Coalition Launches “I Pledge” Campaign, Website

Race to the Top Steering Committee, Union Leadership, RIDE, and local foundations team up to support students and educators.


Principals can pledge to lead their schools to greatness. Teachers can pledge to believe in and encourage their students. Parents can pledge to check homework. Elected officials can pledge to be a positive voice for public education. And interested citizens can pledge to stay informed and support students and educators.

All of these groups – in fact, all Rhode Islanders – are critical to an effort that will begin in earnest this week. To communicate with the public about theprogress Rhode Island has made in education, a broad coalition has joined together to launch “I Pledge,” a campaign designed to generate a positive rallying cry around education and show support for our educators and students.

The campaign, funded by The Rhode Island Foundation and the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, centers on a website, educationpledgeri.org, which offers students, parents, families, teachers, administrators, elected officials, and interested citizens a menu of positive, pro-active pledges from which to choose. The campaign kicks off this week with radio spots, 60 second and 30 second commercial television spots, as well as bus advertisements urging all Rhode Islanders to “Make Your Pledge Today at educationpledgeri.org.” Print ads will begin running later this month in local newspapers.

“We were determined to find a way to generate support and momentum for the great efforts that continue to be made around education,” said Rhode Island Foundation President & CEO Neil D. Steinberg, who also co-chairs the state’s Race to the Top Steering Committee. 

Co-Chair Colleen Jermain, chief of staff for the Providence school department, added, “Our two Race to the Top Grants totaling $125 million have created many opportunities for enhanced collaboration. Diverse groups are finding more and more common ground. The “I Pledge” campaign shows that everyone working together can make a tremendous difference to Rhode Island education.”

Participants in the campaign include the Office of the Governor, the Rhode Island Association of School Committees, the Rhode Island Association of School Superintendents, the Rhode Island Association of School Principals, the National Education Association Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals, the Rhode Island Foundation, representatives of charter public schools, and the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. 

State Representative Lisa Tomasso, who serves Coventry and West Greenwich, is also a member of the RI Race to the Top Steering Committee and has been appointed as the grass-roots coordinator to help spread the word about "I Pledge" within the community.

"As a State Representative whose road to the RI State House was inspired by parent engagement and my involvement with Coventry Schools I am keenly aware of the importance of this type of campaign to the success of every student and every classroom teacher in RI, common core and teacher evaluation are not enough on their own," said Tomasso. "Public education is everyone's business. It is our legacy."

Cox Communications, Cumulus, ClearChannel Communications, WPRI-TV, WLNE-TV, WJAR-TV, RIPTA, New England Tech, Duffy & Shanley, and Embolden have donated goods and services to the campaign or worked at greatly reduced cost. No Race to the Top dollars have been used to fund the campaign.

 “In order for the state’s education system to achieve great results, to ensure our economic success, we need great educators, great leaders, great administrators, great school committees, and great parents – and great students,” Steinberg said. “Educators need everyone’s support – we are all in this together. “ 

See the “I Pledge” website and make a pledge at: http://www.educationpledgeri.org.

Frederick Remington September 24, 2012 at 06:50 AM
I saw the first advertising for this campaign tonight, with its "We'll do anything it takes!" Seems to me we are already pretty close - RI is spending more per pupil in public schools that 43 other states. Which might actually be ok if we didn't rank 32nd in educational performance. Our cities and towns are already comitting 70% or so of their entire budgets on education - and now we have a new plea to 'Do whatever it takes?" We need to get real about this issue - I am not complaining about the expense, but the value for the dollar invested. The 'leaders' featured in the advertising would be better off figuring out better solutions than taking credit for RI schools simply because the state captured a 'Race To The Top' award. We need to be more discerning - the glass is half empty, gang!
Keith E December 27, 2012 at 01:56 PM
I will continue to pledge to change the station every time this obnoxious commercial comes on! The best part is Chafee shaking his head "No" while saying "I'll do whatever it takes." His strong body language says No, he won't.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »