Measuring Up



Rhode Island

TOTAL SCORE:
71 out of 132

Rank: out of 18

See a summary of the state’s charter law.

See additional observations about charters in the state.

What is the state of charter schools in Rhode Island?

GROWTH INDICATORS

 

 

Score


1. Public school share
 (2014–15)

6

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Number

Percentage

 

Public charter schools

21

6%

 

 


2. Public school student share
 (2014–15)

3

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Number

Percentage

 

Public charter school students

6,433

5%

 

 

3. Students by race and ethnicity (2013–14)

4

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

White

26%

63%

-37%

Black

16%

8%

8%

Hispanic

52%

22%

30%

Asian

2%

3%

-1%

Other

4%

4%

0%

Total minority

74%

37%

37%

 

4. Students in special populations (2013–14)

4

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

Free and reduced-price lunch status

67%

46%

21%

Special education status

N/A

N/A

N/A

English learner status

N/A

N/A

N/A

Total special student populations

67%

46%

21%

 

5. Schools by geographic distribution (2012–13)

6

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

City

39%

23%

16%

Suburb

48%

65%

-17%

Town

0%

0%

0%

Rural

13%

13%

0%

Total nonsuburban

52%

36%

16%

 

6. Communities with more than 10 percent of students in public charter schools (2014–15)

1

weight = 1 | Possible total = 4

 

 

 

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

1

   
 

7. New public charter schools opened over the past five years  (2010–15)

12

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

2010–11

3

Average Annual Open Rate

12.4%

2011–12

2

2012–13

0

2013–14

5

2014–15

3

Total number

13

 

 

 

8. Public charter schools closed over the past five years (2009–14)

0

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

2009–10

0

Average Annual Closure Rate

0.0%

2010–11

0

2011–12

0

2012–13

0

2013–14

0

Total number

0

 

 

 
 

INNOVATION INDICATORS

 

 

Score

9. Percentage of charter schools with an identified special focus (2012–13)

8

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

 

 

 

No Excuses

0%

Total

61%

STEM

6%

Arts

11%

Classical

0%

Purposely diverse

17%

Single sex

0%

International/Foreign language

6%

Montessori/Waldorf

6%

Dropout/Expulsion recovery

0%

Military

0%

Vocational training

17%

Public policy/Citizenship

0%

 

QUALITY INDICATORS

 

 

Score

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

12

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

Number of additional days of learning in reading

86

 

 

 

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

12

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

Number of additional days of learning in math

105

 

 

 

12. Percentage point change in top categories in state accountability system (2012–14)

0

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 2012-13

2013-14

Difference

Commended

23%

18%

-5%

Leading

47%

24%

-23%

Total

70%

42%

-28%

 

13. Percentage point change in bottom categories in state accountability system (2012–14)

3

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 2012-13

2013-14

Difference

Focus

6%

12%

6%

Priority

0%

0%

0%

Total

6%

12%

6%

 

Items Reported But Not Scored

Startups versus conversions (2014–15)

 

Startups

Conversions

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter schools

95%

5%

 

 

 

Charter authorizers (2014–15)

 

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

21

21

100%

Independent charter board

Noneducational government entity

Higher education institution

Nonprofit

 

Virtual public charter schools and students (2013–14)

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 charter public school movement ranked #8 out of 18, scoring 71 points out of 132.

Rhode Island scored relatively well on the following indicators:

  • In 2012-13, 52 percent of the state’s public charters were located in nonsuburban areas as compared with 36 percent of traditional public schools.
  • Between 2010-11 and 2014-15, 13 public charters opened in Rhode Island, a 12.4 percent average annual open rate.
  • In 2012-13, 61 percent of the state’s charter public schools were special-focus schools.
  • Between 2007-08 and 2010-11, charter public school students exhibited higher academic growth (86 more days in reading and 105 more days in math), on average, when compared with traditional public school students in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island scored relatively low on the following indicators:

  • In 2014-15, only 5 percent of the state’s public school students were charter students.
  • In 2014-15, only one community in the state had more than 10 percent of public school students in charters.
  • Between 2009-10 and 2013-14, no charters closed in Rhode Island.
  • Between 2012-13 and 2013-14, the percentage of charter public schools performing in the top two categories of the state’s accountability system decreased by 28 percentage points (from 70 percent to 42 percent).
  • Between 2012-13 and 2013-14, the percentage of charter public schools performing in the bottom two categories of the state’s accountability system increased by 6 percentage points (from 6 percent to 12 percent).

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

  • In 2014-15, 6 percent of the state’s public schools were charters.
  • In 2013-14, the state’s charter public schools served a significantly higher percentage of racial and ethnic minority students (37 percentage points more) when compared with traditional public schools.
  • In 2013-14, charter public schools in Rhode Island served a significantly higher percentage of free and reduced-price lunch students (21 percentage points more) when compared with traditional public schools.
  • During 2014-15, 95 percent of the state’s charter public schools were start-ups and 5 percent were conversions.
  • 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 the school. As of 2014-15, the state board of education had authorized 21 charter public schools.
  • In 2013-14, no full-time virtual charter public schools operated in Rhode Island.

concluding thoughts

  • Rhode Island’s charter school movement has achieved relatively strong results, as demonstrated in CREDO’s National Charter School Study 2013, in spite of a law that needs some improvements.
  • Rhode Island has likely achieved its strong results through a combination of its one authorizer implementing solid practices that are not required by the state’s charter school law and a select number of high-performing charters smartly replicating and expanding.
  • It is important to note that Rhode Island toughened its standards and tests in 2013-14, which caused the decrease in the percentage of charters performing in the top two categories of the state’s accountability system as well as the increase in the percentage of charters performing in the bottom two categories.