Published Online: January 3, 2006

Rhode Island's State Highlights

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Vital Statistics
Public schools 328
Public school teachers 11,918
Pre-K-12 students 159,375
Annual pre-K-12 expenditures $1.6 billion
Minority students 28.5%
Children in poverty 21%
Students with disabilities 21%
English-language learners 6.1%

Summary of Grades

Rhode Island scores below average in three of the four graded policy categories in Quality Counts.

The state earns a below-average grade in standards and accountability, in part, because it has not adopted academic standards in social studies. In addition, the American Federation of Teachers has not rated its English standards as clear, specific, and grounded in content. The state also loses points because its science assessments are not aligned to its standards.

Rhode Island also scores below the average state in teacher quality. There is room for improvement particularly in the area of teacher assessment. The state does not require aspiring teachers to pass basic-skills or subject-knowledge tests to earn an initial license, and veterans do not have to undergo performance assessments to qualify for more advanced certification.

The state earns its highest score in school climate, where it ranks among the top group of states. Rhode Island fares well on measures of student engagement and receives full credit for its efforts related to class size and school facilities. The state loses points because of a limited public school open-enrollment program and a charter school law that receives a low rating from the Center for Education Reform.

Rhode Island’s worst showing is in resource equity. Its wealth-neutrality score, for example, shows that the state’s wealthier districts tend to have higher per-pupil funding levels than do poorer districts.

State Policy Report Card
Rhode Island Avg. State Score
Standards and accountability C B-
Efforts to improve teacher quality C- C+
School climate B C+
Resource equity D C
Overall Grade C C+
Quality Counts Grading Breakdown
Standards and accountability Points awardedPoints possible
Standards 25.25 40
Assessment 22.5 30
School accountability 27 30
75 100
Efforts to improve teacher quality Points awardedPoints possible
Teacher education and qualifications 24.15 35
Teacher assessment 19.5 30
Professional support and training 14.55 20
Accountability for teacher quality 12.6 15
71 100
School climate Points awardedPoints possible
Engagement 13.67 15
School safety 16.33 20
Parent involvement 11.4 15
Choice and autonomy 14 20
Class size 10 10
School size 7.5 10
School facilities 10 10
83 100
Resource equity Points awardedPoints possible
Wealth-neutrality score 24 33.3
McLoone Index 16.67 33.3
Coefficient of variation 25 33.3
66 100
Note: Details may not sum to totals due to rounding.

Vol. 25, Issue 17

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