School districts are getting ready to notify students of their scores on the state’s standardized test, known as NECAP. The results will have a major impact on roughly 4,000 seniors, who need to improve their scores to earn a diploma.
Although the state has announced it will allow waivers for students who get into college, this is the first year that high school seniors are expected to use NECAP scores to earn a diploma. They also have to pass their classes and complete either a senior project or a portfolio demonstrating highlights from their high school career.
In Providence, school officials say letters are on their way to parents, and guidance counselors will begin meeting with students next week. The state is expected to publicly release NECAP results on Friday.
Critics have called for a pause in the test-linked part of the diploma system, saying it will hurt students, especially those in urban areas. A group of Providence students called the Providence Student Union plans to stage a demonstration this afternoon at the Statehouse, during which students will dress up as lab animals to demonstrate their feeling that they are being used for an experiment in education reform.
You can hear what one member of the Providence Student Union had to say about the diploma system here.
The State Department of Education has defended the diploma system, saying students have several opportunities to pass the test and can also apply for waivers from their districts, if they believe their scores do not reflect their high school performance.