Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Caprio's Not Terribly Reformy Education Plan

It is worth noting that despite Frank Caprio's decision to tie himself to Race to the Top and the business model reforms of Angus Davis and Deborah Gist, his actual education platform reads more like something a Democrat married to a public school teacher might have written 10 years ago. First point:

Students need an academic environment that is conducive to learning and educators need an academic environment that is favorable to teaching. Safe and orderly schools, manageable class sizes, rigorous curricula, adequate facilities, and opportunities for parental and community involvement should be basic requirements for all of our schools. As Governor, I will make sure that all public schools in Rhode Island have this basic foundation for learning.

Or, even more retro:

In order to obtain high-quality schools in Rhode Island, we must ensure educator excellence. Rhode Island educators should matriculate through an accredited licensure program before entering the classroom.

This is the most reformy part:

I will work to provide students with options to obtain a high-quality education. One option that I will support is the implementation of high performing public charter schools or mayoral academies in areas where public schools are not meeting the needs of their students.

To be sure, the Obama administration has taught us not to base our view of an ambiguous candidate on hope. I'm just noting this for the record. It does suggest though that Caprio should be questioned on Gist's and RttT's actual plan. Should 51% of teacher evaluations be based on test scores? Will new standards and better data systems really improve education in RI? Are we dependent on out of state charter management companies to improve RI schools? etc.


Jason said...

51% is based on evidence of student achievement. This is not the same thing as NECAP test scores.

Tom Hoffman said...

I didn't say "NECAP" did I? I don't see anything to indicate we aren't talking about "tests." Are there other non-obvious options in play?

Jason said...


Tom Hoffman said...

Well, if you'd like to offer a plausible alternative, I'd be curious to hear what you have in mind, since "objective, rigorous, and comparable" assessments of achievement that must be secure against tampering by the teachers being evaluated limits one's options considerably.