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Advocacy group to Chafee: don’t obstruct school reform

January 25, 2011

RI-CAN, a recently launched education reform group, is asking Governor Chafee to keep the current composition of the State Board of Regents, which sets policy for public elementary and secondary schools in Rhode Island.

All but one member of the board is up for reappointment. RI-CAN has written an open letter asking Governor Chafee to let State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist and the board continue their current agenda of school reforms, which include expanding charter schools and tying high school diplomas to state tests, an idea that has come under fire recently from some community groups.

On the campaign trail, Chafee expressed reservations about charter schools, saying he preferred to concentrate on improving traditional public schools. Chafee has also invited Diane Ravitch, a vocal critic of the Obama Administration’s school reform agenda, to speak in the Ocean State later this year.

Some reform advocates fear that Chafee will slow the pace of reforms pursued by Commissioner Gist, which they credit with putting Rhode Island on the map of states pushing for aggressive school reform and helping the state win a $75 million Race to the Top Grant from the federal government.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Gist permalink
    January 29, 2011 11:05 pm

    Change the name of this group to RI CAN’T–then it would fit their authoritative, obstructionist, bourgeois agenda. Gist, Flanders, Cano-Morales and Davis must all go so education can go forward in Rhode Island!

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