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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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Community
3:03 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

For Some Martin Luther King Jr. Day Means A Day Of Service

Dozens of volunteers paint a hallway in Goff Jr. High School in Pawtucket in honor of Martin Luther King Jr, Day.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

Martin Luther King Jr. Day may mean a day off for some, but scores of volunteers spent the day in Pawtucket hard at work.

Volunteers busily taped windows, primed, and painted walls at Goff Junior High School as part of a day of service in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

They were working as a part of a national program that organizes service projects across the country; encouraging people to volunteer on their day off.  Volunteer Megan Kelly, took a break from painting a beige hallway bright yellow.

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The Education Blog
9:07 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Barrington School Board Backs Common Core, Critics Vow to Continue Fight

The Barrington School Committee has overwhelmingly passed a resolution supporting the Common Core standards, despite protests from some parents and teachers, who say the standards have serious flaws.

Pam Fuller, a Barrington resident whose husband is on the school committee, has been lobbying for a pause to consider concerns about the standards.

“This one cookie cutter fits everybody, I don’t think it meets the kids on the bottom and it certainly doesn’t meet the kids in the top,” Fuller said.

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The Education Blog
9:18 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Chafee Calls for Boost in Education Funding

Governor Lincoln Chafee’s budget proposal includes thousands of dollars in new funding for public schools, colleges and universities. The $8.5 billion spending plan would increase funding for K-12 schools by roughly $38 million, and provide $10 million for public colleges and universities.

Chafee touted the power of education in his State of the State address, saying it should provide a pathway to a better life and a stronger state economy. He also made a strong argument for the role of government in growing the middle class.

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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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The Education Blog
8:56 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Snow Snarls Return from Winter Break

Providence school officials plan to start classes as scheduled Thursday, despite the first flakes of a major winter snowstorm. Like many public schools, Providence reopens for the first time Thursday after winter vacation.

District officials say they will watch for an afternoon weather update before finalizing a decision about Friday. Families and employees will likely receive notifications from the district on Thursday afternoon.

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The Education Blog
9:14 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Central Falls High School, Three Years After A Mass Firing

Central Falls High School
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

For several years we’ve been following the struggling Central Falls School district.

The high school grabbed national headlines when it fired all of its teachers back in 2010.

The fired teachers were later rehired by the district, but the firings left Central Falls High School in an uproar.

Three years later, Rhode Island Public Radio's Education reporter Elisabeth Harrison found signs of progress at the school, but scars from the mass firings remain.

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