Measuring Up



Rhode Island

TOTAL SCORE:
70 out of 116

Rank: 10 out of 26

See a summary of the state’s charter law.

See additional observations about charters in the state and recommendations to support the growth of high-quality charter schools.

What is the state of charter schools in Rhode Island?

GROWTH INDICATORS

 

 

Score


1. Public school share
 (2013–14)

6

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Number

Percentage

 

Public charter schools

19

6%

 

 


2. Public school student share
 (2013–14)

3

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Number

Percentage

 

Public charter school students

5,950

4%

 

 

3. Students by race and ethnicity (2012–13)

4

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

White

30%

64%

-34%

Black

17%

8%

9%

Hispanic

49%

21%

28%

Asian

2%

3%

-1%

Other

3%

4%

-1%

Total minority

71%

36%

35%

 

4. Students in special populations (2012–13)

4

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

Free and reduced-price lunch status

70%

45%

25%

Special education status

12%

6%

6%

English learner status

12%

16%

-4%

Total special student populations

94%

67%

27%

 

5. Schools by geographic distribution (2011–12)

6

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

City

39%

31%

8%

Suburb

44%

53%

-9%

Town

0%

2%

-2%

Rural

17%

13%

4%

Total nonsuburban

56%

47%

9%

 

6. Communities with more than 10 percent of students in public charter schools (2012–13)

0

weight = 1 | Possible total = 4

 

 

 

Number of communities with more than 10 percent of students in public charter schools

0

 

7. New public charter schools opened over the past five years  (2009–14)

9

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

2009–10

2

Average Annual Open Rate

10.1%

2010–11

2

2011–12

1

2012–13

0

2013–14

3

Total number

8

 

 

 

 

8. Public charter schools closed over the past five years (2008–13)

0

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

2008–09

0

Average Annual Closure Rate

0%

2009–10

0

2010–11

0

2011–12

0

2012–13

0

Total number

0

 

 

 

 
 

INNOVATION INDICATORS

 

 

Score

9. Public charter schools reporting use of various innovative practices (2011–12)

6

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

 

 

 

Extended day (30 minutes or more each day compared to traditional public schools)

67

Average

31%

Extended year (10 or more days compared to traditional public schools)

67

Year-round calendar

0

Independent study

17

School-to-work

17

Higher education courses

17

 
 

QUALITY INDICATORS

 

 

Score

10. Additional days of learning in reading (2007–11)

16

weight = 4 | Possible total = 16

 

 

 

Number of additional days of learning in reading

86

 

 

 

 

11. Additional days of learning in math (2007–11)

16

weight = 4 | Possible total = 16

 

 

 

Number of additional days of learning in math

105

 

 

 

Items Reported But Not Scored

Startups versus conversions (2012–13)

 

Startups

Conversions

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter schools

94%

6%

 

 

 

Public charter schools that are independent, associated with a CMO, or associated with an EMO (2010–11)

 

Number

Percentage

 

 

Independent

15

100%

 

 

Charter management organization

0

0%

 

 

Education management organization

0

0%

 

 

 

Charter authorizers (2013–14)

 

Number of authorizers

Number of charter schools

Average number of charters per authorizer

Percentage of the state’s public charters authorized by this type of authorizer

Local education agency

State education agency

1

19

19

100%

Independent charter board

Noneducational government entity

Higher education institution

Nonprofit

 

Virtual public charter schools and students (2012–13)

Number of virtual public charter school students

0

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter school student population enrolled
in virtual charter schools

0%

 

 

Number of virtual public charter schools

0

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter schools that are virtual charter schools

0%

 

 

 

Health of the Movement Summary

Rhode Island’s public charter school movement ranked #10 out of 26, scoring 70 points out of 116.

Rhode Island scored relatively well on the following indicators:

  • Fifty-six percent of the state’s public charters were located in nonsuburban areas in 2011–12 as compared to 47 percent of traditional public schools.
  • Eight public charters opened between 2009–10 and 2013–14 in Rhode Island, a 10.1 percent average annual open rate.
  • An average of 31 percent of the state’s public charter schools reported using one of the six innovative practices that we tracked in 2011–12.
  • On average, public charter school students exhibited higher academic growth when compared with traditional public school students between 2007–08 and 2010–11 in Rhode Island (86 more days in reading and 105 more days in math).

Rhode Island scored relatively low on the following indicators:

  • Only 4 percent of the state’s public school students were charter students in 2013–14.
  • No communities in the state had more than 10 percent of public school students in charters in 2012–13.
  • No charters closed between 2008–09 and 2012–13 in Rhode Island.

In addition to the above points, we also offer the following observations about the movement in Rhode Island:

  • Six percent of the state’s public schools were charters in 2013–14.
  • The state’s public charter schools served a significantly higher percentage of racial and ethnic minority students (35 percentage points more) when compared with traditional public schools in 2012–13.
  • Public charter schools in Rhode Island served a significantly higher percentage of students in special populations (27 percentage points more) when compared with traditional public schools in 2012-13.
  • Ninety-four percent of the state’s public charter schools were startups, and 6 percent were conversions during 2012–13.
  • In 2010–11, 100 percent of the public charter schools in Rhode Island were independently managed, meaning none of them were associated with a nonprofit charter management organization or a for-profit educational management organization.
  • The only authorizer in Rhode Island is the state board of education, and only after a local school board or the state commissioner of elementary and secondary education has approved it. As of 2013–14, the state board of education had authorized 19 public charter schools.
  • There were no virtual public charter schools in Rhode Island in 2012–13.

Recommendations

Rhode Island’s charter school movement has achieved relatively strong results in spite of a relatively weak law. However, its charter school movement is still relatively small. It has likely achieved these results through a combination of its one authorizer implementing solid practices that are not required by the state’s public charter school law and a select number of high-performing charters smartly replicating and expanding. We encourage the state to enact policies to increase the impact of such success, including creating additional authorizing options, ensuring equitable operational funding and equitable access to capital funding and facilities, and increasing operational autonomy.