NEW: ACLU, Advocacy Groups Battle RIDE Over RI NECAP Scores
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Steven Brown, Executive Director of the ACLU of Rhode Island, said, “When it comes to the most vulnerable students in Rhode Island, there is little to show for all the time, energy and money wasted on preparing students for the test, instead of truly teaching them. These statistics demonstrate yet again both the folly and the harm of RIDE’S testing mania, and belies the agency’s rosy view of things.”
Concern for Students at Risk
The advocacy groups claim that RIDE officials downplayed that Rhode Island students who have historically been most at risk of failing to graduate are still being underserved. With months to go in the school year, these groups worry that a large percentage of students from communities that face discrimination or structural hardships are still being left behind. 61% of seniors with Limited English Proficiency remain at risk of failing to receive a diploma, along with 37% of black and Hispanic seniors, 56% of those with special education needs, and 34% of those who qualify for the state's free or reduced price lunch program.
The conglomerate of social justice organizations speaking out against RIDE's take on the NECAP testing results included the R.I. Teachers of English Language Learners, the RI Disability Law Center, the NAACP Providence Branch, and R.I. Legal Services, in addition to the ACLU.
See Statements BELOW:
Nancy Cloud, on behalf of Rhode Island Teachers of English Language Learners: “Over 60% of seniors who are in the process of learning English are in danger of not graduating. As ELL specialists, we believe the only thing it convincingly shows is that the students could not read and understand the test items because our state persists on testing them in a language it knows they have not mastered. This testing practice is indefensible and runs contrary to the guidance of all of our professional measurement associations. We are not learning what English Language Learners know or don’t know; all we are learning is that they don’t know English, something we already knew when we identified them as ELL. We believe it’s time to take a hard look at the damage this testing requirement is inflicting on our students.”
Anne Mulready, supervising attorney with RI Disability Law Center: “With only four months left before graduation, 56% percent of students with disabilities in the Class of 2014 remain at risk of not getting a diploma. Tests like NECAP were supposed to help schools focus on at-risk groups like students with disabilities, and close achievement gaps between these students and their peers. Instead, students with disabilities remain unacceptably and disproportionately impacted by the use of this high-stakes testing graduation requirement.”
Jim Vincent of the NAACP: “The NAACP Providence Branch does not support using the NECAP exam as a graduation requirement and is extremely concerned that a whopping 37% of Black and Hispanic seniors may be denied diplomas this year!”
Veronika Kot, Rhode Island Legal Services Education Law Attorney: “The low- income youth who continue to be at risk of not graduating this late in the year are not expendable. They are not acceptable ‘collateral damage.’ They are real young people whose futures are now in serious jeopardy, and from the groups that are most at-risk and yet most likely to be shortchanged throughout their educational experience. They are now being penalized for systemic inequities, despite having persevered and fulfilled every other graduation requirement.”
Steven Brown, executive director of the ACLU of Rhode Island: “When it comes to the most vulnerable students in Rhode Island, there is little to show for all the time, energy and money wasted on preparing students for the test, instead of truly teaching them. These statistics demonstrate yet again both the folly and the harm of RIDE’S testing mania, and belies the agency’s rosy view of things.”
Related Slideshow: Rhode Island School Superintendent Salaries
Below are the salaries of school superintendents in Rhode Island, starting with the lowest paid. Data is for 2013 and was provided by the state Division of Municipal Finance. Where relevant, longevity pay is also listed. All school superintendents are listed except those in the independent school districts in Foster and Glocester. The combined Foster-Glocester district is included. In order to provide a more informed basis for comparing superintendents from one community to another, the annual student enrollment and total expenditures are also listed. (The data is for fiscal year 2012, the latest available from the state Department of Education.)
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- ACLU: Dept of Ed Admits NECAP Does Not Measure College Readiness
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- Students Dare Educators, Adults to Take the NECAP Tests Themselves
- Deborah Gist Won’t Debate PSU Over NECAP Requirement
- NEW: NECAP Test Scores Show Some Improvement
- Don Roach: NECAP and Gist
- NEW: RIDE Reports RI NECAP Scores Among Tops in Region
- Education Experts React to NECAP Scores
- NEW: Rhode Island ACLU Blasts Board of Education NECAP Vote
- Group Says Charter Schools Key to Improved NECAP Scores
- NEW: Schools Improve on NECAP, but Goals Not Met
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