high stakes testing

The Education Blog
9:16 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Gist: High Stakes Testing Moratorium Is A Delay

Credit Elisabeth Harrison

Rhode Island's Education Commissioner Deborah Gist is not giving up on efforts to link test scores to a high school diploma. Gist says a new state law barring the practice until 2017 is a delay, but she is still expecting the policy to take effect three years from now.

"While I'm disappointed about this because I feel confident that we are where we need to be to carry this out, I understand the decision," Gist told RIPR during an in-depth interview. "We are going to take a little bit more time, but what we're not going to do is lower our sense of urgency."

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The Education Blog
6:31 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Governor Declines to Veto High Stakes Testing Moratorium

A bill halting a controversial test-based graduation requirement will become law without a signature from Governor Lincoln Chafee.

Chafee declined to sign the bill but also declined a veto.

The bill bars the use of standardized test scores for a high school diploma until at least 2017. State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist, who opposed the bill, vowed to keep pushing school leaders to improve student performance.

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The Education Blog
8:52 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Chafee on Testing Bill: We're Looking at It

Governor Lincoln Chafee says he is still considering whether to sign a bill that halts a controversial policy linking test scores to high school diplomas.

"We're still looking at it and talking to advocates on both sides," Chafee told RIPR on Friday, as he signed a bill making calamari the state's official appetizer.

Supporters say students should have to demonstrate minimum skill levels in reading and writing before they are awarded diplomas. That was the reasoning behind the policy, which mirrors a similar rule in Massachusetts.

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The Education Blog
9:03 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Gist to Weigh in on High Stakes Testing Freeze

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist has promised to make time in her schedule to discuss new developments at the General Assembly, including a bill that orders a halt to standardized testing as a requirement for a high school diploma.

Gist has advocated in favor of keeping the testing policy, which she says is will ensure that students graduate ready for the challenges they may face after high school. But lawmakers voted to halt the use of exit exams until at least 2017, citing concerns about students with disabilities, among other issues.

The Education Blog
9:31 am
Tue June 24, 2014

High Stakes Testing Bill Awaits Governor’s Signature

School officials say they plan to keep up their efforts to help high school students improve their test scores, even if the test scores won’t count towards a high school diploma.

A signature from Governor Lincoln Chafee is the last thing standing between students and a bill that would delay the use of high school exit exams until at least 2017.

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The Education Blog
9:14 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Lawmakers Halt High Stakes Testing, Alter Teacher Evaluations

In a move that seemed almost unthinkable before a change in leadership at the House of Representatives, Rhode Island lawmakers have suspended the use of standardized test scores as part of a high school diploma until at least 2017. Lawmakers have also approved legislation that limits the frequency of teacher evaluations for most teachers.

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The Education Blog
9:06 am
Fri June 20, 2014

High Stakes Testing, Teacher Evaluations Remain in the Mix

The General Assembly is expected to wrap up the session today, with two key education issues still under discussion.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has indicated he may bring a vote on a move to stop the use of standardized testing as a requirement for high school graduation. The measure was considered dead in the water under former House Speaker Gordon Fox, but Mattiello says he is concerned about the impact of the testing requirement on students with special needs. One compromise could involve suspending the testing rule for students with special needs.

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The Education Blog
6:58 am
Wed June 18, 2014

RIDE: Most Students Meet Graduation Requirements

The State Department of Education says roughly 95 percent of this year's high school seniors have met a controversial new graduation requirement involving test scores. Nearly 500 students met the requirement by getting a waiver from their school districts.

Most high schools have already held graduations, but RIDE says it does not have a final number for how many students were prevented from receiving diplomas because of the testing requirement. Education Commissioner Deborah Gist told RIPR students can still appeal graduation decisions.

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The Education Blog
11:56 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Gist Responds to Providence Graduation Waivers

State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist has declined to comment, at least in person, on Providence's waiver of the testing portion of the state's diploma system for roughly 200 seniors. She did provide the following written statement to RIPR, via email.

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The Education Blog
9:03 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Providence Introduces New Waivers from Testing Requirement

Providence is granting a reprieve to some 200 high school seniors, who risk not graduating under a new state policy linking test scores to a high school diploma.

The rule, in effect for the first time this year, calls for students to score partially proficient or better on the NECAP test or improve significantly on a retake. Students can also use alternative tests or acceptance at a competitive college to earn their diploma.

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