General Assembly passes education reform bills that would realign curriculum and fast-track principals
STATE HOUSE — The General Assembly has approved two bills intending to reform education in Rhode Island.
The first bill (2019-S 0863B, 2019-H 5008B), introduced by Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick), chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, and Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston), chairman of the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare, would require the Commissioner of Education to align statewide academic standards with curriculum and the Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System.
“This bill would ensure that our academic standards set forth the skills, competencies, and knowledge expected of each student. The curriculum will align with those standards, and the frameworks would provide strategies to help meet the diverse needs of our students, closing any gaps that exist,” said Senator Gallo.
It would also require the Commissioner to develop curriculum frameworks, which are broad, research-based instructional strategies for educators to help students develop the skills, competencies, and knowledge called for by the statewide standards.
“The goal is to give parents a clear map of what their children will be learning, and have it be consistent statewide,” said Representative McNamara. “It’s tremendously important that we bring these three tiers — standards, curriculum and testing — into alignment.”
The second bill (2019-S 0869A, 2019-H 6085Aaa), sponsored by Sen. Harold M. Metts (D-Dist. 6, Providence) and Rep. Jean Philippe Barros (D-Dist. 59, Pawtucket), would require the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to establish a fast-track program to certify new principals. Applicants to the program must have at least 10 years of experience as an “effective” or “highly effective” teacher, a recommendation from the superintendent where they have taught, a record of leadership and a master’s degree.
The measures now move to the governor’s office.
For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903