PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s education commissioner is defending the state’s new high school graduation requirements, saying that giving diplomas to those who aren’t ready is a ‘‘disservice to our students.’’
Deborah Gist, commissioner for elementary and secondary education, says in an open letter that the requirement to be at least ‘‘partially proficient’’ in reading and math on the New England Common Assessment Program assessments helps ensure students are prepared for college or a career.
Recent NECAP scores show that 40 percent of 11th graders are ‘‘substantially below proficient.’’ The Class of 2014 is the first one that must meet the requirements.
The students will take the test again in their senior year and will have to make improvement to graduate.
Some critics have said there is too much emphasis on standardized tests.