By Emily Greenhalgh
PBN Web Editor
PROVIDENCE – RI-CAN, the Rhode Island Campaign for Achievement Now, released a report grading 300 Rhode Island public schools based on student performance.
The report – released Tuesday – graded schools based on students’ academic performance in four categories: average student performance, subgroup performance, achievement gaps and performance gains.
“The report cards are designed to help Rhode Island parents serve as effective advocates for their kids,” RI-CAN Executive Director Maryellen Butke said in a prepared statement. “Parents deserve to know how well their child’s public school is meeting the needs of all of its students.”
The grades ranged from A to F and were calculated based on the October 2011 New England Common Assessment Program scores, which were released in January by the R.I. Dept. of Education.
In elementary schools, the average student performance for the state was 69 percent. Hope Valley Elementary and Kingston-based charter school The Compass School tied for the top spot with a score of 98 percent average student performance.
Comparatively, the Providence-based Charlotte Woods Elementary School ranked last with an average student performance of 21 percent.
For the state’s middle schools, average student performance was 70 percent. The Compass School once again ranked highest with a 95 percent average student performance on the NECAP tests.
The lowest ranking middle school in the state was Providence-based Roger Williams Middle School with an average student performance of 28 percent.
Barrington High School ranked highest for the state’s high schools, with an average student performance of 81 percent. The state average was 52 percent for grades 9 through 12.
The DCYF Alternative Education Program ranked last for the state’s high schools, with a 3 percent average student performance. Providence’s Mount Pleasant High School ranked second-to-last with an average student performance of 18 percent.
Along with rankings for Ocean State schools based on NECAP scores, the state education advocacy group broke down lists into low-income and ethnic subgroups including performance gains, low-income performance, African-American performance, Hispanic performance, improvement, limited English proficiency performance and title I school performance.
Using the data from the school report cards, RI-CAN released a list of the top 10 Rhode Island public schools with higher levels of achievement in critical areas. Part of the ranking system was to showcase the achievement gap between white, non-low-income students and minority low-income students.
“Our state’s achievement gaps are still unacceptably high and overall performance statewide is stagnant,” said Butke. “We must be transparent about how Rhode Island schools are performing - it’s a critical step towards improving our schools.”
To see the full list of school grades, visit RI-CAN.org.