What you are looking at
As with the School Classification Indicators, these two graphs use the Accountability Data: an index proficiency score computed using three years of data. The graphs show the scores for the school as a whole (All Students) in both English language arts and mathematics.These graphs allow you to make two comparisons: You can compare the scores in the individual school to the scores for the state as a whole at this school's level (elementary, middle, or high school.) And, you can track performance progress by comparing this year's scores (2002-2004) with last year's scores (2001-2003).
This box describes the school's performance classification, which is determined by the school's overall index proficiency score (All Students) in both subjects, by whether the school hit all 21 targets, and by the progress made between last year's scores and this year's.
There are 8 possible classifications:
If a school misses any of the 21 targets, it is classified as "in need of improvement." There are a few exceptions and conditions, however. For every target there are "error bands," which vary depending on the size of the student group, so it is possible to fall slightly below the target but get credit for meeting the target because the score fell within the error band. Second, schools that missed a target based on the most recent three years of data are given credit for meeting the target if they would have done so based on the most recent year's data alone. Finally, if a school met all of its academic targets and missed only a nonacademic target (participation rates, graduation rate, attendance rate), it is classified as "with caution," which it may maintain for one year only.
Schools that missed targets but are making significant progress toward those targets are classified as "making progress" under the Safe Harbor provision of the No Child Left Behind Act. Significant progress is defined as closing the gap between last year's score and a score of 100 by 10 percent.
The classification box also notes whether a school has been "identified for improvement" under the provisions of NCLB, and for how many years it has been in this status.
Schools that have made progress in both English language arts and mathematics for two years in a row are honored as Regents' Commended Schools. The classification box notes if the school has received this honor in 2004.
What you are looking for
You would like to see that your school’s index scores are relatively high and improving. Therefore, you would like to see that the blue lines connecting the two diamonds are high on the scale – above the state average, perhaps – and sloping upward.
You would also like to see a high classification for your school: high performing and moderately performing schools met all of their targets. Schools that are “making progress” have fallen below some targets but are moving toward them at a rapid pace. Improving schools are an upward trend.
For details on how the classifications are determined, see either the Brochure on Accountability (PDF format) or the Technical Bulletin at www.ridoe.net - 2004 School Report Cards. A brief explainer of the Rhode Island Accountability System is also included in the Information Works! 2005 State Report Card.
For another look at this data, comparing this year's results with last year's, see the 2004 School & District Report Cards at www.ridoe.net.
|For further information call the Rhode Island Department of Education at 401-222-4600 x2182.
Information Works! is produced in collaboration with the National Center on Public Education.