Education Week Survey – RI Results
Rhode Island has received mixed grades on the quality of its public education system, scoring poorly in two critical areas: student achievement and efforts to improve teacher quality, according to a national education magazine.
Education Week’s “Quality Counts 2008” report card gave Rhode Island D’s in those categories. The state fared better in its academic standards and testing system, earning a B+; the overall chance for student success, B-; and the amount of money it spends on education, B. The state received a C- for its efforts to offer high-quality early-childhood education programs and prepare students for college and work.
Overall, Rhode Island averaged a C, matching the national average, but lagging the other five New England states.
Education Week has their report online and offers a few ways of looking at the data. (Including a way to make your own report). To compare the New England states, go here. Here is their specific report on Rhode Island (PDF). The ProJo article points out a couple other findings by EdWeek:
•Rhode Island teachers are the highest paid in the nation when compared with other similar professions in the state. These include: accountants, architects, clergy, compliance officers, commuter programmers, counselors, editors and reporters, human-resources specialists, insurance underwriters, occupational and physical therapists, registered nurses and technical writers. Nationally, teachers earn just 88 cents on the dollar, when stacked against comparable professions. In Rhode Island, however, teachers earn about $1.12, or 12 cents more on the dollar than other comparable professions….[page 12 of the report – ed.]
•The report also found that Rhode Island ranks low — 44th — in the number of children whose parents are fluent English speakers, a potential risk for the future success of students whose parents do not speak English. [page 4 of the report – ed.]
•While the state ranked among the highest —7th — in its per-pupil expenditure (adjusted for regional cost differences), $10,581 a year per student, it scored at the bottom in school finance equity. Rhode Island ranked 42nd in its ability to bring all students to the same median level of what districts spend per pupil. [page 13 of the report – ed.]
The problem with the overall grade (Rhode Island gets a “C”) is that it’s misleading. Look at the categories:
It looks like the infrastructure and money is there, but the results aren’t. As Yorke said, “We’ve raised the bar but no one can reach it.” The question we need answered is, “Why not?”