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