The latest NECAP scores show more high school students reaching proficiency in both reading and mathematics, although math scores continue to be lower than state officials might like.
The Rhode Island Department of Education says 36 percent of high school juniors scored proficient in math in 2013, up from just 27 percent in 2009. 81 percent scored proficient in reading, up from 73 percent in 2009.
Education Commissioner Deborah Gist had more good news for high school seniors. 1,370 of them improved their scores enough to graduate under a new diploma system linking test scores to graduation.
"This just demonstrates that with hard work, with instruction, with the right kind of supports for our students, they can achieve," Gist said, adding that she believes these students are now better off because of the increased focus on improving their skills.
The results may come as a relief to some seniors, but more than 1,800 still need to improve their scores or find another way to demonstrate proficiency. School districts will give those students another chance to take the NECAP in February and March.
The latest NECAP scores also show small improvements for 4th and 5th grade students, but state officials say they are concerned about a downward trend in 3rd grade.
Graduation rates increased with 80 percent of students now making it to graduation within four years, up from 77 percent in 2012.
A more detailed NECAP report is expected in February.