A group of Providence students is asking prominent Rhode Islanders to take the standardized test known as the NECAP this weekend, as they work to demonstrate why it should not be used as a graduation requirement.
"We hope to lend a deeper perspective to debate about the new high stakes testing graduation requirement," says 16-year-old Classical High School student Cauldierre McKay, a member of the Providence Student Union. The group has been pushing state officials to reconsider their policy on graduation requirements that go into effect for the class of 2014.
"We're trying to get rid of it as a graduation requirement for a lot of reasons because of how it's discriminatory and how it leads to curriculum narrowing," McKay says.
Roughly 4,000 students statewide are at risk of not getting a diploma because of the new requirement.
The Providence Student Union has gathered sample questions from the Math section of the NECAP website. The group says Narragansett State Senator Teresa Tanzi and former gubernatorial candidate Myrth York are among nearly 50 people who have agreed to take the test.
Supporters of using NECAP as a graduation requirement say it’s a key part of the state’s plan to raise standards in public schools. State education have indicated they do not plan to roll back the requirement this year.
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