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Rhode Island might overhaul its high school graduation requirements

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It’s time for another discussion about high school graduation requirements in Rhode Island.

A new proposal from the Rhode Island Department of Education will add “graduation requirements based on aptitude” beginning in class of 2026 (high school students next year), including alignment of coursework with college entry requirements at URI and RIC and authorization that students demonstrate proficiency in civics and sciences Computer and financial literacy.

The proposal would also “recognize and create resilience for young caregivers,” even though the full program for these students is not yet completed.

The Board of Primary and Secondary Education will meet at 5:30 p.m. to learn about the proposed changes, but they are not likely to be finalized until March or April. The regulations require a public review of at least 30 days and at least four public hearings.

You can read all of the proposed changes here.

One of the most important changes proposed is that instead of requiring students to complete at least 20 core courses (such as four years of English and Mathematics), students will be required to take 20 credits in these subjects. The big difference is that “seat time and teaching transcripts will not be considered when issuing credit.”

Rhode Island does not require students to pass (or demonstrate proficiency) in any standardized test, and new regulations appear to remove language allowing individual provinces to include assessments as part of their graduation requirements.

The proposed regulations come a month after Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System (RICAS) test results showed that only 33 percent of students in grades three through eight demonstrated proficiency in English language arts and 20 percent were proficient in math.

The Globe in Rhode Island

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⚓ Organizations in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut that help people with developmental disabilities and behavioral health needs are losing workers — and the people they help can’t get the services they need. Read more.

⚓ A non-emergency medical transport driver involved in a fatal accident has been charged with driving under the influence, resulting in death, according to Coventry Police. Read more.

Here’s more coverage of Globe Rhode Island.

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It’s been 80 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor. If you encounter any veterans today, be sure to thank them for their service.

⚓ The Providence Branch of the NAACP is hosting a virtual Freedom Fund concert at 5:30 p.m.

West Warwick City Council meets at 6 p.m. to consider a tax stability agreement for a new food distribution facility for the Providence-based Quality Food Company.

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I asked the six Democratic candidates for governor to give the president some advice Joe Biden. They mostly talked about themselves.

If you missed the column, you can read it here. And all of my columns are on the Rhode Island comments page.

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