education reform

The Education Blog
9:14 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Teacher Tenure Takes a Hit in California

A California judge has struck down the state's teacher tenure and seniority system, ruling it denies students their fundamental right to a quality education.

The LA Times reports the judge appeared to accept most of the prosecution's main arguments, including the idea that teachers can be fairly evaluated using student test scores. The paper also notes the judge rejected defense claims that teacher quality compares favorably to workforce quality in other fields.

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The Education Blog
8:54 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Rhode Island is Not Alone in Worrying About Public Education

Concerns about public education in China are fueling an increasing interest in alternative schools like Waldorf education. The trend is profiled in a fascinating New Yorker article now on newsstands.

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The Education Blog
9:06 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Signs of Improvement at Central Falls High School

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.

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Education
9:11 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Diane Ravitch On Standardized Tests, Charter Schools, And Teacher Evaluations In RI

NYU professor and education critic, Diane Ravitch speaking at URI.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

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.

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The Education Blog
8:56 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Diane Ravitch to Speak at URI

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.

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The Education Blog
8:55 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Gist Declines Debate with Students

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist has turned down a request from students for a public debate over high stakes testing. The invitation came from the Providence Student Union, a student advocacy group operating in Providence Public Schools.

The group plans to hold a protest vigil at the Department of Education with candles, dirges and other symbols of mourning. Organizers say the demonstration is meant as a “tongue in cheek display of mourning for the expected ‘death’ of Education Commissioner Gist’s reputation.”

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The Education Blog
9:29 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Board of Ed Tackles Guns, Gist and Science

There’s a meaty agenda on tap this week at the State Board of Education. The group is scheduled to vote Thursday on a controversial proposal to allow police to carry guns on state college campuses. The board is also scheduled to vote on adopting new science standards and consider a contract extension for Education Commissioner Deborah Gist.

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The Education Blog
9:23 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Teachers to Sound Off on Education Policy

Rhode Island’s two teachers’ unions are holding a forum for teachers to discuss their dissatisfaction with new policies in the state’s public schools.

Teachers have complained about the pace of changes under State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist, and they are particularly concerned about new annual teacher evaluations, which include test scores as one measure of teacher effectiveness. The teachers have asked the state to slow down implementation of the evaluations, saying they are time consuming and need adjustment.

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The Education Blog
9:44 am
Fri May 17, 2013

As RI Rolls Out Common Core, Are New Science Standards Next?

Rhode Island is one of 26 states that have promised to consider new science guidelines known as the Next Generation Science Standards. The standards were developed by the same organization that created the Common Core, a group of national standards many states including Rhode Island are now adopting for Math and English.

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The Education Blog
9:50 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Business Supports Gist

Business leaders are coming out in support of Deborah Gist, the state’s controversial education commissioner. The Providence Journal reports that two dozen business organizations have asked the State Board of Education to renew Gist’s contract, which is currently under review.

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