I believe the best thing happening in Rhode Island recently is the public debate about the education reform/deform movement and, in particular, using the NECAP test as a high stakes graduation requirement.
Eva Mancuso may think this is the sideshow, but I think this is the main event.
This morning there were several very constructive discussions among journalists, teachers, candidates, experts and concerned citizens about how high stakes tests play into education disparity as well as a host of other education-related issues. Noticeably absent was anyone from our government, which has in no uncertain terms communicated it doesn’t want to discuss this issue any longer.
That’s too bad, for us and them. Prior to the NECAP flap, both the Board of Education and Deborah Gist have – at best – flawed reputations with students, teachers and the public. And the ACLU announces another lawsuit over this matter on Monday. Hosting a discussion about high stakes tests is not only in everyone’s best interest, but it would also be a great opportunity to repair some of that damage to their collective credibility with the community.
Congressman Jim Langevin recently won the respect of many liberals and hard-line progressives not be acquiescing to the left, but rather by engaging with us. He took an unpopular position on NSA spying and then called together a town hall and listened and engaged with his detractors. Eva Mancuso and the Board of Education should follow his good example and engage the community about its concerns.