The State of Education in Rhode Island, Part 2 Take 2

Oftentimes, information communicated in terms of underlying counts gives people a sense of what is reasonable and what is possible that can be lost when results are presented solely in terms of percentages. So before moving on to the part 3 post in the State of Education in RI series, I am going to post in a tabular form the numbers that the part 2 graphs were based on.

In the tables below, the second column shows the change (by district) in total number of students proficient or better, as measured by the 8th then 11th grades NECAPs. The absolute numbers of students used to calculate these differences were presented in Part 1. In all cases, this column provides the numerator of the percentage shown in column five.

The third column is the number of students who were proficient or better on the 8th-grade NECAPs. In cases where the total number of students who were proficient or better decreased between 8th and 11th grade results, column three is used as the denominator of the percentage in column five, defining column five as the change in the number of less than proficient students in a district, between grades 8 and 11, as a percentage of the number of students who were proficient or better in grade 8.

The fourth column is the number of students who were less than proficient, i.e. who scored “partially proficient” or “not proficient”, on the 8th-grade NECAPs. In cases where the total number of students who were proficient or better increased between 8th and 11th grade results, column four is used as the denominator of the percentage in column five, defining column five as the change between grades 8 and 11 in the number of proficient or better students in a district, as a percentage of the number of students who were less-than-proficient in grade 8.

In other words, if the number of students who were proficient in a district went up between 8th and 11th grades, column five is the percentage of less-than-proficient students as measured in the 8th grade who advanced. If the number of students who were at least proficient went down, column five is the percentage of proficient-or-better students as measured in the 8th grade who declined. As stated in Part 1 of Part 2, this split metric isn’t ideal. In the case of districts that experienced declines in number of students proficient, no distinction is made between those who advanced a large number (or large percentage) of already proficient students, versus those who advanced smaller totals. This is why it is useful to plot results described here in conjunction with the starting percentage of students proficient or better from each district, to provide a look at the changes over time than can occur in districts that start from similar levels (when you look at a horizontal slice of the 2D-plot) or from different levels (when you look at the entire plot) of academic achievement.

Results in this post are sorted from highest percentage to the lowest. Part 3 in the series to appear on Monday.

 Community Change in # of Students PoB at Reading, between 8th and 11th Grades # of 8th-Graders Proficient or Better at Reading, ’05 & ’06 NECAP # of 8th-Graders Less-than-Proficient at Reading, ’05 & ’06 NECAP Change in # PoB at Reading, between 8th and 11th Grades, as % of ’05/’06 8th-Graders LtP Bristol-Warren 71 344 191 37.2% Foster-Glocester 54 285 146 37.0% Chariho 82 379 233 35.2% Providence 634 1115 2704 23.4% Westerly 38 358 185 20.5% Woonsocket 112 293 697 16.1% Tiverton 19 228 130 14.6% Smithfield 13 332 93 14.0% Burillville 23 287 166 13.9% Newport 20 184 198 10.1% Central Falls 40 150 403 9.9% Cranston 42 1090 703 6.0% North Providence 11 390 194 5.7% West Warwick 11 339 255 4.3% Cumberland 11 568 264 4.2% East Providence 17 532 438 3.9% Portsmouth-Little Compton 3 412 98 3.1%

 Community Change in # of Students PoB at Reading, between 8th and 11th Grades # of 8th-Graders Proficient or Better at Reading, ’05 & ’06 NECAP # of 8th-Graders Less-than-Proficient at Reading, ’05 & ’06 NECAP Change in # PoB at Reading, between 8th and 11th Grades, as % of ’05/’06 8th-Graders PoB Barrington -2 526 47 -0.4% North Smithfield -9 224 89 -4.0% Warwick -50 1119 711 -4.5% Lincoln -25 400 138 -6.3% East Greenwich -25 357 58 -7.0% Exeter-West Greenwich -17 241 97 -7.1% Coventry -55 641 258 -8.6% South Kingstown -52 518 144 -10.0% Narragansett -22 210 38 -10.5% North Kingstown-Jamestown -82 697 190 -11.8% Scituate -34 262 53 -13.0% Middletown -34 242 142 -14.0% Pawtucket -94 655 900 -14.4% Johnston -121 341 228 -35.5%

 Community Change in # PoB at Mathematics, between 8th and 11th Grades # of 8th-Graders Proficient or Better at Math, ’05 & ’06 NECAP # of 8th-Graders Less-than-Proficient at Math, ’05 & ’06 NECAP Change in # PoB at Math, between 8th and 11th Grades, as % of ’05/’06 8th-Graders PoB Barrington -105 485 88 -21.6% East Greenwich -95 341 74 -27.9% Lincoln -129 344 192 -37.5% Narragansett -67 176 70 -38.1% Portsmouth-Little Compton -148 381 129 -38.8% Westerly -121 296 247 -40.9% Bristol-Warren -120 293 242 -41.0% Chariho -145 347 268 -41.8% Cumberland -186 433 401 -43.0% North Kingstown-Jamestown -265 602 285 -44.0% South Kingstown -211 476 188 -44.3% Burillville -98 213 240 -46.0% North Smithfield -96 198 115 -48.5% Foster-Glocester -131 270 161 -48.5% Smithfield -124 255 170 -48.6% Scituate -121 240 74 -50.4% North Providence -127 237 352 -53.6% Cranston -418 779 1019 -53.7% Middletown -142 264 121 -53.8% Exeter-West Greenwich -120 219 118 -54.8% Providence -488 873 3008 -55.9% Newport -98 174 209 -56.3% Coventry -326 569 329 -57.3% Woonsocket -139 241 761 -57.7% West Warwick -178 300 291 -59.3% Tiverton -134 215 143 -62.3% Warwick -593 923 901 -64.2% East Providence -297 437 533 -68.0% Johnston -157 226 346 -69.5% Central Falls -64 85 492 -75.3% Pawtucket -429 552 1025 -77.7%

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Aldo
14 years ago

Question that needs to be asked: How valid is the data?
Do any of you realize that students have absolutely ZERO “ownership’ for NECAP testing!
Most do not care one iota how they do or in their schools performance!
The SAME test is given to ALL students be they Special Ed or College Prep!
The schools are scored based upon the total school population, i.e. those3 who do not take the test are factored into the overall score.
The scores of those who just “fill in the bubble” are counted as much as those who actually put in an effort.
I have observed first hand students come in to take a Math Exam without a calculator or pencil despite having been instructed to do so.
Imagine students who “complete” a two hour exam in 15 minutes? And you expect a passing score? Proficiency? Give me a break!
What score do you expect from a student who has been absent for 68 days for far this year? Better yet, they’ve missed most of the morning Math classes for an entire semester because they “can’t get up in the morning.”
They take the same NECAP test as the other students. Proficiency? Give me a break!
You can only do so much in this environment…..

Aldo
14 years ago

Sorry for the typos….
Let’s try this again……
Question that needs to be asked: How valid is the data?
Do any of you realize that students have absolutely ZERO “ownership’ for NECAP testing! Since the test does not “count” for anything, for many the attitude is “why bother?”
Most do not care one iota how they do or in their school’s performance!
The SAME test is given to ALL students be they Special Ed or College Prep!
By the way, RIDE’s tests are at least the “college prep” level…. Prefect way to test the “average” student…..
The schools are scored based upon the total school population, i.e. those who do not take the test are factored into the overall score.
The scores of those who just “fill in the bubble” are counted as much as those who actually put in an effort.
I have observed first hand students come in to take a Math Exam without a calculator or pencil despite having been instructed to do so.
Imagine students who “complete” a two hour exam in 15 minutes? And you expect a passing score? Proficiency? Give me a break!
What score do you expect from a student who has been absent for 68 days so far this year? Better yet, they’ve missed most of the morning Math classes for an entire semester because they “can’t get up in the morning.”
They take the same NECAP test as the other students. Proficiency? Give me a break!
You can only do so much in this environment…..
You are most welcome to visit my classroom any time….

Aldo
14 years ago

Try demographics…. I had one student several years ago that I believed was a “self transfer” from Providence. She would do A quality work when in class. Unfortunately, she was missing for more than half the year. I assumed that she was from a family that was here in an “undocumented” capacity and left it at that… Despite the quality of her work, there was no way she could obtain a passing grade given the amount of work that she missed. I believe the same rang true for her other classes as well as NECAP…. Demographics and the Family play a key role it a student’s performance. Something that the NECAP does NOT take into consideration…. In the 8th grade students are still in a learning mode. By HS there are way too many distractions and for many students, learning often falls by the wayside. It is more important to have the latest fashions, iPod and a cell phone, even if the latter two are prohibited, than to achieve good grades. For many HS becomes more of a social experience more than an opportunity to advance. Don’t get me wrong, there are many who are excellent students but they are outnumbered by those who are there only because they have to be there. Many don’t eat breakfast even though it is free because they don’t get up in time!!! I know of one student that has an IEP requiring the school to call the home to ensure they are awake. You can only do so much in this environment….. Again, you are most welcome to visit my classroom any time…. Until you have been in the classroom for a sometime, do not assume all is well nor that teachers are not trying. Cell phone, Yes! Pens or pencils? What, are… Read more »

14 years ago

Aldo, question for you. Why does only RI have this problem? MA or CT or NY or even Oklahoma doesn’t have this problem?
Answer they do, everyone does. So that argument is all evened out.
And if there’s nothing the teachers can do for these kids, then why do we spend upwards of \$75,000 a year, plus benefits for these teachers? Why not just hire babysitters at \$20 an hour?

Aldo
14 years ago

“Why not just hire babysitters at \$20 an hour?”
That’s what Gist SHOULD do….

mangeek
14 years ago

It’s a fifteen minute walk from CF High to Tollman in Pawtucket, a district that’s looking to close schools soon, a district that’s slightly-less of a failure.
I’m thinking that Pawtucket should absorb CFHS students at great savings to the state and great benefit to the students.

Everett Littlefield
14 years ago

Hey Guys, I realize we are little out of the way, but what ever happened to us in all your figuring? I speak of Block Island. Probably not much better and maybe worse, but why were we left out?