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RI Dept of Ed: Alarming test results show 85% of students not proficient in math/English

Nov 30, 2018, Providence, RI, Go Local: 85% of Providence Students Not Meeting Expectations on Latest Statewide Test—RI Leaders Speak Out The Rhode Island Department of Education released the state's new RICAS student assessment scores for grades 3-8 on Thursday -- which showed that students statewide scored 17-20% lower than their Massachusetts counterparts -- and reaction was strong. "Rhode Islanders should be deeply concerned at the very alarming RICAS results. Especially, when you consider that if Rhode Island was a city in Massachusetts, the scores would place the Ocean State in the bottom 10% of the state," said Jim Vincent, President of the NAACP Providence Branch. "I strongly feel that scores 17% and 20% below our nearest neighbor mean that we are in an obvious crisis. To me, the results merely confirm what other studies (Annie B. Casey Foundation) already have shown -- we are not adequately educating our kids in Rhode Island." In Providence, over 85% of students were only partially meeting -- or not meeting -- expectations for both math and English on the 2017-2018 Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System (RICAS) based on the Massachusetts assessment (MCAS). "We need to take the blinders off and begin fixing the system, today," said Vincent. "We are in a crisis and I am screaming fire."… At the statewide level, reaction varied from those in the education -- and political -- worlds, from those who said a greater investment is needed, to those who said the very opposite. Tim Duffy, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Association of School Committees, said that if Rhode Island wants Massachusetts' results, it needs to make Massachusetts' investments. … "These test results are not surprising. We have known for years that our schools are underperforming. What is shocking is just how poorly some of our districts are performing, like Providence. Providence 3rd-8th graders scored 14% proficient in English language arts and 10% proficient in math. What we are doing educationally is not working; the educational status quo is hobbling a generation of students," said former gubernatorial candidate Ken Block….


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