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STRONG MARKS FOR MIDDLETOWN SCHOOLS
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (APRIL 20, 2023) – The Middletown school system earned high marks in several areas of a recent state educational accountability assessment.
According to information posted by the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), the district saw strong advances in the “Growth” and “School Quality & Student Success” categories of the Local Education Agency (LEA) results.
While Middletown educational leaders said there was more work to be done, they were particularly pleased with the gains in both in English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics.
To check out the district’s performance, visitonline.
“Our teachers have worked hard to meet students’ needs given the proficiency gap,” Superintendent Rosemarie K. Kraeger said. “They have provided focused instruction and appropriate interventions. The RIDE student growth metric demonstrates that what our teachers have done is effective. We have a dedicated group of professionals. Our principals have led their schools with the strong determination that aligns with our mission — ‘Ensuring Success For All Students.’”
“Middletown is leading the way with strong performing student growth scores, and that tells a significant story,” Assistant Superintendent Michelle Fonseca added. “Too often judgement of a district's performance is solely on its proficiency rate. However, proficiency scores do not account for where students started or the challenges they have faced along the way. In contrast, measuring student growth year to year demonstrates the districts effectiveness towards student learning and ultimately paves the way to overall success.”
The General Assembly adopted the Educational Accountability Act of 2019 in an attempt to improve education and student performance across the Ocean State. The data published earlier this month marks the first time that information has been released.
There are six different categories analyzed under LEA. According to RIDE, they are:
- Achievement: Illustrates how students are performing in mathematics and ELA as part of the Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System (RICAS), Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) assessments and the Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) alternate assessment.
- Growth: Calculated from student growth percentiles, it recognizes student progress in ELA and math as compared to their academic peers.
- English Language Proficiency: Measures the progress of Multilingual Learners in reaching English language proficiency. It measures the adequacy of each student’s annual progress toward proficiency. The ELP indicator represents the progress made toward each student’s annual growth target.
- Graduation Rates: The Composite Graduation Rate includes four-, five- and six-year adjusted graduation rates, with each of the rates weighted equally. For each school or LEA, this incorporates information on three different areas; the graduates and number of students in each of the four-, five-, and six-year graduation cohorts for the most recent reporting year. It is important to note that in any given year, the Composite Graduation Rate is based on three different cohorts of students.
- Diploma Plus Measures: The Diploma Plus measures are designed to recognize when schools better prepare students for postsecondary success by measuring two main features of preparedness: academic proficiency as determined by students earned a Commissioner’s Seal, and postsecondary credentials such as industry-recognized credentials, college credit and Advanced Placement (scores of a 3 or higher).
- School Quality and Student Success: The five measures are: ELA Exceed Expectations, Math Exceed Expectations, Student Suspensions, Student Chronic Absenteeism, and Teacher Chronic Absenteeism. The two Exceeds Expectations measures report the percentage of students who perform at a Level 4 on the state assessments in ELA and mathematics out of tested students who meet the requirements for accountability reporting.
Media reports indicated Barrington had the highest accountability score with 41, with East Greenwich at 35. Middletown checked in at 31, the same as Smithfield. The maximum total possible was 44.
Kraeger and Fonseca noted the results pointed out definite areas of need moving forward. Among those included beefing up the community’s offerings to English Language Learners. Currently, the district has less than four ELL teachers to assist 180 students.
However, the district is in the process of having seven teachers go to Roger Williams University for ELL certifications, a program paid for through grant scholarships. Still, district leaders said there’s still a need about 10 more ELL staff moving forward, something that’s going to be discussed during the upcoming budget process.
Kraeger and Fonseca said there was more work to be done, the recent results provided cause to celebrate too.
“The financial support our Town Council has provided to develop a robust ‘Beyond the Bell’ program which supports and targets student academic success is a model for the state,” Kraeger said. “As a community we need to celebrate and be Middletown proud! It's amazing what we can accomplish when we all work together.”
“At this moment we need to celebrate,” Fonseca said. “We could not be prouder of our teachers, students, principals and staff for the work they are doing to get these outstanding student growth results. We are also grateful for the town's committed funding for after school and summer programs that target specific student needs and additional opportunities to learn.”