Community School in the Arnold Mills area of Cumberland is the 13th-best elementary school in the state and top among Cumberland and Lincoln elementary schools, according to a new ranking by the research and advocacy group RI-CAN that's based on standardized tests.
Community was awarded 91 percentage points by the organization.
RI-CAN describes itself as a "movement of concerned citizens advocating to fundamentally reform our public schools through smart public policies."
The rankings, says the group, are based on the results of 5th-, 8th- and 11th-grade students taking the New England Common Assessment Program tests in October of 2011.
Schools were graded on student performance in math and reading, the performance of minority subgroups, gains from 2010 to 2011, and the gap in achievement between minorities and low-income students and their upper income white peers.
The methodology used has been criticized for averaging data and relying on single grades. See the entire report at ri-can.org/learn/reportcards .
Staying with just Cumberland and Lincoln, ranked next are the Lonsdale and Central elementary schools in Lincoln, and Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy, all at 83 percent.
They're followed by Ashton in Cumberland, 82 percent; Saylesville in Lincoln, 81 percent; Northern Elementary in Lincoln at 78 percent, McLaughlin in Cumberland Hill at 76 percent, Garvin in Cumberland at 71 percent, and B.F. Norton in Cumberland at 66 percent.
Only Norton fell below the state average of 70 among Cumberland and Lincoln schools.
First on the list is Hope Valley Elementary School in the Chariho district at 98 percent. In the northern Rhode Island area, Clayville in Scituate and Laperche and Winsor in Smithfield were both ahead of Community.
Cumberland's Ashton Elementary finds itself number one of elementaries under the improvement category with a gain of 25 points.
Among middle schools, northern Cumberland students once again shined with North Cumberland Middle School ranking 10th with 86 percent. Lincoln Middle School, which serves the entire town, took the 17th position slot at 82 percent.
Cumberland's McCourt Middle School fell below the state average at 68 percent.
No other northern Rhode Island middle schools were in the top 10. Compass Middle in Kingston was ranked first.
Looking at high schools, Lincoln outshined Cumberland, 70 percent versus 57 percent.
Northern Rhode Island's top high schools are the Beacon Charter School, ranked third at 74.5 percent, and Scituate, 73 percent.
The top two high schools are Barrington and East Greenwich.
See the entire report at ri-can.org/learn/reportcards