Rhode Island teachers can breathe a sigh of relief as they go about the usual business of preparing for a new school year. State officials have announced a delay in the use of student test scores in the teachers’ annual performance ratings.
State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist says public school teachers need more time to understand how scores from the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) will factor into the ratings. A bad performance review could result in termination or loss of certification for a teacher receiving a poor evaluation for several years in a row.
Summer is starting to slip from our grasp, sparking the trail to the hotter political season to come. Thanks for stopping by. As always, feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org and to follow my short missives on Twitter. Let's head in:
A Harvard researcher, a former Massachusetts education official and a testing company founder are among the experts slated to address high-stakes testing at the Rhode Island Board of Education this weekend. The board is holding a two-day retreat as it faces calls to reconsider a controversial policy linking test scores to a high school diploma.
Governor Lincoln Chafee joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss whether RI Democrats are doing enough to move the economy forward; tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge; NSA surveillaince; education policy; and why his poll ratings are so low.
Achievement First, a big box charter operator from Connecticut, opens its first school in Rhode Island this month. Plans for Achievement First in Rhode Island originally called for a network of public charter schools serving students in Kindergarten through the end of high school, but the proposal almost immediately ran into opposition from parents and teachers.
The Rhode Island Department of Education is looking for more applicants for a lottery to fill state-funded pre-kindergarten programs. RIDE has extended the deadline for the lottery until August 22nd, as it looks to fill 234 seats in seven local cities.
State lawmakers increased funding this year for pre-kindergarten programs, which education advocates see as an important step toward improving public schools. The theory is that if more students are ready when they arrive in elementary school, then fewer students will fall behind at an early age.
The Rhode Island Board of Education will address two recent controversies in a special meeting scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
The board is planning to vote on Governor Lincoln Chafee’s pick for a new Interim Higher Education Commissioner. The candidate, Department of Education Chief of Staff Clark Greene, was named only after Education Board Chair Eva-Marie Mancuso stepped aside as a candidate herself, because of ethics questions.
Woonsocket and Pawtucket are asking the Rhode Island Supreme Court to intervene in their effort to get more funding from the state. The districts filed briefs late last week, arguing they do not receive enough state aid to meet the state’s basic education requirements. The districts claim their students are being denied equal access to an education, in violation of their rights under the state constitution.
Brown University Medical School professor and doctor at Rhode Island hospital is expected in court Wednesday on charges he violated Rhode Island’s social host law. Bruce Becker is accused of allowing alcohol at a birthday party for his 18-year-old son at their home in Barrington.