The State of Rhode Island Public Education

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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)
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{{{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.