Arne Duncan

Courtesty U.S. Department of Education

Congress is hammering out new requirements for public schools and federal school funding. The current bill, commonly known as the "No Child Left Behind Act," has been controversial because of the way it uses standardized test scores to measure public schools. Changes to the bill have been proposed in both houses of Congress.  

Federal Education Secretary Arne Duncan spoke with Rhode Island Public Radio's education reporter Elisabeth Harrison from Washington, D.C. to explain what these proposals could mean for Rhode Island.

Rhode Island, along with all other states, is being asked to submit new “teacher equity plans,” to the U.S. Department of Education. Originally created in 2006, these plans are designed to insure that poor and minority children are not taught at higher rates by inexperienced or unqualified teachers.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is praising Rhode Island for its work implementing its original plan.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Rhode Islanders should look at progress made in its schools while weighing the fate of state education commissioner Deborah Gist. Duncan made the comment on a conference call with Rhode Island reporters.

In a call of support for Gist, Duncan touted rising test scores and graduation rates as signs that the state is making progress. Teachers and parents have been outspoken in their opposition to Gist. But Duncan defends her, calling her collaborative.

U.S. Department of Education

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan speaks with Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison about the progress the Ocean State is making in education.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will have to forgo his trip to Rhode Island, no thanks to the weather.  Duncan was scheduled to attend a town hall-style meeting tonight on school safety and to headline a Tuesday morning event at the Rhode Island Convention Center. His office says the secretary's flight to Rhode Island was canceled.

National education official coming to Providence

Jan 15, 2013

(PROVIDENCE, RI) National Education Secretary Arne Duncan is about to pay a visit to Rhode Island’s capital city.  Duncan will be in Providence February 12th to help launch “United Providence “ – a first-of-its-kind collaboration between a school district and a teacher’s union with the aim of improving public schools.

United Providence is currently working to improve three Providence schools – the Carl Laura Elementary School, Gilbert Stuart Middle School and Alvarez High School.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Photo by Ralph Alswang.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says he’s happy with the way Rhode Island is using its $75 million Race to the Top Grant. The state has been working on several major initiatives including annual teacher evaluations and curriculum reviews.

Duncan says his staff will sit down with state education officials next week to review their progress.

  • Mitt Romney details his plan for public education, which includes vouchers for parents who want to send their children to private schools.
  • The Feds propose rules for a third round of Race to the Top grants.