eligible students in this school
who met or exceeded the standard
compared to the percentage of similar students statewide
Click here to download and/or print this chart in PDF
What you are looking at
This chart shows the relationship between the actual performance of students in this school – expressed as the percentage of students who met the standard on the state tests -- and the statistically generated performance range of similar students statewide.
What you are looking for
You are hoping to see the school’s students performing at or above the performance range of similar students statewide.
CRITICAL NOTE: Rhode Island’s goal is for all students to become proficient in all subjects. This computer-generated model is not a standard, and performing as well or even better than similar students across the state is only the beginning of a journey towards 100% proficiency of all students. Over time, as the schools improve, the computer-generated ranges will themselves rise. This model helps us understand that schools do not start on a level playing field, and some will need more time, specialists, resources or any number of supports to help all of their children reach proficiency. Schools which are under-performing according to the model over multiple years are signaling the need for intervention.
Statistically generated performance models level the playing field
Schools with high concentrations of low-income or special needs children have always complained about being unfairly compared to schools whose less challenged children perform at higher levels on standardized tests. The public tends to compare high-performing schools with low-performing schools without considering differences in student characteristics. In fact, poverty is the strongest predictor of student achievement, except for that student’s prior achievement. (Without a Universal Student Identifier system in place, RI can not factor prior achievement into its research.)
This is the fourth year RI will have run these statistical models on each school. Summary lists of prior years’ modeling are available at the home page of each year’s IW! under the title “a value-added look at RI schools.”
Please note: You can not make straightforward comparisons between the results of this year’s modeling and previous year’s results because starting this year we are accounting for eligible students who did not receive a score.
See the Technical
Brief on the Statistical Model for a description of the model.
The Technical Brief is also available upon request from the RIDE Office of Research, High School Reform and Adult Education.
Increasingly, education researchers are using these models, sometimes called “value-added,” to calculate what results schools are likely to achieve when taking into consideration the characteristics of their student body. “Value-added” means that as compared with similar students statewide, does the individual school add more value, or improve the child’s skill set more effectively, than other schools in the comparison? For over 30 years, researchers have known that the achievement results of different sets of students, such as those from different schools, vary in association with several specific key factors, including:
Poverty (by far the strongest predictor of student achievement, with the exception of prior achievement)
Non-English speaking background
Educational background of the parents
Having special learning needs, and
Having a minority racial group identity
While individuals with one or more of these characteristics can and do perform well on state assessments, the majority tend to perform less well than children who do not have these characteristics. There are many reasons for these historic patterns of achievement. They include such things as school expectations, the availability of flexible grouping and different types of instruction, inadequate funding and support to the schools these children attend, and the quality of social services offered to students.
Statistical models allow the public and those evaluating school performance to look at the achievement data through a lens that filters out some of the students’ challenges. This lens provides a different, but newly uniform and, in some ways, more practical benchmark against which to measure actual achievement.
These models predict only for groups of students with similar characteristics; they can not predict any individual student’s achievement. In general, the unit of accountability in RI’s school reform agenda is the school and not the individual student.
The Rhode Island model
Rhode Island researchers have created a model which considers the five characteristics mentioned above. Because Rhode Island is such a small state, the entire body of 156,454 students enrolled in public schools serves as a context from which the test and grade-specific ranges were derived. Thus, groups of students within a school are compared with similar groups of students statewide; schools themselves are not sorted for comparisons. The computer-generated ranges will change depending on the test because, for example, a writing assessment is more strongly affected by language minority status than a math test. This year’s model uses one year of assessment data.
The Information Works! charts compare the performance range generated by the model to the actual performance of the school’s 2000 test-takers.
The effect of including “no score” children in the statistical modeling
This year, the testing results of the “no score” children will be included in the statistical modeling. In the past, the modeling included only those children who took the entire test, generating a score good, bad or indifferent. Schools with a high number of “no scores” will find their relative position depressed as compared to the statistical range. Those schools which have appeared to perform poorly, but been diligent about testing their eligible test-takers will probably improve their relative position.
By including these eligible, but untested children, the RI Department of Education is emphasizing its insistence that All Children be accounted for and addressed.
Special to the state section
As a regular feature, Information Works! collects the statistically generated scores, into summary lists consisting of bands of schools which perform similarly to one another – by elementary, middle and high school levels. On the web and elsewhere, these are called the “value-added” lists. The lists from this year as well as the previous years are available on the appropriate year’s
Infoworks website under School
Performance: A Value-Added Perspective.
Special to the district reports
Each district’s page 2 includes tables that show the total number of schools whose students met or exceeded the standard compared with similar students statewide on selected subscales of the New Standards tests.