2025 Impact Targets: Educational Success
In Educational Success the Foundation's investments of funding, and our institutional investment beyond grantmaking, are aimed at long term improvements in student achievement, the quality of educational environments, and coordination within the sector.
95% of students graduate from high school
The State of Rhode Island established the 95% high school graduation target in 2017 as a high school degree is the minimum requirement for college and most meaningful employment opportunities. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with a high school degree or equivalency earned an average of $10,000 more per year than those without. And a college degree results in additional average earnings of $27,000 per year over a high school diploma.
75% of 3rd graders proficient in reading
In 2016 the State of Rhode Island established this 3rd grade reading target of 75% by 2025, essentially doubling the number of children able to read at their grade level (from 37% in 2015). This is a critical goal because children who do not read proficiently by 3rd grade struggle in later grades and are four times more likely to drop out of high school than their peers. While the trend until 2019 was positive, 2021 RICAS scores declined as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the many related disruptions and challenges.
20% of students meet highest levels of proficiency in English and Math
Standardized assessments in Rhode Island score students at four levels: Exceeding grade-level expectations, meeting grade-level expectations, partially meeting expectations, and below expectations. In 2017 the State of Rhode Island established 2025 targets that 20% of students administered standardized tests would meet the highest levels of performance in English and Math. During the 2017-2018 school year, Rhode Island introduced the RICAS (Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System) modeled after Massachusetts’ standardized testing system.
50% reduction in educational disparities by 3rd grade reading
Statewide, just over 40% of 3rd graders read at grade level, but there are wide variations in ability by subgroup, further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Patterns for educational outcomes follow those in the Foundation's other strategic initiative areas and wider societal and systemic trends regarding access, opportunity, and discrimination.
50% reduction in educational disparities by graduation rate
Similarly, graduation rates vary widely by student subgroups and follow similar patterns as 3rd grade reading performance.
Source: Rhode Island Department of Education.