SOUTH KINGSTOWN – The Department of Education is upping its standards again for graduating students to receive a high school diploma, placing more emphasis on NECAP scores while developing differential diplomas. With the Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist coming to the South Kingstown High School Wednesday, Jan. 19 to hold a public hearing on changes to the graduation requirements for the classes of 2012 and beyond, the town’s school committee focused on these changes at Tuesday night’s meeting.
The proposed changes stem from the current regulations for proficiency-based graduation requirements developed by the state Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education in September 2008. The regulations have been reopened to clarify the role of the NECAP and the partially proficient requirement, to review the 2012 Diploma System approval deadline and to ensure that the regulations do not create student-level consequences for adult decisions.
Superintendent Kristin Stringfellow highlighted the changes and concerns of the graduation requirements, which will affect the classes of 2012 and 2013 and beyond. Changes in graduation requirements for the class of 2012 will place more emphasis on the NECAP exam results. Changes in diploma options for the class of 2013 will bring a tiered diploma system to Rhode Island.
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