There was a slight uptick in the RICAS scores from 2018 in both math and reading across the state, but most students in Rhode Island continue to perform well below grade level.

There was an increase of five percentage points in English, pushing state proficiency levels to 38 percent. A two-and-a-half point increase for math now means about a third of all students are performing at grade level.

Education officials were expecting this. Tests get easier to take the more familiar students and teachers become with them. Scores improved similarly during the first two consecutive years of the PARCC standardized test, which the RICAS replaced in 2018.

This is only the second year the state has used the RICAS test, which is modeled on the test used by Massachusetts. Last year only a third of students in Rhode Island met or exceeded expectations in English, about a quarter in math.

In Rhode Island, last year’s abysmal performance on the new exam prompted the General Assembly to pass a slew of legislation aimed at improving public education in the state, and was a factor in the decision to initiate the imminent state takeover of the Providence schools.

Compared to neighboring Massachusetts, Rhode Island students scored 15 points behind their peers in English, and nearly 20 points behind in math this year. The newest round of results change little for state education commissioner Angelica Infante-Green, who will assume control over the Providence schools in November.

Despite the slight increase, Infante-Green said it was “too early to determine a consistent trend.”

“What is clear is that much more needs to be done to bring Rhode Island performance where it needs to be,” she said in a statement.

In Providence, more than 80 percent of all students tested did not meet expectations on either test. Test scores will be one measure of how well the state turnaround effort is working in the city. Rutgers University Political science professor Domingo Morel says state intervention will likely result in improved test scores in the short term, but those gains can quickly stagnate or even revert back if changes don’t stick.

Students attending schools in more suburban districts, as well as those attending several charter schools, performed among the best in the state. Among public schools, Barrington saw the greatest percentage of students meeting or exceeding expectations in both subjects.