NEW: Rhode Island ACLU Blasts Board of Education NECAP Vote

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


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Steve Brown with the RI ACLU

Following last night's decision by the Rhode Island Board of Education to deny a petition filed by students and other organizations to reconsider the use of the NECAP test as a graduation requirement, Steve Brown with the Rhode Island American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) issued the following in response. 

See Brown's Statement Below

“Needless to say, we are extremely concerned about the Board’s vote to deny this petition. It is unconscionable that thousands of high school seniors may soon face their loss of a diploma based on an arbitrary test score, and will do so pursuant to a policy that the Board of Education itself has never directly considered.

Even worse, just weeks after being chided by a court for seeking to hold a discussion of high stakes testing in secret at a ‘private’ retreat, the Board tonight once again showed its disdain for the open meetings law by discussing this petition in complete secrecy. The public has no idea whatsoever why the Board took the action it did last night, and that is the antithesis of what the open meetings law is all about. We will be considering next steps, as this fight is far from over.”

In the past two months, the Board has been the subject of two lawsuits by the ACLU over its handling of the high stakes testing dispute. The first, referenced above, involving suing the Board when it initially planned to hold a private retreat to discuss the high stakes testing issue and other educational matters. A judge ordered that the discussion be held in public. The second suit was prompted by the Board’s failure to consider in a timely manner the petition that was the subject of last night’s vote – and that had prompted its placement on last night’s agenda. While the Board had the right to meet in private to discuss its response to the lawsuit’s claims that it violated the Administrative Procedures Act by refusing to consider the petition promptly, it had no right to discuss the merits of the petition itself in secret."


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