I guess one can’t fault the administration of Cumberland schools for casting a positive light on their standardized test scores, but a sort of tone-deafness comes through in Linda Borg’s Providence Journal article:
With all of the hand-wringing over Rhode Island’s dismal performance on the latest standardized tests, it is easy to overlook islands of success.
Cumberland is one of them.
The district, which spends less on education per pupil than any other district in the state except Woonsocket, outperformed all of its Rhode Island neighbors on the Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System.
“Success.” Nowhere does the article provide the school district’s actual scores.
Overall, only 56% of Cumberland students meet or exceed expectations in English, falling just below 50% for math. By 8th grade, those numbers shrink to 53% and 45%.
In other words, the key to Cumberland’s success is the low bar of being in Rhode Island. Of course, it’s better to be at the front of a class than at the back, but scores like that ought to inspire a prudent avoidance of triumphal talk, and Rhode Islanders shouldn’t fall for it.