Rhode Island lawmakers are slated to consider a bill Wednesday that takes on one of the most contentious issues in public education. The bill calls for a commission to study the Common Core Standards, a new set of national standards for K-12 classrooms.
Rhode Island teachers are already using the standards, and they will soon give students a new standardized test to go with them, but a growing number of critics charge the standards are stressing students out.
State lawmakers are scheduled to consider a bill that could have major consequences for classrooms across the state.
The bill, sponsored by East Providence Representative Gregg Amore, would halt the adoption of new standardized testing, known as PARCC, which is linked to the Common Core, a new set of national standards for public schools. The bill is scheduled for a committee hearing on Wednesday.
Rhode Island has begun adopting the standards, although opponents charge they are untested and require further study.
State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist is releasing additional results from the standardized test known as NECAP. The report will include school-level data for all Rhode Island public schools, and comparisons to other New England states using NECAP.
At the end of February, the Rhode Island Department of Education released an abridged summary of NECAP results, revealing scores for seniors facing a new test-linked graduation requirement. The early release was intended to give schools and students time to prepare if they did not do well enough to earn a diploma.
The latest NECAP scores show more high school students reaching proficiency in both reading and mathematics, although math scores continue to be lower than state officials might like.
The Rhode Island Department of Education says 36 percent of high school juniors scored proficient in math in 2013, up from just 27 percent in 2009. 81 percent scored proficient in reading, up from 73 percent in 2009.
In her annual State of Education Address, Education Commissioner Deborah Gist revealed that 73 percent of this year’s senior class has met a new requirement tying test scores to a high school diploma. Just 60 percent of students had met the bar prior to re-taking the test in October.
“Lets not lose sight of the magnitude of what Rhode Island has accomplished,” Gist said. “More students today are ready to graduate, and they are much more ready to succeed beyond high school.”
Rhode Island’s Education Commissioner Deborah Gist emphasized the positive in her annual State of Education speech last night at the General Assembly. She said Rhode Island students are improving on national testing, and she said 73 percent of this year’s senior class has now scored high enough on the state standardized test to earn a diploma, after thousands of students had to re-take the test in October.
Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist plans to deliver her annual State of Education address Thursday at the Statehouse. The speech comes just hours before the state is slated to release the latest round of standardized test scores, which are due out Friday morning.
One of the most contentious issues in education remains high-stakes testing. In Rhode Island most of the strum and drang revolves around the New England Common Assessment Program Test.
This year, for the first time, R.I. high school seniors will have to pass the NECAP test to get a diploma. But the Rhode Island Department of Education, with little fanfare, on January 3rd issued a waiver policy that has been slowly circulating among education wonks and professionals around the state.
As the candidates officially launch their 2014 bids for governor, I plan to ask each of them to lay out their positions on top education issues. I started with democrat Angel Taveras.
As mayor of Providence, Taveras joined several state lawmakers in speaking out against a policy tying the standardized test known as NECAP to high school graduation. Taveras says his concern was with the test itself, not the principal of tying testing to a high school diploma.