Monday, May 20, 2013
Eva-Marie Mancuso, the state’s new Board of Education chair, uses courtroom demeanor to try to convince angry teachers and nervous parents that change is necessary.
Eva-Marie Mancuso enjoys a lively debate but is clear about one thing: When it comes to educating Rhode Island’s children, the status quo is not an option. At a recent Q&A session in East Greenwich, the state’s new Board of Education chair, sparred with state Sen. James Sheehan (D-NK, Narr.) over teacher evaluations, cajoled teachers to work with the state, and tried to reassure at least one parent that using passage of a test as a graduation requirement is the right move. The forum, organized by the EG Democratic Town Committee, was held at EG’s Town Hall, the former Kent County Courthouse. The setting suited Mancuso, a personal injury lawyer. Although the new Board of Education for the first time combines all levels of public education …
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
State senator asks whether Education Commissioner Deborah Gist can tell school districts not to consider seniority when laying off teachers.
I write to express my concerns with the recent directive issued on Jan. 31 by Education Commissioner Deborah Gist to school superintendents throughout the state. Commissioner Gist warned superintendents that she would take “severe action against any district that is using seniority, job fairs or bumping to assign, keep or lay off teachers." In a four-page letter, Commissioner Gist further threatened to impose sanctions "up to and including loss of certification," taking districts to court or withholding state education aid unless they comply with her interpretation of a key education regulation called the Basic Education Program. Taken aback by the substance and tone of her letter, I wrote to Commissioner Gist on Feb. 5 to request …
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Rep. Patricia Morgan asks "Where is the required report on career and technical education?"
Saturday, February 9
Rhode Island’s Department of Education (RIDE) would be asked to appear and report in detail on career and technical education progress if a request by State Representative Patricia Morgan (R-District 26-Warwick, West Warwick, Coventry ) is taken up by the House Committee on Oversight. Morgan made the request in a letter to Oversight Committee Chair William Marcello (D-District41-Scituate and Cranston). “Given the current economic climate, nothing is more important to Rhode Island's future prosperity than a strong and effective education system," said Morgan. "Our children need our schools to provide robust and effective instruction to prepare them for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Our employers need graduates with the necessary and …
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
The program is a Race to the Top initiative.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Rep. Lisa P. Tomasso (D – Dist. 29, Coventry, West Greenwich) is hoping the public will be able to gain a better understanding of how federal funding is being used to implement the latest strategy in the Race To The Top initiative: the Rhode Island Beginning Teacher Induction Program. The mentoring program allows new teachers to receive support and guidance from an experienced educator and mentor, who will make recommendations on classroom changes and teaching methods based on data collected during the year. Representative Tomasso noted that the Race To The Top Steering Committee heard a full presentation on Tuesday about the benefits of the data-driven support program for educators who are just starting out. “The commencement of the …
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
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 …
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
The program will create certificates to provide students with additional opportunities and skills towards their post-secondary goals.
At Tuesday night's School Committee meeting, Director of Special Services, Susan Lyons presented a certificate pilot program that Coventry will participate in during the upcoming school year. The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) organized an 11-member work group that included special education directors, rehabilitation service specialists, labor and training department members, transitional educators and several others to create a program that will give certificate options to students who may not reach high school diploma requirements. The pilot program will primarily address students who take the RI Alternate Assessment (RIAA), but if successful, will eventually be introduced to all high school students. Lyons explained that …
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Convery says the school department is not worried about AJC claims.
Days after an Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) study claimed that discrepancies had been found in the standardized math test scores of Coventry students, along with Providence, East Providence (who has since been removed from the list) and Woonsocket, school Superintendent Michael Convery said he believes that the view of the situation has been skewed in a negative way. The testing years in question are 2008-2011, the former being the first reporting year that Oak Haven Elementary School was closed, causing students to be distributed amongst other area schools and the latter being the year that Coventry began implementing differentiated learning techniques into the curriculum. "Just one of our schools when we presented the NECAP …
Monday, November 28, 2011
Proposed modifications have administrators worried about an uncertain future for Career and Tech programs.
At Tuesday night's School Committee meeting, Lori Ferguson, Director at Coventry High School's Regional Career and Technical Center (RCTC), presented an explanation of changes in high school Career Preparation programs across that state that the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) is looking to implement as early as next fall. One of the changes will be to introduce more Innovation Programs that would allow students to learn in an interactive online setting. Ferguson explained that this would be beneficial in terms of not needing minimum class sizes in order to offer a course, but she is still concerned as to how certain types of courses could be taught thoroughly without a traditional classroom setting. RIDE officials, including…