Deborah Gist

The Education Blog
9:03 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Gist to Weigh in on High Stakes Testing Freeze

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist has promised to make time in her schedule to discuss new developments at the General Assembly, including a bill that orders a halt to standardized testing as a requirement for a high school diploma.

Gist has advocated in favor of keeping the testing policy, which she says is will ensure that students graduate ready for the challenges they may face after high school. But lawmakers voted to halt the use of exit exams until at least 2017, citing concerns about students with disabilities, among other issues.

The Education Blog
6:58 am
Wed June 18, 2014

RIDE: Most Students Meet Graduation Requirements

The State Department of Education says roughly 95 percent of this year's high school seniors have met a controversial new graduation requirement involving test scores. Nearly 500 students met the requirement by getting a waiver from their school districts.

Most high schools have already held graduations, but RIDE says it does not have a final number for how many students were prevented from receiving diplomas because of the testing requirement. Education Commissioner Deborah Gist told RIPR students can still appeal graduation decisions.

Read more
The Education Blog
11:56 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Gist Responds to Providence Graduation Waivers

State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist has declined to comment, at least in person, on Providence's waiver of the testing portion of the state's diploma system for roughly 200 seniors. She did provide the following written statement to RIPR, via email.

Read more
The Education Blog
9:19 am
Wed May 28, 2014

House Approves Rollback of Teacher Evaluations

In a 68-3 vote, the Rhode Island House has approved a bill easing teacher evaluations for the vast majority of public school teachers.

The bill calls for teachers who earn effective or highly effective ratings to be evaluated just once every three to four years, instead of the current policy of annual reviews.

If the bill becomes law, new teachers and teachers with low evaluation ratings would still be evaluated on an annual basis.

Read more
Education
8:51 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Senate Committee Hears Testimony On Bill That Could Eliminate High Stakes Testing

Credit 123 Flickr

The Senate Education Committee is scheduled to hear testimony Wednesday on a bill that would ban test scores as a high school graduation requirement. A state policy requiring test scores has come under fire from critics, who say it is unfair to low income and minority students. But State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist has been a strong supporter, arguing that it will ensure that no student graduates from a Rhode Island high school without basic knowledge of math and English.

Read more
The Education Blog
8:49 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Opposition to the Common Core Grows in Rhode Island

Tad Segal, Barrington parent and anti-common core activist
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

A trial run for the new standardized test known as the PARCC exam begins in Rhode Island next week. The test is slated to replace the annual NECAP in 2015, as public schools transition to a new set of standards called the Common Core.

A growing group of parents, teachers and others continue to raise questions about test and the Common Core. They are calling on Rhode Island lawmakers to stop the initiative in a movement that mirrors similar anti-Common Core efforts around the country.

Read more
Education
10:29 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Explaining The Common Core Education Standards

2013 Common Core worksheet used in a Barrington elementary school.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more

Pages