As standardized testing becomes an increasingly politicized component of the so-called “education reform” movement, the state Board of Education could decide tonight to review a previous Board’s decision to use the NECAP test as a graduation requirement.
The initial decision was made approved in 2011 by then-Board members Robert Flanders, Patrick Guida, Anna Cano-Morales, Amy Beretta, Karin Forbes and Betsy Shimberg. A loose coalition ranging from Providence students to East Greenwich parents is asking the current Board to reconsider in light of new information.
Meanwhile, the ACLU reminded Governor Chafee, in a press release last week, that his appointees to the Board of Education haven’t debated the NECAPs as a graduation requirement.
The new Board of Education has never had the opportunity to fully hear from the public, much less take a position on, the actions of its predecessor – the Board of Regents – in approving high stakes testing. We are hopeful that, as a principled leader who has shown his commitment to governing with careful consideration, Governor Chafee will support an official rule-making process where all members of the public can provide testimony so that the Board can consider in a deliberate manner whether to change the policy. Whatever the Governor’s position on this controversial issue, we hope he agrees it is at least worthy of a full examination.