An Odd Reason to Give a Diploma
Ken Fish, who worked at the state Department of Education and helped to develop the 2003 regulations, lashed out at the plan to weigh test scores more heavily.
The original vision for improving high schools rejected high-stakes testing. Instead, schools had to prove they had made a series of required changes by 2012, such as ensuring that all students has access to high-level classes and effective teachers.
But as of 2011, many school systems are lagging in making these changes. And thousands of students remain unable to reach proficiency.
“Why are we willing to hold students responsible for an education they have not received?” Fish asked the regents.
If the students haven’t received the education that they should have, on what grounds do we give them diplomas? Perhaps that sounds cruel, but it’s a reasonable question and should point blame where it belongs. After all, the more productive question, in my view, is why we aren’t willing to hold educators and administrators responsible for failing to provide the education that Rhode Island has promised to its students.