McNamara on Need to Address School Absenteeism, Statewide Education Standards on LIVE

Friday, January 11, 2019

 

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Rep Joe McNamara

Representative Joe McNamara joined GoLocal News Editor Kate Nagle on GoLocal LIVE at the Rhode Island State House, where he spoke to legislation he recently introduced to develop new statewide academic standards that would be aligned with a common curriculum -- as well as address chronic absenteeism.

“Students who are frequently absent are far more likely to miss important learning opportunities, are less likely to stay engaged, and are of far greater risk of dropping out,” said McNamara, who Chairs the House Health, Education and Welfare Committee. “According to the most recent Kids Count Factbook, 22 percent of middle school students and 32 percent of high school students were considered truant by the Department of Education, which defines truancy as 10 or more unexcused absences in a school year. This legislation would strongly combat this troubling trend.”

(2019-H 5009) would direct the state Department of Education to establish a chronic absenteeism prevention and intervention plan by Jan. 1, 2020.

McNamara, a Democrat who has represented District 19 in Warwick since first elected in 1994, is a retired educator, having previously serving as the director of the Pawtucket School Department’s Alternative Learning Program. He received his Master of Education degree from Providence College. He also spoke to the need for an alignment of statewide academic standards. 

“Common Core State Standards are what a student should know when he or she graduates from a certain grade. The curriculum — the method by which those standards are taught — should be based upon those guidelines,” said McNamara. “This bill looks to develop, share and maintain a consistent curriculum across the state that is aligned with the outcomes that are enumerated in the Common Core State Standards. It will authorize the commissioner of education to review these standards and develop a statewide curriculum so that the standards, curriculum and assessments are all aligned and any gaps are eliminated.”

(2019-H 5008) would provide for the review of existing and the development of new statewide academic standards by the commissioner of education. The act would also require that all curriculum frameworks be aligned with these standards as well as with the standardized state tests being implemented in the state, including the current Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System.

 

Related Slideshow: PHOTOS: General Assembly Opening Session - January 1, 2019

 
 

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