school, opened in 1989 to serve at-risk middle school students from Providence, Central Falls and Cranston. The William M. Davies, Jr. Career and Technical High School (Davies Career and Tech) and the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center (The Met) are additional options; both are state-operated schools open since the 1990s that draw from students across the state. Rhode Island also runs a school for deaf students and a school for incarcerated youth.

Intra-district school choice, allowing a student to transfer to another school within the school district, is available in some Rhode Island communities on a limited and volunteer basis. Additionally, inter-district choice, allowing a student to transfer to a school outside of the school district, may also exist when districts enter into an agreement. For example, the communities of Jamestown and North Kingstown have an agreement that students residing in Jamestown may attend North Kingstown High School. Tuition for Jamestown High School students is paid out of the district’s appropriation for public schools.

Sources
  1. R.I. General Laws 16-77; “About Us,” Rhode Island Mayoral Academies, accessed December 14, 2015, http://mayoralacademies.org/opening-schools/about-us/.
  2. “Charter Schools,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed on August 25, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/StudentsFamilies/RIPublicSchools/CharterSchools.aspx.
  3. “History,” Urban Collaborative Accelerated Program, accessed February 11, 2016, http://www.ucap.org/about/history.html.
  4. “History,” William M. Davies, Jr. Career & Technical High School, accessed February 11, 2016, http://web.daviestech.org/modules/cms/pages.phtml?pageid=242816&sessionid=3d36209821b71f3e6a4b701dfe383851; “Our History,” The Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center, accessed February 11, 2016, http://www.themethighschool.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=376957&type=d&pREC_ID=852617.

Standards and assessments

Prior to adoption of the Common Core, Rhode Island had statewide Grade Level Expectations (GLE) and Grade Span Expectations (GSE) that defined what students should know at each grade level and how to assess students’ academic achievement. In 2010, the Rhode Island Board of Regents adopted the Common Core State Standards in ELA and math and began the transition to Common Core in 2011. The standards were fully implemented in 2013–2014.

From March 2011 to September 2012, RIDE provided professional development to 5,750 teachers to study the Common Core standards. RIDE also launched the “Ready, Set, Go” Common Core campaign on the RIDE website and on Facebook in 2011 to keep parents and educators informed and to provide resources related to the transition. Along with representatives from RIDE, teachers trained on Common Core conducted informational forums across Rhode Island to inform parents and community members about the standards.

In addition to the transition to new academic standards, Rhode Island has also transitioned to new Common Core-aligned assessments in ELA and math. Previously, student progress in these subjects was assessed using the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP). But beginning in the 2014–2015 school year, the Common Core-aligned PARCC assessments replaced NECAP. To prepare, Rhode Island participated in PARCC field-testing during the 2013–2014 school year. Rhode Island joined ten other states and the District of Columbia in administering the PARCC assessment in 2014–2015.

Sources
  1. “Common Core State Standards Initiative,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed February 25, 2014, http://www.ride.ri.gov/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Common-Core/Common-Core-State-Standards-Initiative-FAQ-8-22-11.pdf.
  2. “Rhode Island Support for CCSS Implementation,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed February 25, 2014, https://www.ride.ri.gov/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Instruction-and-Assessment-World-Class-Standards/Transition/RI_Support_for_CCSS_Implementation.pdf.
  3. “Transition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and to PARCC,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed February 25, 2014, https://www.ride.ri.gov/InstructionAssessment/TransitiontotheCCSSandPARCC.aspx.
  4. “PARCC States Announce Field Testing,” Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, accessed February 25, 2014, https://www.parcconline.org/parcc-states-announce-field-testing-non-profit-launched.

Teacher preparation

In November 2013, the Rhode Island Board of Education adopted new educator preparation program approval standards. These standards mirror rigorous standards recently adopted by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), the national accreditor of education colleges. Under these new standards, all Rhode Island programs—traditional and alternative alike—will be judged for program approval and renewal based on the following criteria. The teacher preparation programs:

  • Teach educator candidates appropriate professional knowledge;
  • Develop strong partnerships with districts and ensure candidates have strong clinical experiences;
  • Are selective in admissions and recruit candidates who reflect the diversity of Rhode Island’s student body and meet districts’ employment needs;
  • Produce graduates that have a documented positive impact on student learning and who reach career milestones such as placement, retention and promotion; and
  • Collect program data, sharing it widely and using it for continuous improvement.

The Rhode Island Department of Education also recently began publishing an annual report on each state-approved preparation program. These Educator Preparation Indices include employment, retention and effectiveness data for teachers who completed preparation programs in the past three years. They are designed to assist prospective teachers in choosing preparation programs and to help districts make informed hiring decisions.

In another move to improve educator preparation, Rhode Island also increased the minimum score that teaching candidates must achieve on the basic skills examination required for admission to teacher preparation programs. In 2010, Rhode Island’s cut scores on each component of this exam were among the lowest in the nation. Today, our cut scores are aligned with most other states.

For non-traditional teaching candidates, Rhode Island offers several additional pathways to certification. Among these is Rhode Island’s alternate route pathway. Candidates with a bachelor’s degree, a 3.0 GPA and, for secondary teaching candidates, a major in their certification area, may enroll in an approved alternate route program and begin teaching with a preliminary certificate. After completing the program, candidates are eligible for a full professional certificate. Any approved private service provider, professional organization or institution of higher education can offer alternate route programs, as long as the organization has entered into a partnership with a local education agency.

Sources
  1. “Rhode Island Standards for Educator Preparation,” Rhode Island State Board of Education (November 2013), accessed June 2, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Teachers-and-Administrators-Excellent-Educators/Educator-Certification/Becoming-an-Educator/RIPA_Standards_2013.pdf; Linda Borg, “Rhode Island Board of Education adopts new standards for teacher preparation,” Providence Journal (November 14, 2013), accessed June 2, 2015, http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20131113-r.i.-board-adopts-new-standards-for-teacher-preparation.ece.
  2. Linda Borg, “New data on teacher preparation programs released,” Providence Journal (December 4, 2014), accessed June 2, 2015, http://www.providencejournal.com/news/education/20141204-new-data-on-teacher-preparation-programs-released.ece?template=printart.
  3. Jennifer D. Jordan, “Plan to raise standards for new teachers proposed,” Providence Journal (December 7, 2009), accessed June 2, 2015, http://www.nctq.org/docs/Plan_to_raise_standards_for_teachers_proceeds-_The_Providence_Journal.pdf.
  4. “Educator Preparation Programs: Pre-professional Skills Test Score Requirements,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed June 2, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/TeachersAdministrators/EducatorCertification/RIEducatorPreparationPrograms.aspx#12582-educator-preparation-information; “The Praxis Series: Passing Scores by Test and State,” Educational Testing Service (January 1, 2015), accessed June 2, 2015, https://www.ets.org/s/praxis/pdf/passing_scores.pdf.
  5. “Pathways to RI Certification: Preliminary,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed August 18, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/TeachersAdministrators/EducatorCertification/PathwaystoRICertification.aspx#23213-preliminary.

Teacher evaluation

In 2009, the Board of Regents adopted the Rhode Island Educator Evaluation System Standards. The standards were designed to identify common expectations that all districts and public charter schools could use to implement rigorous, fair and accurate educator evaluations. Based on the standards, five evaluation systems have been approved. Each of these systems shares common components that align to the state standards. For example, teachers must be evaluated regularly and receive one of four rankings: highly effective, effective, developing or ineffective. Each system gives significant weight to educators’ professional practices while requiring that measures of student learning account for the majority of the evaluation score. Evaluators who observe classroom practice must be trained, and teachers must receive multiple observations with written feedback after each session. The system was designed to create a fair, accurate and meaningful evaluation system that supports teachers and helps improve teaching and learning in our schools.

Professional development is tied to areas of improvement identified in evaluations. Similarly, teachers rated developing or ineffective receive performance improvement plans to put them on track toward greater effectiveness. The evaluation system also allows consistently ineffective teachers to be dismissed.

The evaluation system has also undergone some changes and updates since its inception. For example, the Department of Education temporarily suspended the use of student growth in educator evaluations in the summer of 2013, partly to ease the transition from NECAP to PARCC assessments. Also, during the 2014 legislative session, the General Assembly passed legislation that affords teachers rated effective or highly effective the option to receive evaluations every two to three years instead of annually, though they still have annual conferences with and observations by their principals.

Source
  1. “RIDE releases 2nd annual report on educator evaluations,” Rhode Island Department of Education (November 13, 2014), accessed June 2, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/InsideRIDE/AdditionalInformation/News/ViewArticle/tabid/408/ArticleId/186/RIDE-releases-2nd-annual-report-on-educator-evaluations.aspx.

School leadership

Education leaders in Rhode Island must have either a Building Level Administrator PK–12 or District Level Administrator certification earned through one of three avenues: 1) completion of one of the nine state-approved certification programs, 2) completion of a state-approved program in another state within five years of application or proof of full credentialing from another state or 3) completion of a CRCI Credential Review Plan. This flexibility in credentialing allows for multiple pathways into administrative positions for Rhode Island educators.

Building off the Rhode Island Educator Evaluation System Standards, Rhode Island fully implemented a new evaluation model for school-level educational leaders during the 2012–2013 school year. This system evaluates school leaders on three criteria: professional practice, professional foundations and student learning. Principals receive three evaluation conferences (at the beginning, middle and end of the school year) as well as three school visits (one announced and two unannounced) as part of their evaluations. For the professional practice and professional foundations criteria, the principal is evaluated using a guided rubric with eleven and six key competencies, respectively. For the student learning criteria, principals are gauged against their own determined student learning goals. They must have at least two of them. Principals must also meet at least one self-selected professional growth goal. At the end of each year, principals are rated as highly effective, effective, developing or ineffective.

School leader professional development is targeted to principals’ identified areas of improvement: Indeed, all principals rated developing or ineffective at the end of the year are required to create a Performance Improvement Plan with their evaluators and all leaders, no matter their effectiveness rating, create Professional Growth Plans at the beginning of each school year.

Sources
  1. Rhode Island Department of Education, “Building Level Administrator Certificate (12001),” (January 2015), accessed on September 26, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Teachers-and-Administrators-Excellent-Educators/Educator-Certification/Cert-Requirements/Adm-BuildAdm-Req.pdf.
  2. Rhode Island Board of Regents, Elementary and Secondary Education, “Rhode Island Model: Building Administrator Evaluation and Support System: Edition II,” (June 2012), accessed September 26, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Teachers-and-Administrators-Excellent-Educators/Educator-Evaluation/Education-Eval-Main-Page/Admin-Model-GB-Edition-II-FINAL.pdf.

Personalized learning

The Board of Education adopted RIDE’s 2015–2020 Strategic Plan for PK–12 and Adult Education, which positions personalized learning at the fore of RIDE’s desired educational innovations over the next five years: Of the six priorities outlined by RIDE, one is “personalized learning statewide” and another is “student-centered resource investment.” Toward these ends, the department is currently investigating updates to the state’s graduation requirements and working with districts to provide more access to advanced coursework for students through alternative delivery mechanisms, whether that be dual-enrollment, inter-district choice, or access to an approved course of study delivered by an approved nonprofit organization.

At the district level, there is much experimentation around personalized and blended learning. For example, in fall 2013, Village Green Virtual Public Charter High School and Sheila C. “Skip” Nowell Leadership Academy opened as the first two blended-learning charter schools in Rhode Island. Additionally, during the 2012–2013 school year, Pleasant View Elementary School in Providence transitioned to a blended learning school model. With the Pawtucket Learning Academy High School and Blackstone Valley Prep High School, it now partners with California-based Summit Public Schools to implement a personalized, blended learning curriculum across grades and across the three schools. Furthermore, in December 2015, Newport, Providence and Westerly were selected to host the state’s new Pathways in Technology Early College High School Program (P-TECH). High schools in these districts will implement programs based on the nationally recognized IBM P-TECH model. Through partnerships with colleges and employers, P-TECH programs focus on STEM skills and allow students to graduate with an associate’s degree.

RIDE also adopted new regulations to govern virtual learning in 2012. The regulations aim to ensure access to high quality and rigorous content, support for all learners, reliable access to the necessary technology and appropriate coordination with higher education institutions and other state agencies.

Sources
  1. “Raimondo, Rhode Island Commerce Corporation Roll Out P-TECH Program,” RI.gov (December 22, 2015), accessed February 18, 2016, http://www.ri.gov/press/view/26484.
  2. “Regulations of the Board of Regents Governing Virtual Learning Education in Rhode Island,” Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, p. 5, accessed June 20, 2014, http://ride.ri.gov/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/inside-ride/Laws-Regulations/Virtual-Learning-Regs-Aug-2012.pdf.

Career and technical education

Recognizing the growing need for high quality career and technical education (CTE) programs, RIDE adopted new regulations in 2012 clarifying, among other things, the roles and responsibilities of RIDE and local education agencies as they relate to CTE, quality assurance measures, and CTE program standards. In addition to drafting new regulations, the General Assembly committed $3 million to CTE programs in the 2013 budget.

To further improve collaboration and outcomes in career and technical education, the General Assembly passed legislation in 2014 establishing the Rhode Island Career and Technical Board of Trustees and the Rhode Island Career and Technical Education Trust. The Board of Trustees will ensure collaboration across secondary and higher education institutions and advise the Board of Education. The Trust is responsible for developing student learning opportunities through employer partnerships, advising the Board of Trustees and fundraising.

Sources
  1. “Regulations of the Board of Regents Governing Career and Technical Education in Rhode Island,” Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, accessed June 20, 2014, http://sos.ri.gov/documents/archives/regdocs/released/pdf/DESE/6665.pdf.
  2. “Rhode to Work: A Legislative Action Plan, January 2014,” The Rhode Island Senate Policy Office, p. 13, accessed June 20, 2014, http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/Reports/Rhode%20to%20Work.pdf.
  3. R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 16-45.1-1, 16-45.1-2, available at http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/; see also, “Raimondo Takes Steps to Prioritize Workforce Development, Build Skills for 21st Century Economy,” The State of Rhode Island, http://www.ri.gov/press/view/24092.

The state funding formula

Between 1995 and 2010, Rhode Island did not have a state funding formula. Districts were funded via budget line items and past or existing funding levels served as the basis for new appropriations. Changes in district enrollment were not accounted for (i.e., no enrollment-based funding adjustments were made between 2004 and 2010), nor were other demographic differences across districts.

In 2010, the General Assembly passed into law a new weighted, student-centered funding formula. The formula allocates a core instructional amount to districts for each enrolled student and allocates an additional amount for each low-income student. Once a district’s total funding amount is established, the formula determines the portion of this amount that will be covered by the state and the portion that will be covered by the district (districts with higher wealth must cover a greater portion of their total funding amount). The state also offers categorical funding to districts for a limited number of programs and expenses such as extraordinary special education costs, start up and maintenance of career and technical education programs and expansion of early childhood education programs. Rhode Island’s Unified Chart of Accounts tracks revenues and expenditures across all local education agencies.

The funding formula will not be fully phased in until 2020. However, the Rhode Island House of Representatives revisited the formula through a special commission convened in 2015 (see the final recommendations here). In response, Governor Raimondo created a working group of stakeholders from across the state in late 2015 and early 2016 to determine if any adjustments are needed to ensure the funding formula is fully equitable.

Sources
  1. Lesli A. Maxwell, “New R.I. School Funding Formula Aims at Equity,” Education Week (July 19, 2010), accessed June 2, 2015. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/07/19/37formula.h29.html.
  2. Michael Griffith, “State Education Funding Formulas and Grade Weighting,” Education Commission of the States (2005), accessed June 2, 2015, http://www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/59/81/5981.pdf.
  3. “Funding Formula Frequently Asked Questions—Updated April 2011,” Rhode Island Department of Education (April 2011), accessed June 2, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Funding-and-Finance-Wise-Investments/Funding-Sources/State-Education-Aid-Funding-Formula/FAQ-Updated-42011.pdf.
  4. “Funding Formula Summary,” Rhode Island Department of Education (2010), accessed June 2, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Funding-and-Finance-Wise-Investments/Funding-Sources/State-Education-Aid-Funding-Formula/Funding-Formula-Summary-2-19-11-version.pdf.

School facilities

Rhode Island established a school housing aid program in 1960. The state reimburses districts and public charter schools for a portion of construction and renovation costs after the project is complete. According to state law, public charter schools that apply for reimbursement of construction costs are reimbursed at a flat rate of 30 percent, while traditional districts are reimbursed at a rate no lower than 35 percent and as high as 96.1 percent, as of 2015 (depending on local property values and family incomes). Due to concerns about the cost of the housing aid program, the General Assembly placed a moratorium on housing aid expenditures in 2011.

In 2015, Governor Raimondo proposed and signed into law school facilities legislation. The law lifted the moratorium on school housing aid, created a new School Building Authority (SBA) within the Department of Education to oversee the housing aid program, and established a new capital fund that districts and public charter schools may access to support facilities construction and renovation. A new advisory board to the SBA is charged with establishing standards for school design and construction; creating a priority list for projects; promulgating regulations for applications to the new capital fund; creating investment priorities for the capital fund; and recommending programs to reduce borrowing by increasing use of capital reserve funds, revolving loan funds and grant programs.

Sources
  1. R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-77.1-5, accessed November 18, 2015, http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE16/16-77.1/16-77.1-5.HTM.
  2. R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-7-39, accessed November 18, 2015, http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE16/16-7/16-7-39.HTM.
  3. “FY 2016 Housing Aid State Share Ratios,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed November 18, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Funding-and-Finance-Wise-Investments/School-Facilities/School-Construction-Program/FY16ShareRatios.pdf.
  4. R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-7-39. See also R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-7-21, accessed November 24, 2015, http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/title16/16-7/16-7-21.htm.
  5. “Rhode Island School Building Authority,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed February 12, 2016, http://www.ride.ri.gov/FundingFinance/SchoolBuildingAuthority.aspx#14021132-school-building-authority-capital-fund.