Rhode Island teachers can breathe a sigh of relief as they go about the usual business of preparing for a new school year. State officials have announced a delay in the use of student test scores in the teachers’ annual performance ratings.
State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist says public school teachers need more time to understand how scores from the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) will factor into the ratings. A bad performance review could result in termination or loss of certification for a teacher receiving a poor evaluation for several years in a row.
The state Department of Education is postponing for one year the inclusion of NECAP test scores in a teacher’s evaluation. State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist said there was not enough clarity on how the test was being used to assess teacher effectiveness.
The state Board of Education returns to Rhode Island College Monday for the second day of a two-day retreat. The meeting is aimed at educating board members about key topics that will be surfacing over the coming months. Initially they didn’t want to hold it in public.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee is pulling the plug on his embattled choice to become the state’s interim commissioner of higher education.
Chafee said Eva-Marie Mancuso is dropping her request for a state Ethics Commission waiver to move into the position. The waiver is needed since members of public boards are prohibited from accepting an appointment from a board of which they’re a member. Mancuso serves as chairwoman of the state Board of Education and will remain in that post.
Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist said parents in schools receiving a low rating should seek answers into how those schools are going to improve.
Twenty-eight schools received the lowest ratings, many of them were in Providence. The education department said the rating system is designed to identify warning signs and to help schools improve. Gist said while it takes years to turn a school around, parents should be concerned about a low-performing school.
The State Board of Education will reconsider a graduation requirement that says students must score partially proficient or better on a state test to get a diploma. Several advocacy groups have filed a formal petition with the board asking it to rescind the testing policy. The petition triggers a 30-day deadline for the board to respond.
The groups joining the petition include the Providence Student Union and local chapters of the ACLU and NAACP. They argue that high stakes testing is unfair, putting some 4,000 students at risk of not graduating.
Governor Lincoln Chafee is in Chicago Monday for a symposium on education. The event is hosted by James B. Hunt Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy, a group affiliated with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The institute says its goal is to strengthen public education by bringing politicians and policymakers together to discuss state-level education policy.
The start of June has done nothing, naturally, to stop the breakneck flow of news in the Land of The Gift That Keeps on Giving. So welcome back to my weekly column. You can reach me at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) com, and (please) follow me on Twitter. Let's head in.
Governor Lincoln Chafee is applauding the contract extension granted to state Education Commissioner Deborah Gist on Thursday. But the state’s largest teachers’ union remains upset about the decision to keep Gist as commissioner.
The state Board of Education voted, 7 to 3, to continue Gist’s contract for another two years. In a statement, Governor Chafee says he’s pleased by the agreement. The governor says he looks forward to continuing what he calls a productive and positive relationship with Gist.