With concern growing over the amount of time students spend on standardized testing, Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist has launched a review of state and local testing practices. Gist says she wants to address complaints from parents and teachers about over-testing.
“None of us wants to test students too much, and each of us can consider ways to streamline the assessment process,” Gist wrote in a letter to superintendents announcing the review, adding that the goal is to eliminate assessments that do not advance teaching and learning.
The head of the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says he welcomes any further delay in linking test scores to high school graduation.
ACLU of RI Director Steve Brown says waiting until 2020 could give schools more time to address systemic problems and intervene with struggling students. But Brown says he remains concerned that the State Department of Education is simply delaying a policy that would hold students accountable for the failures of their schools.
In the wake of a General Assembly decision to delay standardized testing for a high school diploma until 2017, Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist is now suggesting that the policy be pushed back even further to 2020. Rhode Island Public Radio Education Reporter Elisabeth Harrison asked Gist what made her change her position after arguing vigorously that Rhode Island should start linking test scores and diplomas this year.
After an investigation, a grand jury has decided against indicting two Brown football players accused of sexual assault.
"There will be no charges stemming from the incident," according to a statement from the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office.
The allegations were brought by a student at Providence College. She told police she started feeling groggy while hanging out with friends at a Providence bar. When she woke up, she said she found herself in a Brown dorm room, and there, she alleges, the football players sexually assaulted her.
Rhode Island’s Education Commissioner Deborah Gist is recommending more delays for a policy linking standardized test scores to a high school diploma. Gist says she now believes the policy should remain on hold until 2020.
The comments may come as a surprise after Gist championed the test-linked diploma for months despite increasing pressure from some students and groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, who said the policy was unfair to low-income students and students with disabilities.
A grand jury will not indict two Brown University football players who were accused of sexual assault by a student at Providence College. Universities around the country are facing controversy over how they handle sexual assault. Brown is one of more than 70 colleges under federal investigation.
Critics say colleges should do more to protect students and punish perpetrators of sexual assault. Brown officials have been reviewing their policy, and new students arriving on campus this week will receive more training on sexual assault.
As students and teachers prepare to go back to school, Providence has released an update on efforts to improve its troubled schools.
The report called “On the Move” suggests some promising changes in areas like early reading and getting more kids to graduate. Rhode Island Public Radio Education Reporter Elisabeth Harrison gets the details from Providence Superintendent Susan Lusi.
Providence has received a $3 million dollar grant from the Carnegie Foundation to develop a pair of small high schools over the next three years.
The schools will enroll a maximum of 450 students each, and will get extra flexibility to tailor programs to each student. The theory is that if you meet each student at their level, you can help students catch up if they fall behind, and allow them to work beyond their grade level, if they are ahead of the curve.
No one is saying why federal officials have launched an investigation into Brown's handling of a sexual assault complaint, but the school is one of 68 around the country facing increased scrutiny over the issue of sexual violence.
Campus officials have struggled to strike a balance between the rights of students who say they are victims of sexual assault and the rights of their alleged attackers, who often have not been found guilty of any crime.
Rhode Island, along with all other states, is being asked to submit new “teacher equity plans,” to the U.S. Department of Education. Originally created in 2006, these plans are designed to insure that poor and minority children are not taught at higher rates by inexperienced or unqualified teachers.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is praising Rhode Island for its work implementing its original plan.