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The Education Blog
9:24 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Taveras Calls Teacher Firings a "Mistake"

Speaking Tuesday night at a special edition of RIPR's Political Roundtable, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras said he made "a very public mistake" when he fired every Providence public school teacher early on in his tenure as mayor.

At the time, Taveras said the firings would give the city flexibility in the midst of a financial crisis.

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The Education Blog
9:04 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Bradley School Splits from Bradley Hospital Campus

The Bradley School is leaving its home on the grounds of Bradley Hospital for a new facility in Providence. Bradley officials say they plan to make the move on September first.

A letter sent to Bradley parents says the school will now share space with the Urban Collaborative Accelerated Program, a school for students who have fallen behind and are at serious risk for dropping out. The letter touts larger classrooms, a cafeteria and a newly constructed gymnasium.

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The Education Blog
9:16 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Gist: High Stakes Testing Moratorium Is A Delay

Credit Elisabeth Harrison

Rhode Island's Education Commissioner Deborah Gist is not giving up on efforts to link test scores to a high school diploma. Gist says a new state law barring the practice until 2017 is a delay, but she is still expecting the policy to take effect three years from now.

"While I'm disappointed about this because I feel confident that we are where we need to be to carry this out, I understand the decision," Gist told RIPR during an in-depth interview. "We are going to take a little bit more time, but what we're not going to do is lower our sense of urgency."

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The Education Blog
6:31 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Governor Declines to Veto High Stakes Testing Moratorium

A bill halting a controversial test-based graduation requirement will become law without a signature from Governor Lincoln Chafee.

Chafee declined to sign the bill but also declined a veto.

The bill bars the use of standardized test scores for a high school diploma until at least 2017. State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist, who opposed the bill, vowed to keep pushing school leaders to improve student performance.

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The Education Blog
8:52 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Chafee on Testing Bill: We're Looking at It

Governor Lincoln Chafee says he is still considering whether to sign a bill that halts a controversial policy linking test scores to high school diplomas.

"We're still looking at it and talking to advocates on both sides," Chafee told RIPR on Friday, as he signed a bill making calamari the state's official appetizer.

Supporters say students should have to demonstrate minimum skill levels in reading and writing before they are awarded diplomas. That was the reasoning behind the policy, which mirrors a similar rule in Massachusetts.

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The Education Blog
9:00 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Rhode Island Scores Relatively Well on Study of Child Restraint

Rhode Island provides more restrictions on the use of child restraints in schools than either Connecticut or Massachusetts, according to a report from ProPublica and NPR.

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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
9:31 am
Tue June 24, 2014

High Stakes Testing Bill Awaits Governor’s Signature

School officials say they plan to keep up their efforts to help high school students improve their test scores, even if the test scores won’t count towards a high school diploma.

A signature from Governor Lincoln Chafee is the last thing standing between students and a bill that would delay the use of high school exit exams until at least 2017.

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The Education Blog
9:14 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Lawmakers Halt High Stakes Testing, Alter Teacher Evaluations

In a move that seemed almost unthinkable before a change in leadership at the House of Representatives, Rhode Island lawmakers have suspended the use of standardized test scores as part of a high school diploma until at least 2017. Lawmakers have also approved legislation that limits the frequency of teacher evaluations for most teachers.

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The Education Blog
9:06 am
Fri June 20, 2014

High Stakes Testing, Teacher Evaluations Remain in the Mix

The General Assembly is expected to wrap up the session today, with two key education issues still under discussion.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has indicated he may bring a vote on a move to stop the use of standardized testing as a requirement for high school graduation. The measure was considered dead in the water under former House Speaker Gordon Fox, but Mattiello says he is concerned about the impact of the testing requirement on students with special needs. One compromise could involve suspending the testing rule for students with special needs.

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