Deborah Gist

The Education Blog
8:42 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Hearing Slated for Opponents of Common Core

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.

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The Education Blog
9:07 am
Thu February 13, 2014

More NECAP Scores to be Released

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.

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The Education Blog
3:27 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

NECAP Scores Show Improvement in High Schools

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.

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The Education Blog
9:01 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Gist: More Students are Ready to Graduate

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.”

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Education
8:52 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Education Commissioner Gist Delivers Upbeat State Of Education Address

Education Commissioner Deborah Gist says there was a more than ten percent increase in math proficiency on the standardized test known as NECAP.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

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.

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The Education Blog
9:10 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Gist to Deliver State of Education Address

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.

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Standardized Testing
9:00 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Education Commissioner Gist Defends NECAP Waivers

Students take summer math courses to prepare for NECAP testing.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Last week, Rhode Island education officials told districts they would recommend waiving a controversial part of the state’s high school graduation requirements for students who get into college.

Those students will be allowed to receive their diplomas, even if they don’t get the minimum score required on the state standardized test known as NECAP.

The change has touched off another round of questions about whether Rhode Island should use standardized testing at all as a requirement for a high school diploma.

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On Politics
5:42 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Watering down NECAP diploma requirement

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.

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The Education Blog
9:07 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Taveras on High Stakes Testing and Deborah Gist

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras has launched a democratic campaign for governor.
Credit Flo Jonic

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.

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Education
9:11 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Diane Ravitch On Standardized Tests, Charter Schools, And Teacher Evaluations In RI

NYU professor and education critic, Diane Ravitch speaking at URI.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

It’s October, and that means students across Rhode Island are filling in bubbles on standardized tests. The annual use of testing in math and English has become a controversial tool for rating schools, and making decisions about high school diplomas, and it will soon be part of teacher evaluations too. One researcher who started out supporting standardized testing now says its part of the problem in public schools. Diane Ravitch has become one of the strongest voices in the national debate and she spoke at the University of Rhode Island last night.

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