High Stakes testing for graduation would have devastating impact on students across RI.
Regulations set to go into effect in 2014 will deny students a high school diploma, if they don't reach a certain level of "proficiency" on state standardized tests, regardless of their grades or any other school performance. Twelve years of education could be jeopardized by a 4-hour test.
Click here to watch Candido Moya, age 16, Young Voices Board member, and Karen Feldman, Executive Director on WPRI news.
Click here to read the Providence Journal article about our press conference.
Young Voices has been fighting these regulations, along with the RI ACLU, RI Legal Services, and other organizations. We all believe that our young people have the capacity to learn at advanced levels, and graduate with marketable skills. But the reality is that our education system is simply not preparing them to have these skills-and this is the real disservice to our youth.
These alarming statistics from the recent 11th grade test scores show the facts:
- Almost half of all students in the state (44%), are at risk of not getting a diploma
- 70% of all African-American and Latino students would not quality for a diploma
- More than two-thirds of students in most urban districts would not get a diploma
- Even in E. Greenwich, one of RI's wealthier communities, 17% would not get a diploma
- The Dept of Education itself, though pushing high stakes testing on students, has failed to meet any of its own objectives for progress at the high school level. And while it is demanding that, in two years, students pass a test to graduate, it has asked the federal govt. for six years to cut in half the lack of proficiency.
The fact is, our system is not preparing our young people to succeed, and it's the system that must be held accountable to change. To hold individual youth accountable for the failure of the system is simply, and utterly, UNFAIR!
As Candido said during the press conference: "I did my part. I went to school everyday. I have good grades. It's bad enough if I don't have the skills to succeed. How could anyone say I would be better off if you also deny me a high school degree?"
Candido is right: It's time to deal with the fact that ½ of our 3rd graders in the urban districts are not proficient. The issue should be addressed with systemic reform at the early grades, before students ever get a chance to fall so far behind.