Education Commissioner Gist Delivers Upbeat State Of Education Address

Jan 31, 2014

Rhode Island’s Education Commissioner Deborah Gist emphasized the positive in her annual State of Education speech last night at the General Assembly. She said Rhode Island students are improving on national testing, and she said 73 percent of this year’s senior class has now scored high enough on the state standardized test to earn a diploma, after thousands of students had to re-take the test in October.

Education Commissioner Deborah Gist says there was a more than ten percent increase in math proficiency on the standardized test known as NECAP.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

“Let’s not loose sight of the magnitude of what Rhode Island has accomplished.  More students today are ready to graduate, and they are much more ready to ready to succeed beyond high school,” said Gist.

The test of math, reading and writing is now required for a high school diploma, and nearly ¾ of this year’s senior class has met the minimum score.  Gist emphasized that students who still have not passed the test will have another chance to re-take it or show proficiency in other ways.

She also announced a new initiative for foreign language.

“What if, by 2020, every district in Rhode Island would offer dual language immersion opportunities, beginning at kindergarten, with a plan for progression through middle school and high school?” asked Gist.

Such dual language programs offer different classes taught in two languages.  Gist said the goal is for students to leave elementary school fluent in two languages.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic?  Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.