Students in Rhode Island public schools improved in both mathematics and reading on the SAT tests during the 2013-14 school year, according to results that the College Board released today (October 7, 2014).
On the testing scale of 200 to 800, Rhode Island students scored 484 in mathematics and 483 in critical reading, both up 5 points from the previous year. In writing, Rhode Island students scored 471, down 2 points from the previous year.
Rhode Island scores fall behind the national averages (501 in mathematics, 492 in reading, 478 in writing), but the gap narrowed this year, as the national scores were down 2 points in both mathematics and writing and unchanged in reading.
“These SAT results are further evidence that Rhode Island students are making good progress toward college and career readiness, but we have a long way to go to meet our proficiency goals,” said Eva-Marie Mancuso, Chair of the Board of Education. “Though we are still below the national average, I am proud of our high-school students and our teachers for the improvements we’re seeing this year on SAT results, particularly in the core subjects of math and reading.”
In addition to the overall improvement in scores, some achievement gaps also narrowed this year. Black students improved in mathematics (up 11 points), reading (up 6 points), and writing (up 3 points) at a faster rate than the state average. Hispanic students also improved faster than the state average in reading (up 6 points), while also improving in mathematics (3 points) and remaining steady in writing. The participation rate among Hispanic students improved significantly in 2013-14, up by 7.2 percent over the previous school year.
“While we still have achievement gaps across the state, it is encouraging to see some of these gaps beginning to narrow and to see greater participation on the SAT among students of color,” said Patrick A. Guida, Chair of the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education. “Because the SAT is being aligned with the Common Core State Standards, our dedicated effort in Rhode Island toward implementation of Common Core standards will help our students to continue to improve their performance on this assessment.”
Other results that the College Board released today show continued improvement in participation and in success on AP tests. Overall participation on AP tests in Rhode Island public schools was up by 5.2 percent in 2013-14, with 4,366 students participating and taking a total of 7,248 exams. Students scored 3 or better (on a scale of 1 to 5) on 4,151 exams – a 12.5 percent improvement over the previous year.
With the exception of some smaller schools and state-operated schools, students in every public high school in Rhode Island took AP tests.
“It’s important that all students in Rhode Island have access to high-quality, rigorous courses such as advanced-placement courses,” said Education Commissioner Deborah A. Gist. “Our AP participation continues to grow, as students in virtually every high school in the state have opportunities to take these challenging courses that will prepare them for success beyond high school. I’m especially pleased to see that not only are more of our students taking advanced-placement courses – they’re performing well, too. I congratulate our students, teachers, and school leaders on this achievement.”