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Archive for December, 2009

The Rhode Island Department of Education is holding a “Race to the Top” forum on Monday night, December 7 at 6:00 p.m. at Central High School.

We believe it is very important that there be a strong showing of parents, students, and others interested in a quality educational system in Providence at this meeting. We expect that criterion-based hiring (the system used to hire the wonderful teachers at Nathan Bishop and 5 other schools this past year) will be on the agenda, and that there may be attendees present who seek to overturn this new procedure, which would in essence be a return to seniority based hiring and bumping.

We need to lend our voices to supporting important educational reforms! Please consider attending this meeting.

More about Race to the Top, according to Commissioner Gist:

Since becoming Commissioner in July, just over 100 days ago, I have spent a lot of time meeting with educators, parents, students, business and labor leaders, elected officials, and other community members. Over the past two months, I have really enjoyed visiting many of our schools to meet students and teachers as they begin another exciting year of teaching and learning.

Everything I have seen so far convinces me that we can become a model for public education around the nation. There is no reason that our students cannot and will not compete against the best students in the world. But we will have to do more to make this happen.

The federal Race to the Top funds could bring unprecedented resources to Rhode Island to help us accomplish our goals. The U.S. Department of Education will distribute these funds to states that have both made progress and shown promise in four vital areas:

improving teacher effectiveness;
accelerating the performance of low-performing schools;
establishing world-class standards and assessments; and
developing user-friendly data systems.
These initiatives are closely aligned with the set of priorities and the strategic agenda that I am developing to transform Rhode Island education. (See http://www.ride.ri.gov/Commissioner/.)

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