Education reform bills that realign curriculum and fast-track principals signed into law
STATE HOUSE — Two education reform bills passed by the General Assembly have been signed into law by Gov. Gina Raimondo.
The first law (2019-S 0863B, 2019-H 5008B), introduced by Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick), chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, and Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston), chairman of the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare, requires the Commissioner of Education to develop statewide academic standards and curriculum frameworks for the core subjects of mathematics, English language arts, and science and technology.
“This law ensures that our academic standards set forth the skills, competencies, and knowledge expected of each student. The curriculum will align with those standards, and the frameworks would provide strategies to help meet the diverse needs of our students, closing any gaps that exist,” said Senator Gallo.
This act also requires the commissioner to identify at least five examples of high-quality curriculum and materials for each of the core subjects, after which local education agencies would be required to select and implement one for each of the core subjects.
Once they select a high-quality curriculum and materials, the Department of Elementary will identify an assistance partner from within the department to provide any and all support regarding access to, implementation of, and professional development for the curriculum and materials.
“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 second law (2019-S 0869A, 2019-H 6085Aaa), sponsored by Sen. Harold M. Metts (D-Dist. 6, Providence) and Rep. Jean Philippe Barros (D-Dist. 59, Pawtucket), requires 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.
For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903