There is not much point in getting into too much speculation about why RIDE is behind schedule releasing the scores, but it should be noted that they are behind schedule releasing the scores at a time when those scores could impact the discussion about the takeover of Providence Public Schools.
A few weeks ago I asked my child what her scores on the were RICAS last year. It was odd that neither of us could remember. After a while I figured out that the scores from last spring’s tests have not been publicly released yet, but according to the RIDE website, they were going to be made available to parents the week of September 23rd.
The week of the 23rd came and went with no RICAS scores, so I double-checked the date, and sure enough RIDE had revised the schedule to move the release date to “mid-October.” This is not too surprising, as despite the literally hundreds of millions of dollars that have been invested nationally and in Rhode Island on testing infrastructure over the past 15 years, errors and delays in test administration and scoring are still common.
To be clear, according to that document, since July 9th, “Hand- and machine-scored and Released Item Reports for RICAS ELA and mathematics items available to individuals with district test coordinator and principal role,” which I would interpret as meaning the tests have been scored and RIDE has had the results for several months.
There is not much point in getting into too much speculation about why RIDE is behind schedule releasing the scores, but it should be noted that they are behind schedule releasing the scores at a time when those scores could impact the discussion about the takeover of Providence Public Schools. What is important in this case is not the individual student reports but the aggregate scores for the Providence Public Schools as a whole and the individual schools.
Nobody has ever gotten rich betting on Providence hitting the “over” when test scores come out, but it is also true that in January 2010 Deborah Gist announced the first group of “persistently low performing” schools less than a month before the 2009 NECAP scores were released showing continued growth for two of the affected high schools: Central Falls High School, whose scores would go down following the firing of all the school’s teachers, and Feinstein High School, which in 2009 achieved the best NECAP reading and writing performance of any high school in Providence other than Classical, before or since, and was promptly closed.
RIDE almost certainly knew that some of their desired “persistently low-performing” schools were inconveniently improving without their intervention, and rushed to create a crisis before the new scores were released to the public. RIDE has a track record on this, and it is not good.
Something to keep an eye on.