31 percent of public schools in Rhode Island need to make improvements, according to the latest school classifications from the Rhode Island Department of Education.
A total of 32 schools, mostly in Providence, East Providence and Pawtucket fall in the department's lowest categories, which means they must craft or are in the midst of implementing restructuring plans with state oversight.
Another group of schools are labeled "warning" which means they must make improvements but without the same level of state involvement.
Education officials consider a variety of factors in the school rankings, including standardized test scores, graduations rates and progress from one year to the next.
RIDE officials say so far no schools have exited the lowest categories, in part because they must show improvement for several consecutive years.
RIDE Spokesman Elliott Krieger says the state has seen significant progress at some schools, including Central Falls High School, Shea and Tollman High Schools in Pawtucket and Sackett Street Elementary School in Providence.
Just one school was added to the list of low performers this year, the Orlo Avenue School in East Providence.
30 schools were ranked as "commended," the highest category. They include six schools that have made that list for three years in a row, Blackstone Academy Charter School, Charlestown Elementary School, Classical High School in Providence, Fort Barton School in Tiverton, Rockwell School in Bristol-Warren and Scituate High School.
This is the third year that Rhode Island has used its own system for ranking schools, a process required under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The measure originally had a goal of getting all students to proficiency on standardized testing but came under criticism for setting unrealistic goals, particularly for urban schools.
Rhode Island is one of several states that has received a waiver from the testing requirements in the bill.