PROVIDENCE, R.I. --- The Rhode Island Department of Education has revised its list of chronically low performing schools, adding two schools from Pawtucket and three in Providence while dropping three other schools from Providence.
The schools in Providence that will be required to make substantial reforms are:
- Carl Lauro Elementary School,
- Alvarez High School,
- Gilbert Stewart Middle School,
- Mount Pleasant High School,
- Pleasantview Elementary School.
The Pawtucket schools are the city's two high schools, Shea and Tolman. ...
RIDE initially selected this second grouping of low-achieving schools in March. (The first were selected in January 2010, a list that included several Providence schools and Central Falls High School.)
Later, however, RIDE asked for a waiver from the federal government to give the targeted schools more time to prepare for the reforms.
RIDE also wanted to be able to include the latest test data -- from 2010 -- in its determinations. Test scores on the New England Common Assesment Program or NECAP are part of the formula used to identify persistently low performing schools.
The new timetable approved by the U.S. Department of Education allows RIDE to use the most recent test data and graduation rates to select the schools.
Of course, I pointed this problem out two years ago after Feinstein High School's test scores shot up a month after the school was named "persistently low achieving" and closed. Pointed this out to the Commissioner, Regents, the school board. Nobody cared then.
In fact, by this time last year, all the teachers at Central Falls high school had already been fired, rehired and the school's turnaround hastily begun. Apparently this year nobody had even started to talk about what was going to happen to these schools, so they took the opportunity to change their minds.
You almost get the impression that this whole process is politically driven.