Discipline and absenteeism bring down rankings for KMS and Hugh Cole

State scores for KMS and Hugh Cole impaired by high rates of student and teacher absenteeism and excessive suspensions

By Scott Pickering
Posted 11/27/19

The Rhode Island Department of Education recently released “report cards” for every school in the state. For the second year in a row, the education department used what it calls a …

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Discipline and absenteeism bring down rankings for KMS and Hugh Cole

State scores for KMS and Hugh Cole impaired by high rates of student and teacher absenteeism and excessive suspensions

Posted

The Rhode Island Department of Education recently released “report cards” for every school in the state. For the second year in a row, the education department used what it calls a “Star Rating” system to measure every school on a wide range of factors — from test scores to graduation rates, from teacher absenteeism to out-of-school suspensions.

All schools are measured and scored on the same criteria, with a complex points system determined by the variety of data points.

The result is a rating from 1 (low) to 5 (high) for every school in Rhode Island, backed by an online platform with rich data that is available to the public for review or download.

In the Bristol Warren Regional School District, ratings range from a low of 3 — Hugh Cole Elementary, Kickemuit Middle School and Mt. Hope High School — to a high of 5 — Rockwell Elementary. Hugh Cole received its lowest marks in the areas of discipline and teacher absenteeism. Kickemuit got its lowest scores for both student and teacher absenteeism (with both considered “chronic”), as well as excessive disciplinary issues, with 1 out of every 5 KMS students receiving out-of-school suspensions.

Hugh Cole Elementary School — Low scores for academics, discipline and absenteeism

Hugh Cole earned a 3-Star rating (out of 5), based on both its middle-of-the-pack student performance and growth on state assessments, as well as its high rate of “chronic absenteeism” for students and teachers.

ELA: Hugh Cole earned a low rating (2 out of a possible 4 points) in English Language Arts (ELA) Achievement, with 44 percent of students “proficient.” It was at the low end of this range; if it had fallen below 40 percent, it would have earned the lowest score possible. It did show an average rate of “Growth” academically, with 31 percent of students showing “High Growth” in ELA, 35 percent showing “Typical Growth,” and 34 percent showing “Low Growth.”

Math: Hugh Cole also earned a rating of 2 (out of 4) in Mathematics, with just 39 percent of students proficient — nearly falling to the lowest tier. And it received an average score in the “growth” metric, with 29 percent of students showing High Growth and another 38 percent showing Typical Growth.

High performers: Hugh Cole received 2 points (out of 3) for students exceeding expectations — 4.9 percent in ELA and 4.6 percent in Math.

Discipline: Hugh Cole got the lowest score possible in the category of out-of-school suspensions, as 13.3 percent of students received out-of-school suspension at least once. The education department also tracks student discipline and absences by race — more than 59 percent of Hugh Cole’s Hispanic students received suspensions.

Student attendance: The school had an average score in Student Absenteeism, with 11.4 percent of students “chronically absent” — defined as 18 days or more in one school year.

Teacher attendance: Hugh Cole fell into the lowest category for Teacher Absenteeism, with 11.6 percent of students taught by teachers who were “chronically absent” (18 days or more) in the 2018-19 school year.

 

Kickemuit Middle School — Discipline and absenteeism hurt ratings

Kickemuit earned a 3-Star rating (out of 5), based on both its middle-of-the-pack student performance and growth on state assessments, as well as its high rate of student behavior problems and “chronic absenteeism” for students and teachers.

ELA: Kickemuit earned a low rating (2 out of a possible 4 points) in English Language Arts (ELA) Achievement, with 46 percent of students “proficient.” It did show an average rate of “Growth” academically, with 34 percent of students showing “High Growth” in ELA, 33 percent showing “Typical Growth,” and 33 percent showing “Low Growth.”

Math: Kickemuit also earned a rating of 2 (out of 4) in Mathematics, with just 32 percent of students proficient. And it received an average score in the “growth” metric, with 30 percent of students showing High Growth and another 33 percent showing Typical Growth.

High performers: The strongest metric for Kickemuit is in the category of students exceeding expectations in ELA. The school received the highest score possible, with 10 percent of its students performing at the highest levels. In Math, 3.2 percent of students exceeded expectations.

Discipline: Kickemuit got the lowest score possible in the category of out-of-school suspensions, as 20 percent of students received out-of-school suspension at least once. The education department also tracks student discipline and absences by race — more than 65 percent of African-American students received suspensions, 68 percent of “students with disabilities,” and 25 percent of Hispanic students received suspensions.

Student attendance: The school had the lowest score possible in Student Absenteeism, with 24 percent of students “chronically absent” — defined as 18 days or more in one school year.

Teacher attendance: Similarly, Kickemuit fell into the lowest category for Teacher Absenteeism, with 15 percent of students taught by teachers who were “chronically absent” (18 days or more) in the 2018-19 school year.

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