Chariho School Parents’ Forum

January 6, 2009

More good news for RI

Filed under: Teacher Certification — Editor @ 4:14 pm

Angus Davis, a member of the RI Board of Regents, has posted on his blog the good news regarding teacher certification in RI:

Teach for America no longer banned in RI

After a lengthy debate, Rhode Island’s regulations on alternative certification of teachers became competitive with other states as the Board of Regents voted to approve new regulations that for the first time allow programs like Teach for America and The New Teachers Project to apply for approval to operate in Rhode Island. These programs have been fabulously successful in other states, but unfortunately until this month they were banned from Rhode Island. Our previous alternative certification regulations failed to certify more than four teachers in four years and they blocked those without five or more years of work experience (like TFA corps members) from participating. This led to a remarkable “brain drain” of talent lost to other states: last year Brown University sent more of its graduating seniors into Teach for America than to any other single private sector employer. Yet every one of these nearly 40 young teachers were forced to leave the state because Rhode Island did not allow alternative certification programs like TFA to operate here.

Continue reading ‘Teach for America No Longer Banned from RI’

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2 Comments »

  1. As good a place to put this article as any other since the State of Rhode Island is again faced with a budget deficit that will cripple the Cities and Towns of which it serves (?).

    Often times its noted that if we collectively fail to learn from our past mistakes, history is assured to repeat itself. 2009 is like many years of the past.

    Under an article entitled, BOARD TO TRY TO USE MANDATED BUDGET (NO AUTHOR) DATED APRIL 4, 1995 PAGE 6. THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE.

    Wood River Junction_ They may decide its a futile task of trying to force square pegs in round holes, but the Chariho School Committee attempts to find a way to use the $26.2 million budget at a workshop Wednesday, 7 p.m. in the middle school library.

    This will be the first budget meeting since tri-town voters scalped $2 million from the top of the 1995-1996 operating plan at the financial district meeting March 25.

    If, as some contend, the committee decides that it can not operate the regional school district on $26.2 million, they will notify each town and appeal the state commission of education.

    At $26.2 million, the taxpayers are asking the school administration to operate at $1 million less than the current, 1994-95 budget.

    The crux of the situation lies with the second consecutive year of state aid cuts by the state, resulting in tax burdens on the towns which residents rate from excessive to impossible. The $2 million cut was an exclamation mark following a statement that said, “We won’t take any more!” That staement may serve as prologue to a long and bitter court fight to restore regional bonus, aid that Chariho residents believe was promised by the state in the 1980’s when Charlestown, Richmond and Hopkinton were urged to regionalize the entire school system.

    The school committee is expected to seperate line items mandated under state and federal law, then see if there is any slack in other itmes on which to base reductions.

    Meanwhile, the towns are proceeding ith theire own budgets, using a pre-$2 million cut figure, and hoping that strategy won’t backfire when smoke clears.

    Its been noted by some past school committee members that have served put together a budget this way, yet in 2005 when Mr. Scott Hirst wanted to cutand was successfully supported and was ostracized about his $2,000,000 cut was later reduced and then a surplus of $2.8 million was ‘realized’ it showed that he did his homework and exposed what is known as Chariho. It wasn’t the first time as noted above in April 1995, ‘This will be the first budget meeting since tri-town voters scalped $2 million from the top of the 1995 operating plan at the financial district meeting March 25’.

    Time to let the administrative contracts expire and get some level of accountability,honesty and competence. I just heard a sound, it must have been the tranparency train. All aboard.

    Be well tri-taxpayers. All the best for a safe New Year.

    School Choice, all children all the time!

    Comment by James Hirst — January 7, 2009 @ 6:56 pm | Reply

  2. Under a Mark Reynolds authored article headlined in THE SUN, dated March 15th, 1996 page 5, headlined DAY EXPRESSES HIS CONCERNS ABOUT DIRECTIONS OF CHARIHO EDUCATION

    Wood River Junction-William Day, a member of the Chariho Regional School Committee wouldn’t want his own two children to receive a Chariho education if they were of school age right now.

    Bristling at a commitee meeting Tuesday night, Day said he wasn’t informed of the administrations’s participation in a 36 page proposal for a Goals 2000 Category 8 grant.

    Day,who is listening to a small cadre of parents who are vehemently against the district’s implementation of Developmentally Appropriate Practices (DAP), is claiming the administation is quietly trying to revamp Chariho’s curriculum without the committee’s nod. Superintendent John Pini said the district’s participation in the proposal was approved by the School Committee Jan 9.

    Day claims the proposal, which incorporates a provision for a Certificate of Initial Mastery and a massive restructuring of secondary schools, represents a drastic redesign of Chariho education. The certificate, he says, represents “a watering down of the education process.”

    “This superintendent,” said Day, “does not have the right to sign a form indicating that they want to participate in the proposed project. What right does he have to even sign a letter of intent?”

    On, Thursday, Superintendent John Pini reiterated that he was authorized by the School Committee to participate. He said Chariho is participating in the proposal’s development becuase he wants the district to have a chance at a possible million dollars in grant money at a later date.

    Pini said the district has no intention of sending an application for some of the $600,000 in available Category 8 grant money without the committee’s approval. No application has been sent, he said.

    Pini also said he would never at any time sign off on a grant that requires the restructuring of schools dictated by anyone other than the school committee.

    Day’s argument fits into a series of accusations made by critics of the districts DAP. DAP proponents, like Pini, say the program involves changing teaching techniques so children at varying developmental levels can receive more individualized instruction in the same classroom. DAP critics like Deborah Nicotra claim the reform will lead to evaporation of standards and an erosion of the current curriculum.

    Responding to two months of assaults on the district’s DAP program, Pini said that while the program allows for a new teaching technique, Chariho schools still expect the same levels of academic performance. The new technique called more tailored instruction, will help student achieve higher standards, he said , but it doesn’t change standards.

    He said this difference sets it apart from Outcome Based Education, which allows for varying learning “outcomes” from children at different levels.

    Pini said the DAP program calls for setting up clusters of workstations in classrooms., which allows students to work on more individualized projects while a teacher moves from station to station. He said the program doesn’t require more teachers and barely affects the budget.

    Be well tri town taxpayers.

    School choice, all children all the time!

    Comment by James Hirst — January 7, 2009 @ 9:03 pm | Reply


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