Methodology: Rhode Island’s Top High Schools 2013

Tuesday, May 07, 2013


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Data from Rhode Island's Department of Education provide the basis for GoLocal's analysis of the state's public, charter and technical high schools.

GoLocalProv's Top High Schools in Rhode Island 2013 ranking is based on the careful gathering of thousands of pieces of data that directly reflect school quality: reading, math, and writing test scores (both the New England Common Assessment Program, or NECAP, scores, as well as SATs), student-teacher ratios, spending per pupil, and graduation rates for 49 public, charter, and technical schools in the

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state. (Note: Block Island High School is not included in GoLocal's ranking because its sample size makes fair analysis impossible.)

GoLocal uses data from the Rhode Island Department of Education's public databases; the analysis reflects the most current data on this site as of April, 2013. 

Process and weighting formulas

What followed was precise statistical analysis, guided by a methodology used in similar rankings created elsewhere in New England. After collecting the relevant data, we calculated the average values in each of the categories and the degree to which each school either exceeded or failed to reach those averages.

Those deviations from the average were standardized so that different categories could be compared meaningfully, and then we used a weighting formula to give certain categories more importance than others. We wanted, for example, a school’s student-teacher ratio to matter more in our ranking than its Math SAT scores – though test scores all together account for 60% of the weighting.

The weightings for calculations were as follows:

Student/Teacher Ratio 15%
Per Pupil Spending 15%
NECAP-English 10%
NECAP-Math 10%
NECAP-Science 10%
SAT-Verbal 10%
SAT-Math 10%
SAT-Writing 10%
Graduation Rate 10%

Each school’s weighted numbers were added into a single evaluative number, which, when ordered from highest to lowest, yields the ranking.

To see the all of Rhode Island's Top High Schools, go here. 


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