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RI students post small gains in science, proficiency rates still low

September 28, 2010

In 2008, just under a quarter of Rhode Island students met the bar on the standardized state test of science. This year, the number is closer to 30%. State officials call the gains encouraging but say improvements must come faster.

Portsmouth High School had the highest proficiency rate for 11th graders in the state with 52% of students meeting the bar. Science Chair Jeffrey Schoonover says his faculty did a total curriculum overhaul, and there is still more work to do.

“We have made great strides and are very pleased with our progress. However, we only have 52% of our students who are reaching proficiency,” Schoonover said. “Our goal is to have 100% of our students demonstrating proficiency or proficiency with distinction.”

State officials say they are also concerned about widening achievement gaps for black and Hispanic students and students with disabilities. Urban districts as a whole scored significantly lower on the test.

Rhode Island students scored slightly lower on average than their peers in New Hampshire and Vermont, who took the same test this past May. Rhode Island officials say they are encouraged by the fact that Rhode Island students are improving at a faster rate than students in the other two states.

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 30, 2010 2:08 pm

    Thanks for the correction! I will fix this right away. My apologies to Mr. Schoonover.

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