NECAP scores show slight gains for R.I. high school students

High school students’ performance on the 2013 New England Common Assessment Program improved slightly, while scores for grades three through eight showed mixed results, the R.I. Department of Education said in a news release Thursday. More

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NECAP scores show slight gains for R.I. high school students

THE R.I. DEPARTMENT of Education reported Thursday that Rhode Island high school juniors improved proficiency rates in both math and reading, to 36 percent and 81 percent, respectively. Sixty-six percent of Rhode Island 11th graders scored proficient in writing, higher than New Hampshire’s 52 percent.
Posted 2/13/14

PROVIDENCE – High school students’ performance on the 2013 New England Common Assessment Program improved slightly, while scores for grades three through eight showed mixed results, the R.I. Department of Education said in a news release Thursday.

The latest report followed initial assessment results first released Jan. 31. Thursday’s results included cross-state comparisons, a report on progress toward performance goals, results of the writing component of the NECAP assessment, a breakdown of performance by demographic, and results at individual schools.

The NECAP is the assessment program in mathematics, reading and writing used as one element to determine eligibility for graduation from high school in Rhode Island. It has been in place since 2005.

In grade 11, Rhode Island students improved proficiency by two percentage points in both math and reading, to 36 percent and 81 percent, respectively. Sixty-six percent of Rhode Island 11th graders scored proficient in writing, higher than New Hampshire’s 52 percent.

Normally, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont also administer the NECAP. However, in 2013, Vermont chose to participate in a field test of the new state assessment instead, RIDE said. Maine does not administer the test at the high school level.

RIDE reported some one-year declines in both mathematics and reading for grades three through eight, but except among third graders (who showed marked performance declines across the board), the five-year trends remained stable or showed positive improvement.

In writing, 60 percent of tested students in elementary and middle school attained proficiency, RIDE said.

Achievement gaps between low-income students and other Rhode Island students have narrowed in both mathematics and reading. However, achievement gaps have generally widened between students with disabilities and students without disabilities, and between non-native England speakers and native English speakers, RIDE said.

Achievement gaps among ethnic and racial groups – black, Hispanic and white students – remained unchanged according to the RIDE report.

At the local level, 14 schools and seven school districts have made significant improvements in both mathematics and reading over the past five years.

“The progress our students and teachers have made, especially at the high-school level, is powerful evidence that all students can succeed when we maintain high expectations and when we provide resources and support to advance teaching and learning,” said Deborah A. Gist, commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education. “Though we know a lot of work remains ahead, as we strive to close achievement gaps and to maintain and expand proficiency levels across the state, Rhode Islanders should be proud of how far we have come over the past five years.”

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