RI-CAN’s 5th annual State of Education report follows changes over past decade

Providence, R.I.— RI-CAN: The Rhode Island Campaign for Achievement Now today released its fifth annual State of Public Education report, a comprehensive guide to Rhode Island public schools in 2015.

This interactive one-stop shop for education data highlights how Rhode Island stacks up against states across New England and the nation on student spending and student achievement. It tracks changes in Rhode Island education across eight key indicators, from students, teachers, schools and cost to K-12 achievement, post-secondary readiness, post-secondary outcomes and education and the workforce.

View full report.

Key data points include:

  • Zero percent of three-year-olds are enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs.
  • Seven percent of Rhode Island’s public school students are English language learners.
  • The percentage of Latino students grew from 14% in 2000 to 24% in 2015, making them the fastest growing student population in Rhode Island schools.
  • There is a 22 percentage-point gap between white student achievement and black and Latino student achievement across all grades in Rhode Island on the latest PARCC mathematics exam.
  • One in four Rhode Island high school graduates take an AP exam before graduating. Fewer than one in six score a three or higher on those exams.
  • Nationally, Rhode Island ranks 9th in per pupil expenditures, spending $14,889 per pupil.
    The fields with the highest projected job growth in the state over the next five years are: Science, Technology,
  • Engineering, and Math (STEM); social sciences; and healthcare support.

“We know that knowledge is power. By making data more accessible and easy to understand, we can better engage the public in advocating for the policies that will support our students and the schools they attend,” said Christine Lopes Metcalfe, Executive Director of RI-CAN.

“This year’s tool shows how our student demographics have changed over the past fifteen years, how much we spend compared to our neighbors, and which job areas are projected to grow over the next five years. This information helps inform how we can transform our public school system to meet the changing needs of students,” Lopes Metcalfe said.


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 needs by focusing our work on starting earlier, expanding choices, aiming higher, cultivating talent and reaching everyone.

RI-CAN advocates for the success of every Rhode Island student, from pre-K through college and career. We improve policy to help all students thrive and share promising practices and stories to demonstrate that all kids CAN succeed. 


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