Blogs | Marcia Green

The Back Story: CHS among top 10 of R.I. Monthly list

The good news keeps coming for Cumberland high school.

After CHS students added to 8 points to their math proficiency NECAP scores this year, Rhode Island Monthly’s annual school rankings in the September issue lists Cumberland High School 7th-best in the state. That’s up a slot from last year and it comes with a “most-bang-for-the-buck” star shared with Barrington.

While Cumberland’s $11,038 per student spending glares out of the chart – the only school below the $12,000 mark in a state where Central Falls and Newport are topping $20,000 per student - you have to go down to number 17, North Smithfield, to find another bang-for-the-buck school on the list. Just Coventry, in 19th place, and North Providence High, in 22nd place, also get stars.

Rhode Island Monthly Editor Sarah Francis told me that statistician Julia Seaman calculated scores without reference to spending and added the stars later. “Schools that are predicted to be spending much more than they actually are, are considered bang for buck,” she said.

That’s a feather in the caps of our local educators for sure. Still, it’s hard to believe these averages for Cumberland (I put CHS numbers in parenthesis) would elevate a school to 7th best in the state, but here’s the formula that totals 100 percent:

75 percent for SAT (Cumberland’s average is 496) and NECAP scores (average 51 percent);

20 percent for teacher-student ratio (13:1), math scores (39 percent proficient) and AP scores (71 percent college level mastery);

5 percent for graduation rate (82 percent) and writing/reading scores (average 63.5 percent).

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