As the candidates officially launch their 2014 bids for governor, I plan to ask each of them to lay out their positions on top education issues. I started with democrat Angel Taveras.
As mayor of Providence, Taveras joined several state lawmakers in speaking out against a policy tying the standardized test known as NECAP to high school graduation. Taveras says his concern was with the test itself, not the principal of tying testing to a high school diploma.
Achievement First is a brand new charter school in Providence that also operates schools in Connecticut and New York. Critics fought hard to keep it from opening in Rhode Island, arguing that among other problems, it would take money away from other public schools. But supporters and organizers from Achievement First say they are offering an alternative to public schools that are struggling. Rhode Island Public Radio's Education Reporter Elisabeth Harrison took a tour of the Providence school.
Students and community groups plan to demonstrate outside the Brown University lecture hall where New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly is slated to speak this afternoon.
Kelly has overseen New York’s controversial “stop-and-frisk” policing strategy. The demonstrators say they believe the policy amounts to racial profiling, and they are also angered by what they call Kelly’s “widespread surveillance” of the Muslim community.
Citing dropping student enrollment, Warwick public school officials are recommending the closure of Veterans High School and two junior high schools, Gorton and Aldrich. If approved, the Providence Journal reports the plan would leave the district with two high schools and two middle schools.
Warwick Superintendent Richard D’Agostino says Warwick has seen student population fall from a peak of 19,500 in the late 1960s to just 9,300 students today. The numbers are expected to continue dropping by about 1 percent each year.
Three years after a state order to dramatically overhaul Central Falls High School, a new report finds evidence of progress. The Education Alliance at Brown University conducted the study, which finds school culture and parent involvement have improved significantly.
The graduation rate at Central Falls High is up from 48 percent in 2009 to 70 percent last year. Superintendent of Central Falls Schools Fran Gallo says it took an all-out effort from school staff to keep students from dropping out.
Latinos are the fastest growing population group in Rhode Island, but they lack the skills and education needed to get ahead. That’s the major finding of a new study published by the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University.
It’s October, and that means students across Rhode Island are filling in bubbles on standardized tests. The annual use of testing in math and English has become a controversial tool for rating schools, and making decisions about high school diplomas, and it will soon be part of teacher evaluations too. One researcher who started out supporting standardized testing now says its part of the problem in public schools. Diane Ravitch has become one of the strongest voices in the national debate and she spoke at the University of Rhode Island last night.
As Rhode Island debates high school diplomas tied to test scores, a prominent critic of standardized testing comes to make her case at the University of Rhode Island. Diane Ravitch, a research professor at New York University, is scheduled to speak this evening as part of URI's honors colloquium on education.
It seems sometimes like every Rhode Island business and political leader points to the better economy in Massachusetts. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay looked across the state border and finds more myth than reality.