II. The Baseline
A Wake-up Call to Rhode Island
Chart 2 portrays the standards gap in tenth
grade mathematics in the areas of skills, concepts and problem solving. This chart shows
that Rhode Island students performed better in the area on which we have historically
focused basic skills with 63% of all students meeting or exceeding the
standard. Student performance in the areas needed to excel in the 21st century, however,
is worrisome. Only 18% of all students met or exceeded the standard in math concepts, and
25% met or exceeded the standard in problem solving.
Charts 3, 4 and 5 above depict local
standards gaps in grade 10 math skills, math problem solving, and in writing. Each chart
shows the percentage of students in each district who met or exceeded the standard in the
respective subject area. Districts are ordered by family median income, with the community
with the lowest median income at the far left.
These graphs demonstrate the
- Rhode Island's students perform better in
the area of math skills than they do in either math problem solving or writing.
- There is a substantial range in student performance by district that again roughly mirrors
wealth and family background:
90 percent of all students in East Greenwich, our wealthiest community, met or
exceeded the standard in math skills, compared to 38 percent of all students in our
poorest community Central Falls.
Student performance in math problem solving ranged from a high of 49 percent of
students at or above standard, to a low of 6
In writing, the percentage of students at or above standard ranged from 70 to 21 percent.
- There are large standards gaps in even our most highly performing communities:
In math problem solving, more than half the students failed to meet the standard in
our three highest performing communities East Greenwich, South Kingstown and Foster-Glocester.
In writing, nearly a third of the students failed to meet the standard in East
Greenwich, more than a third failed to meet the standard in Barrington, and nearly half
failed to meet the standard in Scituate.
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