Eva Mancuso is to be commended for finally addressing the highly-charged concern over high stakes testing in Rhode Island public schools, though it’s unfortunate she did so as a pundit instead of a public official. The chairwoman of the Board of Education has rebuffed widespread appeals from parents, students and activists to address the NECAP test and instead penned an op/ed in today’s Providence Journal about it.
“We need to change the outcome of the test,” Mancuso wrote, “not the tests.”
The truth is that Rhode Island needs to change both the outcome AND the test – this is demonstrable by the fact that Rhode Island is changing the test, next year.
I can’t think of any reason not to hold off on implementing this very controversial state mandate until at least the state’s preferred test is in place – other than that it may put federal funding in jeopardy. In other words, the NECAP graduation requirement isn’t about testing or math. It’s about budgets.
UPDATE: A spokesperson for the Department of Education tells me there are no Race to the Top implications tied to using the NECAP test as a graduation requirement … In that case, I can think of NO reason not to hold off on implementing this controversial policy!!