Juniors in No. Smithfield make gains on NECAP, while Novans slip in math

Juniors in No. Smithfield make gains on NECAP, while Novans slip in math

WOONSOCKET - City students saw the most significant decrease in math proficiency in the state this year, and the district also fell behind in reading scores.

The bad news comes via early results on the New England Common Assessment Program, released this week by the Rhode Island Department of Education. While the full details, including a breakdown of scores by both grade and school levels will not be made public until mid-February, the overall scores were released by district, along with the achievements - or shortfalls - of juniors across the state.

Results for grade 11 students - who are required to achieve a certain level of proficiency by the senior year in order to graduate - were slightly less dire than the district-wide results in Woonsocket. Juniors achieved a small gain in overall proficiency in reading over the students who took the test in 2012, and had a less drastic lose in achievement in mathematics.

The math scores for juniors declined by 1 percent, from 21 percent proficiency in 2012 to 20 percent this year. Small gains were made, however, among the district's lowest-scoring students, with the number of test takers rated "substantially below proficient" decreasing from 56 percent in 2012 to 54 percent this year.

Scores were better in reading, where Woonsocket's grade 11 students gained two percentage points this year, for a total of 69 percent proficiency in 2013. Substantial gains were also made among the highest-ranking grade 11 students in reading, with 10 percent more achieving the title "proficient with distinction." 27 percent of the 11 graders to take the reading test were proficient with distinction this year.

On the district-wide level, however, Woonsocket educators had little to celebrate, with a 3 percent decline in proficiency in reading and a 5 percent decrease in mathematics achievement - the greatest one year decline of any district in the state. According to the results released this week, 39 percent of Woonsocket students are proficient in math and 55 percent received proficient scores in reading.

In North Smithfield

The early results of the 2013 New England Common Assessment Program show the district losing 3 percentage points in math this year, but holding the reading score steady with 88 percent of North Smithfield students scoring proficient or better this year.

The district's juniors, meanwhile, made modest gains, with 96 percent displaying proficiency in reading, up from 2012's already impressive 91 percent. A whopping 67 percent of North Smithfield's grade 11 students fell into the category of "proficient with distinction" this year compared to 50 percent in 2012. The juniors also saw improvement among the worst scoring students with only 1 percent of 11th graders scoring "substantially below proficient," category, up from 2 percent last year.

In math, the 11th graders' gain was even more significant with 7 percent more students demonstrating proficiency this year. The district's overall math score was raised from 45 to 52 percent proficient.

Statewide, only 73 percent of students in the Class of 2014 have met the NECAP requirement for mathematics, while 95 percent have passed in reading.