More Refreshers: RI Academic Achievement, Teacher Salary Ranking, Student to Teacher Ratio

Further to Justin’s post, national ranking of the Rhode Island public school system in certain areas of interest.

Academic Achievement: 40th

[Source: ALEC Report Card on American Education, 15th Edition]

National Ranking of Rhode Island Teacher Salary: 9th highest

[Source: NEA, middle column, Page 37, of this PDF]

Ratio of Students Enrolled per Teacher: 51st (lowest ratio in the country)

[Source: NEA, Page 35 of this PDF]

School Committees and parents around the state may wish to keep these rankings in mind as contract renegotiation nears.
Fresh Data Alert: the NEA report, “Rankings & Estimates”, linked above twice, was issued just last month.

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11 years ago

Good work!
Also note, as the Elbow used to, that the NEA reports that nationally there are 48,960,698 students spread accross 15,285 school districts. That is an average of 3,203 students per district.
Compare that to RI, which has 145,342 students. RI has 39 school districts (NEA reports a higher number), which is an average of 3,726 students per district.
RI has far more students per district than the national average.
For those that carp about consolidation as the big issue to be dealt with as opposed to the real issue (i.e. the Unions), they should keep these facts in mind. And yes, averages can be deceiving as Justin noted, but these numbers a indicative that our number of districts is not the driving problem leading to our woes.
Before we deal with the distraction that is consolidation, we need to first deal with the fact that we have the highest teacher-per-student ratio in the nation, pay rates in the top 10 in the nation and performance in the bottom 10. Again, can you say Union??

11 years ago

Some research that I would like to do is to find these numbers for each RI community. This is great data to arm our school committees with, except they can argue that half of the cities are not as bad as those numbers indicate, since those are averages. I’d like to be able to tell each school committee, “You rank x on achievement, x on teacher salary, and x on ratio, compared to all other cities in RI and here’s how RI compares to other states.”
Any guesses on where to get that data? I’m guessing on the academic achievement, the standarized test is as good a place as any to start. And I guess using the transparency train, city by city would be a place to go, except it doesn’t tell how many teachers get which salary. Anyone know where to get the average salaries per town? Or even better, a breakdown by step? And the last one sounds hardest, how to get teacher:student ratios by town.
Sounds like a lot of research, but I think really worth it. Even better would be to compare that data to charter schools and mayoral academies. And of course to be fair, each city that has special education should be factored in as well, since that is an extremely high cost, and not every town does their own.
Any ideas on where to get this data easily, or does it all need to be dug up?

11 years ago

You might have to do some digging or number-crunching yourself, but there is a huge amount of data available at

11 years ago

WOW! Monique. Great site.
An interesting tidbit on page 126: ‘Measures of Correlation Between Inputs and Results’
“The information shows that higher student scores on standardized tests correlate mildly with ‘more’ pupils per teacher and ‘less’ federal involvement with public school budgets.
If infusing more money into school budgets, providing higher teacher salaries, reducing pupil-teacher ratios, and spending more federal dollars to bail out public schools has not led to higher student achievement in the past, how can it be expected to do so in the future? Dogged perpetuation of failed policies wastes public dollars; worse, it further delays the implementation of valuable new approaches to help American students succeed.”
Sort of flies in the face of everything Ducky Crowley and his ilk stands for.
It’s about time we did what was right for the students, union be damned.

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