RIDE Fails Again as RICAS Test Scores Continue to Alarm and Disappoint

The much anticipated 2023 RICAS test scores are out … with only minimal gains from 2022’s dismal results … leaving state education observers highly disappointed.

The latest set of standardized test score – the Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System – were released on Wednesday the 2022 – 2023 academic year.

And while Angelica Infante-Green, commissioner of the RI Department of Education, tried to paint a positive spin, there is little to cheer about.

Even while local and state per-pupil spending has soared in recent years, well above national averages, student achievement continues to fail. And, unlike many other states, test scores have not returned to their pre-pandemic levels.

RICAS test results, statewide in 2023, showed:

  • English scores dropped a whopping 14% since 2019, especially among elementary students, with less than one-in-three students meeting the standard
  • Math scores have also dropped since 2019, with only 29.6% of students meeting or exceeding standard achievement levels
  • Achievement gaps between white and minority students remained unacceptably high, the latter cohort often being merely half as proficient

RICAS test results for 2023 in Providence schools demonstrated an even more alarming lack of achievement, showing:

  • Only 13% proficiency in math and just 15.1% in English

When combined with the results of the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Proficiency (NAEP), otherwise knows as The Nation’s Report Card, it is clear that Rhode Island students have suffered precipitous declines as compared to 2019, the same year Infante-Green was hired.

These NAEP scores showed that:

  • Grade-4 and Grade-8 Math scores declined statewide, and were below national averages
  • Grade-4 and Grade-8 Reading scores also declined statewide, but were slightly above national averages

The questions that independent education advocates have to now be asking themselves: How much more of this bad news can the Ocean State take? And, is it time for leadership change at RIDE?

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