The ratings are determined by the state education department and incorporate a number of factors. Those include absenteeism, graduation rates, and standardized test scores, 

“But it’s also about progress,” said Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. “It measures progress, so it’s not just about the proficiency which is a big deal. So if schools are trending in that direction, we see progress, we know that they’re going in the right direction.” 

Meaning if scores are low for a school but improved year over year, that helps bump up the rating. But the ratings also take into account the achievement of sub-groups, like students with disabilities or who are learning English

“The sub-groups play a big role,” said Infante-Green. “A principal said to me ‘Why can’t I be a four-star school?’ Well how are your differently-abled and multi-lingual learners doing? Oh they’re doing terribly. Well, that answers your question.”

The state uses a five-star rating system to denote the quality of individual districts and schools. This year, just 22 schools in the state received the full five stars.  

“Some schools have moved from one star to two stars, and that’s great, but that still means that there’s a lot of work to do, so I want to caution us from having these victory laps about where we are because we still need to keep moving forward,” said Infante-Green.

Those targeted for federal support have two years to draft plans to make changes, and four years to make improvements. 

Two weeks into the state takeover of the Providence Schools, Infante-Green says the federal turnaround requirements will likely be incorporated into the state’s own plans for the district.

Correction: a previous version of this incorrectly reported 25 schools identified for federally, required intervention. The number is 22, the report has been updated to reflect that.