high stakes testing

The Education Blog
10:00 am
Fri January 24, 2014

ACLU Again Calls for Rethinking Diploma Policy

The Rhode Island Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has completed a survey of school districts and their policies to grant waivers from a controversial test-based requirement for high school graduation.

The ACLU finds that some districts have no finalized waiver policy, while others are confusing or arbitrary.

Long an opponent of linking test scores to a high school diploma, the RIACLU has written a letter to the state board of education, renewing its call for a review of the test-based graduation requirement.

The Education Blog
9:09 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Providence City Council Calls for Pause on High Stakes Testing

The Providence City Council wants to delay a testing requirement for high school seniors, taking effect for the first time this year. The council unanimously passed a resolution last week requesting the pause, citing new advice from education officials that would exempt students accepted at competitive colleges.

Providence City Councilman Sam Zurier says the exemption seems unfair to most Providence students, who are more likely go to community college or straight to work.

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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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The Education Blog
10:43 am
Mon January 13, 2014

A Few Thoughts on the Latest NECAP Controversy

First of all, I go away for a family emergency, and what happens? News, that’s what!

The Department of Education announced at the end of last week that some high school students will no longer have to pass the standardized test known as the New England Common Assessment Program, or NECAP, to earn a high school diploma. The exception applies to students who get into colleges with non-open enrollment.  

So, in other words, if you get into a competitive college, the test-based part of the state’s graduation requirement will be waived.

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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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The Education Blog
8:57 am
Mon October 7, 2013

This Week in Education

Credit Paul Stein JC

Standardized testing is underway in Rhode Island public schools, where students take the New England Common Assessment Program or NECAP every October. The tests of math and reading are administered to grades 3-8 and 11 between October 1st and the 23rd. This year some 4,000 12th graders are also taking the test and must improve their scores to meet the state’s controversial new test-based graduation requirement.

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RI News
3:04 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

RI ACLU Takes Legal Action Against Ed. Board for a 3rd Time

ACLU Exec. Dir. Steve Brown, left, wants a public debate on the NECAP graduation requirement.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is keeping up the heat in its opposition to the NECAP test as a requirement for high school graduation. The ACLU has filed a third legal action against what it calls a lack of process in retaining the controversial test.

For the third time in less than two months, the ACLU of Rhode Island has taken legal action against the state Board of Education for violating open government laws in dealing with the NECAP test.

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The Education Blog
8:55 am
Mon September 16, 2013

ACLU to File New Lawsuit over Standardized Testing

The Rhode Island Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union plans to announce yet another lawsuit in its ongoing battle over high-stakes testing.

Critics of a state policy tying high school diplomas to test scores point out that 4,000 seniors are at risk of not graduating, and they are overwhelmingly,  minority and low-income students, along with students with disabilities. However, state officials have been standing firm, arguing that students have multiple opportunities to show improvement on the test and earn a diploma.

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