Central Falls' 7% proficiency rate on the NECAP math test has now been widely quoted in the national media. What hasn't also been mentioned is how poorly low-income students do on the math portion of the NECAP overall. Here are some proficiency rates for economically disadvantaged students:
- Vermont: 18%
- New Hampshire: 17%
- RI: 12%
- Providence: 9%
Classical boosts Providence's overall score. Central Falls actually outscores all of PPSD's open enrollment high schools.
Vermont and New Hampshire both do well on 8th grade NAEP math, including relatively well among low-income students. They're doing better than RI, but two out of ten is not that much better than one out of ten.
Perhaps most striking to me is that the Times2 Academy, a math/science oriented charter in Providence, which has had many if not most of its 35 11th graders since kindergarten, and sports a 94% pass rate in reading, only got 28% of its juniors over the bar.
So anyhow, I finally looked at the latest released items from the test, which is administered to 11th graders in October, and, um... it is pretty hard. I should just spare you the cliches, point out some more relevant info, and suggest that if my more math-oriented readers want to take a look and let me know what they think, I'm certainly curious at this point.
The one thing I was thinking was perhaps the curriculum is so mis-aligned that kids taking the test just haven't even been exposed to enough geometry. That's certainly possible, but the poor scores seem to be uniform across all topics, so it isn't only that.