Schools close as budgets stretch and buildings age
East Providence is closing Oldham Elementary School citing the high cost of upgrading the building. The district has faced serious deficits in the past, contributing to municipal financial woes. The Providence Journal reports that district officials Oldham would have needed an estimated $2 million in renovations to stay open. As a result of the closure, some students will be shifted to other schools.
State education officials are defending standardized testing as a graduation requirement starting with the class of 2014. Students opposing so-called "high stakes testing" staged a protest yesterday at the Statehouse.
State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist responded by saying her goal is to make sure students finish high school with the right skills for college or a career. If the testing rule took effect this year, 44 percent of seniors would be at risk for not graduating.
Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman Jim Langevin are asking the Federal Labor Department to reverse an enrollment freeze at Job Corps, a technical training and GED program with sites around the country, including Exeter, Rhode Island.
In a letter, a group of 17 senators say the freeze will have an adverse effect on thousands of young people.
Harvard University is partnering with the National Football League on a $100 million research project looking into serious health problems among NFL players. The initiative announced in today's BostonGlobe will focus on 1,000 retired NFL players to better understand and potentially treat a wide range of physical ailments.
A group calling itself the Providence Student Union will ask for an end to high stakes testing this week. Starting with the class of 2014, Rhode Island students will not be allowed to graduate unless they get a score of "partially procficent" on the standardized test known as the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP).
Thursday we heard the story of a Providence high school teacher, who ended up teaching a physics class even though her expertise is in history. Providence school officials now say they have hired a physics teacher to takeover the class next week. I asked Providence Superintendent Susan Lusi to explain why the district allowed a history teacher to substitute in a high school physics class.
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