RI-CAN analysis reveal persistent achievement gaps with path towards recovery 

Providence, R.I.—Today RI-CAN: The Rhode Island Campaign for Achievement Now released an analysis of the state’s first-ever PARCC test results. The 2014-2015 school year marks the second year Rhode Island has fully implemented the Common Core State Standards and the first year students took math and English- language arts aligned assessments through PARCC.

In its inaugural year, PARCC has set a new baseline to which future assessments can be compared. Rhode Island families can now look to a clearer, more rigorously measured picture of student competency.

See the full analysis.

Our key findings include:

  • Only 25 percent of test takers across all grades met or exceeded PARCC expectations on math.
  • Fewer than three percent of students in most grades exceeded PARCC expectations on math tests.
  • However, close to 36 percent of students met or exceeded PARCC expectations for English-language arts.
  • Unfortunately, large proficiency gaps persist:
    • The percentage of black and Hispanic students proficient in math is roughly 22 percentage points behind white students, while the percentage of proficient low-income students is 25 percentage points behind non-low-income students.
    • The percentage of black and Hispanic students proficient on ELA tests is roughly 25 percentage points behind white students, while the percentage of proficient low-income students is 29 percentage points behind non-low-income students.

“We view these results as a benchmark from which we can track future progress towards college and career-readiness,” says RI-CAN Executive Director Christine Lopes Metcalfe. “This year’s scores show us that while we still have a long way to go, we’re at the starting line of long race and these PARCC scores can help us set the course for where we need to go.”

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Launched in 2010, RI-CAN: The Rhode Island Campaign for Achievement Now (pronounced rye-can) is a nonprofit organization that advocates for a high-quality public education for all Rhode Island kids, regardless of their address. We help create learning environments that best meet every child’s need by focusing our work on starting earlier, expanding choices, aiming higher, cultivating talent and reaching everyone.

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