PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island’s standardized test scores have improved but there’s a persistent and growing achievement gap between white and minority students.

Math scores rose by 5 percentage points this year so that nearly 30 percent of all students met the standards, but the math improvements were not as high for black, Latino and low-income students, widening an existing gap.

English scores improved by 2 percentage points for all students. But fewer than 22 percent of black and Latino students scored proficient in English, compared to a statewide average of almost 38 percent. The gap for Latino students narrowed slightly.

The Rhode Island Department of Education released the figures Thursday, noting that participation rates improved along with overall scores.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo said in a statement that “our scores are moving in the right direction, but I am not satisfied with the results, and we cannot afford to take our foot off the gas.”

Rhode Island is the only New England state to use the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test, known as the PARCC, and one of seven nationwide.

Although state Education Commissioner Ken Wagner doesn’t want the PARCC to be a high school graduation requirement, he said Thursday it’s important to not keep changing strategies and to stick with the test as a way of measuring and improving school performance.

“If you set the standard too low, you’ve let down another generation of students,” he said. “Let’s put the pressure on the system to do even better for kids but let’s not make this a barrier for students.”

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