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200 providence students protest reforms

May 13, 2010

Two hundred students from Hope High School in Providence walked out of their classes today to protest district-ordered changes to their schedule.

Hope High has longer class periods than other schools in the district, which students credit for improving the climate of the school.

“You don’t get this at other schools. You don’t get the feeling that we get at hope sometimes – it might sound a bit cheesy. But here at Hope you actually are getting educated,” says 10th grader Julio Diaz, who helped organize the rally. “Your teachers help with your weak points, all these points that you need to succeed in life.”

State test scores in reading and writing have improved at Hope High since a state intervention five years ago, but graduation rates and math scores are still a challenge. District officials say the improvements at Hope have not been dramatic enough to justify the added cost of the program.

District officials say the schedule changes allow more time for science and social studies, and they do not believe it will have a negative impact on the culture at Hope High. Students marched from the school across town to district headquarters and then on to City Hall to make it clear they don’t agree.

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