By Lindsay Lorenz
PBN Staff Writer
The Rhode Island Campaign for Achievement Now, an education reform advocacy organization, released its 2013 School and District report cards for each of the state’s 296 public schools and their school districts.
Schools were assessed in five areas, including student performance, subgroup performance, achievement gaps, performance gains and four-year cohort high school graduation rates. RI-CAN also used data from the fall 2012 New England Common Assessment Program exams to assign letter grades to each school and district, ranging from A to F.
RI-CAN said the report cards were designed to help Rhode Island families access online information about their local schools so that they can serve as effective advocates for children, and to create transparency and awareness about performance in the state’s public schools.
The results are available online and show breakdowns of how schools and districts stack up.
“These report cards provide a snapshot of school and district performance in a transparent, easy-to-use format and highlights how different student populations are performing,” said Christine Lopes, RI-CAN executive director.
Of the state’s 185 elementary schools, The Compass School, a charter school located in South Kingstown, received the only 100 percent in the overall student performance at the elementary level. Gladstone School in Cranston School District came in last, receiving an F, with a score of 9 percent.
In the middle school level of the category Jamestown School-Lawn in Jamestown School District received the highest score, a 93 percent. Roger Williams Middle School in the Providence School district received the only failing grade of Rhode Island’s 58 middle schools, a 25 percent.
Of the state’s 53 high schools, Barrington High School tied with East Greenwich High School in the high-school student performance category, with both schools receiving a B+ grade with an 82 percent score. Six high schools received Fs, with grades ranging from 26 to 13.5 percents. Five of the six failing high schools were located in the Providence School District, including Providence Career and Technical School, Central High School, Dr. Jorge Alvarez High School, Mount Pleasant High School and William B. Cooley/Health and Science Technical Academy. Coming in dead last was the DCYF Alternative Education Program.
Along with the report cards, RI-CAN also released Top 10 lists, which highlight the Ocean State schools that made the biggest gains from the previous years. The lists also include rankings for schools with the highest achievement levels for low-income students, English language-learners, black students, Latino students and Title 1 school performance.
For top performance gain on the elementary level, North Providence School District’s Stephen Olney School tied with East Providence School District’s Agnes B. Hennessy School. Both schools experienced an 11.5 percentage point change in proficiency within a year. On the middle school level, Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts, a charter school in Providence, saw the biggest gains, with a 14.5 percentage point change in proficiency.
Overall performance gains for high schools were not reported.
“The RI-CAN Top 10 lists show that there are public schools of all different make-ups, and from across the state, that are doing good work,” Lopes said. “We need to replicate what’s working across schools and raise the bar so that all of our kids have access to great public schools.”
To access school and district report cards and the Top 10 lists, visit ri-can.org.