Comparative NECAPs

As you’ve probably heard, the results for the 2008 New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) tests are available, and Rhode Island overall did see improvements. For purposes of comparison, I’ve averaged the proficiency scores for each of the three tests and ranked the schools:

RI Grades 3-8 NECAP Score Ranking, 2008
Average Proficiency
Score
Increase from
2008
2008 Rank 2007 Rank
Barrington 88 3 1 1
East Greenwich 81.33 6.67 2 6
Jamestown 79.33 11.33 3 12
Foster 78.67 -0.67 4 2
Smithfield 78.33 4 5 7
South Kingstown 77.33 -0.67 6 4
New Shoreham 77 -2 7 3
Narragansett 75.33 7 8 11
Portsmouth 74.67 10 9 20
Little Compton 74.33 -2 10 5
Scituate 73.67 -0.33 11 8
Lincoln 72.67 7 12 18
North Kingstown 72.33 2 13 10
Chariho 71.67 4.33 14 14
Bristol Warren 71.33 3.67 15 13
The Compass School 71 -2 16 9
Westerly 71 4 17 15
Tiverton 71 14 18 29
Exeter-West Greenwich 70.67 8.33 19 22
Coventry 70 3.67 20 16
Glocester 69.67 6.67 21 21
Middletown 68.67 2.33 22 17
Kingston Hill 66 0.67 23 19
Warwick 66 4.33 24 23
Cranston 65.67 5.67 25 24
Cumberland 62.67 4.33 26 27
North Smithfield 60.33 1.33 27 26
Johnston 60 3.33 28 30
North Providence 59.67 7 29 32
Paul Cuffee Charter 57.33 18.33 30 36
Foster-Glocester 57 -3 31 25
East Providence 57 4 32 31
Burrillville 55.67 -1.67 33 28
West Warwick 55 2.33 34 33
Newport 52.33 11 35 35
The Learning Community Charter 47 9.33 37 37
International Charter 47 11.67 36 39
Pawtucket 46 2 38 34
Woonsocket 43.33 6.33 39 38
CVS Highlander Charter 40.67 6 40 40
Providence 37.33 5.67 41 42
Central Fals 34.33 0.33 42 41
Urban Collaborative 30 8 43 44

RI Grade 11 NECAP Score Ranking, 2008
Average Proficiency
Score
Increase from
2008
2008 Rank 2007 Rank
Barrington 80.33 9.33 1 1
East Greenwich 77 7.33 2 2
South Kingstown 66.33 7.33 3 4
Narragansett 63 12.33 4 9
Portsmouth 63 4.67 5 5
Lincoln 59.33 6.33 6 8
Scituate 59 12.67 7 16
Bristol Warren 58.67 4.33 8 7
Foster-Glocester 57 14.33 9 19
Middletown 57 1.67 10 6
North Smithfield 55 7 11 14
Westerly 54.33 4 12 10
Smithfield 53.33 3.33 13 12
Exeter-West Greenwich 53 5 14 15
North Kingstown 52.67 -8.33 15 3
Tiverton 52.33 2 16 11
Chariho 52 3 17 13
Cumberland 51.33 14.33 18 24
Burrillville 48.33 11 19 23
Coventry 48 5 20 18
Newport 44.33 5.33 21 22
Warwick 43.67 4.33 22 21
North Providence 43 0.33 23 20
Cranston 42.67 9 24 26
Wm. Davies Jr. 42.33 18.33 25 33
West Warwick 41.67 6 26 25
Johnston 41.33 -3.33 27 17
BEACON Charter 40 6.33 28 27
East Providence 35.67 5 29 28
Blackstone Academy 34.67 8.33 30 32
Pawtucket 33.67 5 31 29
Providence 32.67 5.33 32 30
Woonsocket 32 4.67 33 31
Metropolitan Regional 28.33 7.67 34 34
Central Falls 25.67 7.33 35 35
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thinkaboutit
thinkaboutit
12 years ago

It would be interesting to plot these scores against various costs factors and then look for correlation…

Kevin
Kevin
12 years ago

Considering the amount of time (or lack thereof) dedicated to quality instruction, particularly at the secondary level, these scores don’t surprise me in the least. For starters, we have a school day that is a mere 6 hours in length. Take out ‘walking time’ and lunch, and you’re down to about 5.25 hours. Instead of focusing on the fundamentals and skills demand exists for, we waste our students time with classes that offer little or no educational value. By putting an emphasis on reading, mathematics, science, and technology, lengthening the school day / academic calendar year, and pushing students to excel, we could avoid future embarrassment of our communities.

Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

What would be truly enlightening would be to plot the scores against the “nations report card” (NAEP) and, even more so, against the OECD international rankings.
Given that the OECD only ranks the U.S. in the mid-twenties for educational performance among the thirty top industrialized nations, the folks in Barrington and East Greenwich might be in for quite a shock when they learn that their “good school systems” probably aren’t even close to world-class.

Patrick
Patrick
12 years ago

Tom, let’s be fair here. What is really a good school? One that sets its students up to be productive members of society after graduation? To possibly prepare a student to be successful in college if that’s the direction they choose to go? I know of a few Barrington students who have gone on to US top 10 universities and done quite well. If we want to argue that the Harvard, Stanford, MIT schools are not among the tops in the world, well you’re welcome to make that argument. Some of the top students in the world go to those colleges and graduates from Barrington and EG also go there and are successful. This is one thing that I’ve always wanted to look at is a comparison of high schools in terms of college preparedness. I can’t just judge a HS as being “successful” because maybe some kid would judge himself to be a success to get a job at the local car fixit shop and work there for his whole life, or to be an apprentice plumber and work his way up through that system. Who am I to say that he’s “unsuccessful” because he didn’t go to college? This is why I’d want to judge the high schools on just college preparedness and not make any further claims than that. It seems like a huge undertaking, and about the only way I can figure out how to get any idea on it would be to survey collegiate admissions officers on which schools turn out the best applicants and then compare that to something else, maybe GPA or graduation rates? Then again, is Bill Gates or Matt Damon a “failure” because they dropped out of college? But back to the original point, I have no idea how our top… Read more »

David Anderson
12 years ago

As Tom W suggested we have already done some comparisons with the NAEP.
In an op-ed piece we are submitting, we show two interesting phenomena:
First, is the well known NECAP inflation where it deems twice as many Rhode Island 8th graders proficient or better compared to the well-respected NAEP (Nation’s Report Card) benchmark.
Second, and what is new to us, is our discovery that the NECAP 8th grade reading proficiencies for Rhode Island are rising while the NAEP ones are going down. We don’t know the cause. Some possible hypotheses include:
1. NECAP officials making the tests progressively easier year after year- kind of a dumbing down policy.
2. Teachers who have gained access to the NECAP questions (maybe from the year preceding) are coaching children prior to taking the tests.
3. NECAP may play a different role if it recycles too many questions or if its secrecy and security are lax.
Or it could be some combination of these and perhaps other unknown causes.
We do know that California had this problem about ten years ago and it was a combination of explanations 2. and 3. that was blamed.
Stay tuned and look for the op-ed.

David Anderson
12 years ago

As a postscript to the previous comments I made, I want to clarify how this work on student proficiency has been supported.
Most of the work mentioned was supported by the Ocean State Policy Research Institute where I’m one of the Education Fellows. The balance of the effort was supported by my own company, Asora Education.

Frank
Frank
12 years ago

Gee, for all the fuss the EP teachers are making about over agreeing to necessary concessions, you’d think the kids scores would be bit higher. RI is one of the worst performing states in the country and EP is one of the worst performing districts in RI. Judging by these scores it looks like EP has joined the dismal ranks of the urban core. The folks in EP are clearly not getting their monies worth.

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