100% Proficiency of all RI fourth graders: What will it
II. Responsive, Effective, Exciting Schools
Moving Towards Responsive, Exciting Schools
Improving Literacy and Numeracy
Intense focus on the state exams will produce only limited improvement in student achievement. The state assessments sample only a small number of the content standards in the subjects that all students should know and be able to do, and these samples are taken at selected points in their educational journey, over the course of a few days. To have a more complete picture of the students academic progress, schools and communities need to have their own local assessment data.
Furthermore, test results are outcomes which will change little without examining the in-puts. To help the schools gain a fuller sense of their over-all functioning, the state administered the SALT (School Accountability for Learning and Teaching) Survey which is designed to yield information about the key dimensions of school functioning that research shows improves student achievement. Some of the state-level findings have clear implications for 4th grade proficiency.
Teachers strongly believe in teaching literacy (reading skill development) throughout the curriculum.
Elementary Integrates Instruction Much More Frequently than Secondary
The above findings represent the teachers responses from both elementary and secondary schools. Clearly, because elementary teachers generally teach all core subjects themselves, their integration of literacy and numeracy across the curriculum is significantly higher than at the secondary level. But even at 4th grade, the student responses on the New Standards Reference exams indicate that children need much more practice applying their understanding of basic literacy and numeracy to real world problems, using projects requiring writing, reading, and mathematical computation and reasoning. For example, social studies teachers at all levels could enhance student math skills by using or having the students develop charts, graphs and tables to compare demographics, income, the growth of agriculture, and so on.