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ERIC Number: EJ759477
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Apr-13
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Rhode Island Downplays Tests as Route to Diplomas: Students Must Demonstrate Their Knowledge, Skills
Archer, Jeff
Education Week, v24 n31 p1, 24-25 Apr 2005
While about half the states require high school students to pass tests to graduate, or have plans to do so, policymakers in the nation's smallest state have struck out on a path that values multiple ways of measuring achievement. This article reports on state rules adopted two years ago that require Rhode Island districts to design new graduation policies that use measures other than tests to assess students' abilities. The regulations take effect for the class of 2008, but some districts--like the 3,500-student North Providence school system--are ahead of the game. The goal is to prompt schools to stress skills that aren't easily gauged with one-shot tests, such as time management, working with others, and organization. Districts have submitted plans to the state that stress work-related experiences and solving real-world problems. Many want students to give oral reports and assemble portfolios of their work. By all accounts, those activities demand more work of students and teachers. For state policymakers in Rhode Island, the biggest trick is to ensure that all students are held to the same standard, even while pursuing a range of projects. While supporters say the benefits of such activities are many, so are the challenges posed by scaling up the approach to a statewide policy. Even schools already using portfolios and projects say the change has required significant staff training--both on how to guide students and on how to grade their work.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Rhode Island