It sometimes seems as if all of our contemporary debates over education revolve around high-stakes testing. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says our schools are neglecting an important topic that isn’t tested.
Trying to figure out what’s happening in education nowadays is an exercise in futility. You have to learn a new language suffused with psycho babble and techno-speak: educators use terms like rubrics, social-emotional learning and site-based management..
Clay Pell, one of three Democrats vying for his party’s nomination for governor, is urging Gov. Lincoln Chafee to sign into law three education-related measures approved by the General Assembly in the waning hours of the 2014 legislative session.
The first would place a moratorium on the use of high-stakes tests as a graduation requirement. The other would change teacher evaluations and the third would provide full funding for all-day kindergarten in Rhode Island communities.
Providence is granting a reprieve to some 200 high school seniors, who risk not graduating under a new state policy linking test scores to a high school diploma.
The rule, in effect for the first time this year, calls for students to score partially proficient or better on the NECAP test or improve significantly on a retake. Students can also use alternative tests or acceptance at a competitive college to earn their diploma.
In school districts across Rhode Island, some 9,000 students are about to get a taste of the test replacing NECAP next year. The students are participating in field testing for the test, known as PARCC, starting next week.
PARCC is slated to be used in 17 states. Rhode Island's Education Commissioner Deborah Gist says the field testing comes as designers refine the exam, and will give teachers, administrators and students a chance to prepare for next year.
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.
Roughly 20 percent of this year’s high school seniors will have to take the NECAP test a third time, or find another way to meet the state’s new test-linked diploma system. That according to the latest NECAP scores out of the Rhode Island Department of Education.
Education Commissioner Deborah Gist is calling this good news because it represents a significant drop in the number of seniors at risk of not graduating. “So this means in the current senior class, 1,370 students, improved their performance in mathematics or made partial proficiency,” said Gist.