Department of Education reviews RICAS scores, outlines steps to close ‘achievement gap’

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The Rhode Island Department of Education outlined plans for the next five years, in response to continued RICAS struggles since the pandemic.

The results released earlier this month showed roughly 26% of students were proficient in math and English this past year.

While math scores rose slightly, English scores dropped since last year.

Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green admitted Tuesday the results need improvement.

“We’ve had little kids that have had to learn how to be in a classroom,” said Infante-Green. “So, it’s not just the academics, but it’s the habits of school.”

Providence Public School District’s Superintendent Dr. Javier Montañez outlined several goals for his district over the next five years.

“We want [students] in at least 90% of the time — that’s number one,” explained Montañez. “Number two is looking at how aggressive are we going to be, and we want to be really aggressive. If some of our students are falling behind, we want to make sure that we are doing at least a 1.5 growth. That means a year and a half growth in one year.”

He believes the effort to this initiative must be multifaceted.

“It comes with the curriculum; it comes with extra support,” said Montañez. “It comes with before-school and after-school services. What do our students need to be successful? If I only allow our students to do a year’s worth of growth, the achievement gap would never close.”

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