Scores are out from the latest round of standardized testing in science, and the news isn't too encouraging. Overall, Rhode Island students dipped slightly with just 34 percent reaching the "proficient" level.
The test, administered in May to 4th, 8th and 11th graders, shows gains at only the 8th grade level. State officials are quick to point out there have been significant increases since they first began testing in 2008, when just 24 percent of students scored proficient in science.
As with any testing, there are huge difference from school to school and district to district. Here are a few highlights:
- The highest scoring districts are The Compass School, a charter school in Kingston where 75 percent of students were proficient in science, East Greenwich, with 67 percent of students proficient, and Barrington at 65.6 percent proficient.
- The lowest scoring districts are all urban districts: Providence at 12 percent proficient, Central Falls at 13 percent, Woonsocket at 13.5 percent, and Pawtucket at 15 percent.
- Several charter schools and alternative schools have even lower scores than these districts, and many of them also serve urban students. They include the Urban Collaborative where no students scored proficient on the science test, the RI Nurses Institute with just 1.4 percent proficient, The Met School where only 2.2 percent of students were proficient, and Trinity Academy and the Segue Institute, both hovering just under 3 percent proficient.
- A few districts and charter schools had significant gains this year even though the state lost ground overall. Foster's elementary school gained 14 percentage points, Scituate gained nearly 8 percentage points, part of a steady upward trend, and Blackstone Academy and the International Charter school each gained more than 6 percentage points.
- Some schools lost significant ground this year. They include Barrington, which despite its top score lost more than 6 percentage points, the Beacon Charter School, which dropped nearly 18 percentage points, and Paul Cuffee Charter School, also down more than 17 percentage points.