By ELISABETH HARRISON
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – High School students in Rhode Island improved last year on statewide tests of math and English. Overall, 33 percent of juniors were proficient in math, a gain of six points compared with 2009.
State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist says she would like to see more students reach proficiency.
"We need to tackle as a state our belief that all of our students can be successful," Gist says. "So often I hear people tell me about all the barriers that some of our students experience. Rather than making excuses, we have to problem solve around that."
Elementary school scores were flat last year, but state officials say they have made progress since 2005. Gist singled out Coventry High School, East Providence High School and Pilgrim High School in Warwick as the only schools that made significant gains in both math and reading last year.
The test known as NECAP is used in Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. At the high school level, Rhode Island students outperformed their peers in reading and writing but had the lowest proficiency rate in math at just 33 percent.
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