NECAP Results: 73 percent meet mathematics graduation requirement


Assessment results that the R.I. Department of Education (RIDE) released today
(January 31) show that 73 percent of the current high-school seniors have met the
graduation requirement in mathematics and are eligible to earn a diploma this

Among the high-school seniors who retook the NECAP mathematics assessment last
October because they scored «substantially below proficient» in their junior year,
another 1,370 students (43 percent of those retested in October) improved enough to
meet the graduation requirement: 977 did so by scoring partially proficient or
better on their second attempt; another 393 did so by making significant improvement
over their 2012 score.
«I want to thank the many high-school students, teachers, and family members who
have focused over the past year on improving achievement in math,» said Governor
Lincoln D. Chafee. «Today, we see that 1,370 of our high-school seniors have
received the good news that their hard work has paid off. Setting high expectations
and holding everyone accountable for results does lead to significant advances in
learning and achievement. Our goal is to ensure that all of our graduates are ready
for success, and we have taken a major step today toward reaching that goal.»

«The results we are releasing today show us that high expectations, strong support,
and accountability for all leads to stronger student achievement,» said Eva-Marie
Mancuso, Chair of the Board of Education. «We have moved forward with our Diploma
System, and we are on the right course. I want to congratulate the families,
teachers, and school administrators across the state who have helped our students
improve their performance, and in particular I want to congratulate the high-school
seniors who have met the requirements to earn a diploma. As Chair of the Board of
Education, let me assure all Rhode Island students that we will do whatever it takes
to prepare you for success in postsecondary education and in challenging careers.»

«I am very proud today of our high-school seniors and the adults who have supported
them. They have shown all of us that it can be done: With hard work and with
excellent support, students can improve their achievement and their chances for
success beyond high school,» said Deborah A. Gist, Commissioner of Elementary and
Secondary Education. «Holding students to high expectations and helping them to
reach those goals is truly in the best interest of all students, and we will
continue with this commitment.»

In reading, 95 percent of the current senior class has met the state-assessment
graduation requirement.

Those seniors who have not yet met the state-assessment graduation requirement can
still do so by reaching partial proficiency or better or by significantly improving
their score when they take the assessment again in February or in March. They may
also meet the requirement by attaining passing scores on any of 10 other assessments
that RIDE has approved (e.g., Accuplacer, Armed Services Vocational Aptitude
Battery), and they may be eligible for waivers from their school district if they
have demonstrated academic readiness by other means.

RIDE also released today the 2013 graduation rates and the results, at the state and
district level only, of the October 2013 NECAP assessments in mathematics, reading,
and writing for grades 3 through 8 plus grade 11.

For the Class of 2013, the four-year graduation rate moved up to 80 percent, a
3-point improvement over the previous year.

On the NECAP assessments, improving trends continued among high-school juniors
(grade 11). Among students grade 11, 36 percent attained proficiency or better in
mathematics, a 2-point improvement over the 2012 results and an 8-point improvement
over the past five years. Students scoring «substantially below proficient» stood at
36 percent, a 4-point improvement over 2012. At present, 64 percent of the Class of
2015 has met the graduation requirement in mathematics.

In reading, 82 percent of the students in grade 11 attained proficiency or better, a
3-point improvement over 2012 and an 8-point improvement over the past five years.
At present, 93 percent of the Class of 2015 has met the graduation requirement in

NECAP scores in grades 3 through 8 show some modest one-year gains (in grades 4 and
5 reading) and one-year declines in mathematics. Except in grade 3, the five-year
gains remain stable or strongly positive, especially in grade 8.

The Rhode Island Diploma System, which the former Board of Regents for Elementary
and Secondary Education adopted in 2011, specifies three sets of graduation

* course completion;

* performance-based demonstration of proficiency (e.g., senior projects or
electronic portfolios of work); and

* successful performance on the state assessments (partial proficiency or
better, or improvement on the retake).

This set of requirements goes into effect for the current senior class (Class of 2014).

The state assessment in Rhode Island is the New England Common Assessment Program
(NECAP) assessment, which has been in place since 2005. Students in Maine, New
Hampshire, and Vermont also take the NECAP assessments; these states have not yet
released their October 2013 assessment results.

On February 13, RIDE will release the complete statewide NECAP results for all
tested grades (3 through 8 plus 11) in mathematics, reading, and writing. These
results will include reports at the school level, as well as reports on the
performance of students groups (by race, ethnicity, students with disabilities,
English learners, economically disadvantaged students) at the school, district, and
state level.

NECAP data that RIDE released today is posted on the RIDE website, at:

Note: 807 students who scored «substantially below proficient» in mathematics in
October 2012 did not retake the assessment in their senior year for a variety of
reasons; for example, some transferred out of state, others were retained in grade
11. Of those students who did not retest, 56 have moved into GED programs and 154
have dropped out of school. These numbers of GED enrollments and dropouts are
consistent with the numbers of GED enrollments and dropouts during the same time
frame (October to October) in any of the previous four school years.