House passes education reform bills that would realign curriculum and fast-track principals
STATE HOUSE — The House of Representatives today approved two bills that are part of a package of education reform legislation that was unveiled earlier this year.
The entire package of bills would bring a comprehensive reform to curriculum, instruction support, accountability, teacher certification, specialty skills certification, teacher assessments and the principal certification process.
The first bill (2019-H 5008A), introduced by Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston), chairman of the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare, would require the Commissioner of Education to align statewide academic standards with curriculum and the Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System. It would also require the Commissioner to develop curriculum frameworks, which are broad, research-based instructional strategies for educators to help students develop the skills, competencies, and knowledge called for by the statewide standards.
“The goal is to give parents a clear map of what their children will be learning, and have it be consistent statewide,” said Representative McNamara. “It’s tremendously important that we bring these three tiers — standards, curriculum and testing — into alignment.”
The measure now moves to the Senate, where similar legislation (2019-S 0863A) introduced by Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick) has been approved by the Senate Education Committee.
The second bill (2019-H 6085A), sponsored by Rep. Jean Philippe Barros (D-Dist. 59, Pawtucket), would require the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to establish a fast-track program to certify new principals. Applicants to the program must have at least 10 years of experience as an “effective” or “highly effective” teacher, a recommendation from the superintendent where they have taught, a record of leadership and a master’s degree.
The measure now moves to the Senate, where similar legislation (2019-S 0869A) sponsored by Sen. Harold M. Metts (D-Dist. 6, Providence) has been approved by the Senate Education Committee.
For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903