School Choice Score: 76%
Low-income families are eligible for a limited tax credit scholarship. There is a statewide cap of $5 million on the program, which results in approximately 400 scholarships awarded annually. The state permits parents some choices among traditional public schools but it restricts such choice to within their district.
Charter Schools Score: 68%
Only the state can approve charter schools, there is a cap on the number of charters that can be opened, and charters that do open are given little freedom to determine how to operate or to manage their teachers.
Online Learning Score: 0%
Two blended learning charters opened their doors in September 2013 and districts began receiving grants from the Wireless Classroom Initiative, providing $20 million to expand wireless access to classrooms. Rhode Island requires student performance data be used to evaluate the effectiveness of teachers.
- Source: Digital Learning Now!
Teacher Quality Score: 85%
Tenure decisions and licensure advancement are connected to evidence of teacher effectiveness, but contract renewal is not. Performance must be considered in all personnel decisions, including layoffs. Ineffective classroom performance is grounds for dismissal. Rhode Island’s districts must develop salary schedules based on seniority and advanced degrees, and the state does not support performance pay or additional compensation for working in high-need schools or subjects.