The Rhode Island Department of Education is preparing for a large number of next year's senior class to fail their second attempt at meeting a new test-based graduation requirement.
According to a state contract with testing company Measured Progress, RIDE has ordered 3,500 versions of a retest for seniors. That represents a majority of the roughly 4,000 seniors who will attempt the test for a second time this fall.
RIDE says it has no estimate for the number of students who will actually need to take the test known as the New England Common Assessment Program for a third time, but it has to be prepared for any possibility. A spokesman for RIDE says the agency hopes most seniors who re-take NECAP in October will show enough improvement to qualify for a diploma.
Rhode Island is spending roughly $1 million to develop and administer the two additional rounds of testing to give students a chance to raise their scores enough to graduate. The third version of the test will be shorter and easier, according to RIDE, with a focus on basic skills.