This week in The Herald: Rhode Island’s high-stakes standardized testing

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While October marks the beginning of a seemingly never-ending midterm period on our campus, thousands of Rhode Island high school seniors have spent the past two weeks taking retests of the reading and math portions of the state’s standardized NECAP exam. Currently ineligible to graduate with the Class of 2014, these students hope this month’s scores will fulfill the testing requirement of the “R.I. Diploma Program,” allowing them to graduate alongside their peers in the spring.

This week in The Herald, the City and State section will be taking an in-depth look into the climate of high-stakes standardized testing in the state’s public schools in a four-part series entitled “Testing Success?” Continue Reading


RI Senate to decide same-sex marriage!

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The Rhode Island Senate will determine today whether Rhode Island legalizes same-sex marriage. If the measure passes, Rhode Island will be the 10th state to allow same-sex marriage.

The Senate convenes at 4pm today and the proceedings can watched online here.

After overwhelming approval by the House in January, passage of the bill would essentially send it straight to the desk of Gov. Lincoln Chafee’75 P’14. Chafee will sign it. Technically the House has to approve the bill again due to a few additional amendments beefing up the protections for religious leaders who do not support same-sex marriage, but that process should be perfunctory.

The bill cleared a significant hurdle yesterday when the Senate Judiciary Committee approved it 7-4, undermining efforts to kill the legislation where it has died in previous years.  Dawson Hodgson, R-North Kingstown, Paul Jabour, D-Providence and particularly William Conley Jr.,D-East Providence were considered swing votes- and all voted to send the bill to the floor of the Senate.

Though Hodgson and Jabour will probably vote for same-sex marriage today, many analysts still see Conley’s vote as up in the air. A vote to send a bill to the Senate for discussion is not a vote to legalize same-sex marriage — necessarily.

The five Republicans in the Senate all committed to vote in favor of same-sex marriage early Tuesday.

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2012 in Review: Rhode Island edition

The Ocean State had its ups and downs in 2012. Here are some standout stories from across RI.

Deficit Distress: 

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Providence has a lot to be thankful for in the new year. For a few months last year, it didn’t seem that the city would make it to 2013. In March Mayor Angel Taveras first announced the city faced the possibility of bankruptcy and suggested that a “category five” fiscal crisis was imminent. Taveras battled a $110 million deficit throughout the year, calling on the city’s non-profit institutions to increase their PILOT (payments in lieu of taxes) contributions. The University felt the pressure — as students, faculty and city residents called on former president Simmons to step up to the Mayor’s demands — to finalize negotiations with Taveras and in May, Simmons and Taveras jointly announced an agreement under which the University promised to contribute an additional $31.5 million to the city over the next eleven years. The city’s other universities, colleges, and hospitals have also stepped up to help close the deficit and facilitate some fiscal stability. Taveras is set to present the city’s budget for the next fiscal year on Jan. 29 during the annual “State of the City” address.

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