State Education Commissioner Ken Wagner used his annual address to make the case that education is making progress in Rhode Island.
Wagner touted the expansion of full-day kindergarten to every school district.
He also discussed free student access to the PSAT and SAT exams, standardized tests required for most college applications. Wagner reported an increase of more than 3,600 students who registered for the SATs this school year.
Wagner also took the time to advocate for Governor Gina Raimondo’s college tuition proposal, the RI Promise Scholarship Initiative. The proposal would grant students in good academic standing two years of free tuition at one of the state’s public colleges.
“Rhode Island Promise makes a simple commitment. If you work hard enough to meet the acceptance criteria, there will be a seat waiting for you at a Rhode Island public college or university,” said Wagner.
Wagner noted that there are fewer jobs available for workers without a high school diploma.
“Of the 11.5 million jobs created nationally since 2010, only 80,000, or less than 1%, went to people with a high school diploma or less,” said Wagner.