Rhode Island may finally have a confirmed Board of Education following a vote Tuesday at the State House. The Senate is scheduled to vote on the seven remaining appointees for the board, which will oversee public schools, colleges and universities.
The nominees include proposed board chair, Eva Marie Mancuso and former Board of Elementary and Secondary Education members Patrick Guida and Karin Forbes. Four other members of the 11-person board have already received Senate approval.
State education Commissioner Deborah Gist is slated to discuss Rhode Island’s controversial teacher evaluations during a panel discussion this morning at the Fordham Institute in Washington, DC, a conservative public policy think-tank.
Relations appear tense between the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers, one of two teachers’ unions in Rhode Island, and State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist.
Gist sent a letter to Superintendents at the end of January reminding them that state regulations require staffing decisions to be based on performance, rather than the number of years a teacher has been on the job, a practice common in many schools.
A group calling itself the Providence Student Union will ask for an end to high stakes testing this week. Starting with the class of 2014, Rhode Island students will not be allowed to graduate unless they get a score of "partially procficent" on the standardized test known as the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP).