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Rhode Island’s system for assessing student progress will be undergoing some big changes in the coming years. Currently, Rhode Island uses the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) as its current assessment program. In coming years, the state will shift to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) program.
The NECAP system has been in place in partnership with Vermont and New Hampshire to serve as the required assessment program as mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act. The transition to PARCC represents the state’s transition to Common Core Standards for academics, a move away from the current Grade Level and Grade Span Expectations. Starting in the 2013-2014 school year, students will be participating in the PARCC assessments.
The Rhode Island Grade Level/Span Expectations (GLE/GSE) is a curriculum map that lays out the content required for students to gain proficiency in a subject. The NECAP and other assessments that a student takes is drawn from the expectations and learning objectives that the GLE/GSE’s provide.
In Reading, students need to build competency in reading strategies, fluency and accuracy, word identification and vocabulary, literary texts and informational texts. In Writing, students need to be able to master structure, connections and habits of writing and be able to communicate in informational and expressive writing using proper conventions.
In Mathematics, in order to gain proficiency in the subject, students will need to be able to show what they can do in the areas of: numbers and operations, geometry and measurement, functions and algebra, data, statistics and probability, problem solving and reasoning, and communicating and connecting this knowledge. In the Sciences, students are expected to be proficient in the areas of Life, Physical, and Earth and Space Science.
Students taking the NECAP Assessment in Reading and Mathematics in grades 3 and 4 have a multiple-choice and constructed-response format exam. In the later grades, longer form writing is expected. On the NECAP in Reading and Mathematics for grades 5 -8 there are multiple-choice, constructed-response and written answers expected. The Science Assessment given to 5th and 8th graders asks questions in multiple-choice and constructed-response styles.