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RICAS scores capture only part of student learning

Cranston, R.I. (November 4, 2022) – Today the Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment (RICAS) results were released. The following can be attributed to National Education Association Rhode Island Executive Director Mary Barden: 

“The RICAS results confirm what educators have been calling attention to for more than two years: the pandemic had a profound impact on our students and while there is a glimmer of optimism in the increased math scores, test results cannot be disentangled from the effects of the pandemic. Standardized tests are a snapshot in time of a portion of student learning, not the full picture. Test scores alone cannot determine the effectiveness of our school systems. Test scores alone fail to represent the full breadth of services and supports rendered to students, families and communities by our district schools or capture the incredible efforts that educators undertook to ensure that student learning resumed through Covid and continues to this day.

“As we look ahead and make plans to accelerate student learning, we must measure and invest in what matters. These test results tell us the outcomes, it is incumbent on us to ensure high quality inputs including:

  • Creating safe, welcoming, culturally sustaining communities in our schools
  • Fully funding mental health resources for students and educators
  • Providing free breakfast and lunch to every student regardless of their parent/guardian income status
  • Recruiting, respecting, and retaining educators while addressing improved working conditions which will improve student learning conditions
  • Supporting accessible and meaningful professional development

“We should view these scores through the lens of student learning conditions and life experiences so we can identify how to best support student success. Joining together, we can demand that our schools have the resources to meet every child’s needs with well-trained and supported teachers and a curriculum that helps them understand the past and prepare for the future.”

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