Welcome to the third annual
publication of Information Works!
Information Works!was developed and is now published
annually in response to the Rhode Island General Assemblys desire for comprehensive
and comparable information about RI public schools and school districts.
Information Works! has grown considerably from its first
year, 1998, when it published roughly 12,600 individual bits of information to its current
22,600 data elements, and thats not counting the elements used more than once such
as certain proficiency scores. Some of the indicators that were originally published in
the hardcopy edition have been moved to the Web to free up space on the two pages devoted
to charts on each school in Rhode Island. RI has an impressive amount of information about
Thus, Information Works! is a selection of comparable data
elements which have been chosen to summarize the increasingly large sources of information
about Rhode Islands schools and districts. The Rhode Island Department of Education
(RIDE) has been building an information system over recent years to serve the legislative
demand for accountability, the publics desire to know and understand their schools
better, and the schools need for information that will drive well-informed
decisions. Information Works! is the biggest and most comprehensive of the
reports from this system of continuous information feedback; other smaller reports, each
with a specific focus, will appear on an on-going basis during the course of the coming
Were pleased to see that in general schools and
districts are beginning to feel more comfortable working with data and starting to put
this information to good use.
continues to evolve.
Please note the following changes from last years book
to this years:
Policy statements are now in the state section. The
User's Guide contains only information which explains the specifics of how to use the
Information Works! charts, without policy-oriented explanation, discussion or
illumination. The guide outlines what you are looking at and what you are looking for in
each of the fields in the school and district charts. It also identifies how certain
numbers were calculated. The RI Department of Educations policy conclusions can be
found in the expanded state section.
All assessment results, including the RI Writing, are
now reported using the same five achievement levels and descriptors.
In an effort to move away from using tables which
experience reveals to be unattractive and thus uninviting the SALT survey
results at both the school and district level are now represented in three-dimensional
The following selected school indicators have been
moved to the Web site to free up precious space in the hardcopy edition:
- average class size
- span of responsibility
- teacher attendance
- teacher grievances
The following indicator has been added to the hardcopy:
- English Language Arts assessment participation rate
In$ite financial data is being reported for
the first time at the school, district and state levels. These data are new to all of us;
we strongly recommend reading about it in the State Analysis to get a fuller understanding
of what it offers.
Performance targets have been moved to the Web site
for one year. The information on performance targets which are projected for the
year 2001 -- remains the same as last year. However, schools may have chosen to make
revisions. Changes will be noted on the Web. This year we are also reporting the targets
set by the K-3 schools for the RI Writing Assessment.
The state section has been re-designed to be a
stand-alone document, although it is included, in its entirety, within the pages of
"the big book." New graphs include:
- Regional comparative assessment data, using the
National Assessment on Educational Progress (NAEP) scores
- Property value per student shown against the
districts tax rate
- "Value-added" charts for elementary, middle
and high schools, which show every schools student performance as compared with
similar students statewide. (Note: The explanation of the statistical modeling that
generates these charts can be found in the technical brief.)
- In$ite financial data charts, which compare district
costs on a number of per pupil measures.
The following resources are
available on this website:
- Commissioner McWalters 2000 State of Education Address
to the General Assembly
- The Users Guide (this document)
- School and District Reports
- 2000 Statewide Analysis
- Technical Paper on the RI Statistically Generated Model
- SALT Survey Results for 2000, 1999, 1998
- 1999 Information Works!
- 1998 Information Works!
The school charts on the
Web also include:
- Disaggregations of student achievement by students with
certain characteristics that continue below the proficiency line. Non-proficient students
are disaggregated by characteristics into the three non-proficient categories.
- Each schools goals
- Student suspensions by reason and disciplinary action
- Targets for adequate yearly progress
- Teacher grievances by reason
- Average class size (elementary schools)
- Span of responsibility (secondary schools)
- Teacher attendance rate
The Principal Sources
of the Data for Information Works!
- State assessments student achievement tests
administered by the state assessment program
- SALT Surveys school-level data about classroom
practice, school climate, expectations, and much more
- Basic school-level statistics data such as
school enrollment, demographic make up, socio-economic status, absenteeism, suspensions,
collected throughout the year by RIDE
- Tax and income statistics from the RI
Department of Administration, Office of Municipal Affairs
- In$ite financial data expenditure data at
school, district and state levels
- Form 31 financial information district
information submitted to the state through Form 31 provide this years source of
revenue information at the district level.
When data is statistically
When the number of test-takers drops below 10, the results
are considered statistically unreliable and are not reported. Also, these very small
numbers could make it possible to identify or to invite guessing as to the achievement
results of individual children. Information Works! is about the functioning of
schools and districts not about individual children. Therefore, in Field #4, which
shows "gaps" using disaggregated data, any group with certain characteristics
consisting of fewer than 10 children -- scoring high, low or indifferent -- was dropped.
Patterned boxes just below the proficiency line indicate instances when there were too few
test-takers in that category to report, when no test-takers achieved proficiency or when
there were no test-takers. Very small classes of test-takers such as those in New Shoreham
and the RI School for the Deaf also require leaving a number of fields empty.
Return to top || Return to the Information Works Home Page