The State of Rhode Island Public Education

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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.