RI education officials to reconsider charter school's fate

Providence, R.I. – The state Board of Education has voted to reconsider the future of the Highlander Charter School after an emotional meeting last night. The Providence elementary and middle school faces a two-year probationary period due to concerns about test scores. But testimony from dozens of parents, teachers and students convinced the board to postpone the decision.

They came with shaking hands and quivering voices to plead for five more years. For a school parent after parent described as nurturing and intellectually stimulating for their kids. Kitty Richards described the special attention teachers have lavished on her son, who is dyslexic.

"Help afterschool, he gets help before school, he gets teachers sitting next to him making sure that he's able to understand what's going on," Richards said. "If it wasn't for you guys I really don't know where I would be as a parent or where my son would be."

The members of the state Board of Education agreed to postpone a vote pending one more meeting. State education Chief Deborah Gist stood by her recommendation saying charter schools must deliver both a positive school culture and high test scores.