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Providence board may vote on Achievement First

August 22, 2011

The school board in Providence will hear a presentation at its meeting this evening from Achievement First, the charter management group hoping to open a series of charter schools for students in Providence and Cranston.

Acting Providence School Board Chair Nina Pande says the group has been asked to give an opinion on the application, currently awaiting approval from the State Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education.

A group of Providence teachers and parents calling itself the Coalition to Defend Public Education is organizing to speak out against the proposal. A spokesperson says the group’s concerns include reports of excessive discipline at Achievement First schools in New York.

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras has come out in support of the Achievement First application, and Providence Interim Superintendent Susan Lusi has recommended that the school board pass a resolution supporting the proposal. Cranston Mayor Alan Fung, who is sponsoring the application, says he believes the schools will provide a high quality alternative for students and families, and he disputes claims from some Cranston parents and school officials that they will draw funding away from district public schools.

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