Rhode Island General Assembly passes education reform bills

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s General Assembly has approved legislation aimed at reforming the state’s education system and boosting student academic performance.

The two bills move to the governor’s office.

One measure, passed Thursday, would require the state’s education commissioner to develop new curriculum frameworks and align curriculum with statewide academic goals and standardized testing.

Rep. Joseph McNamara, a Warwick Democrat, says this will give parents a clear map of what their children will be learning and make it consistent statewide.

Recent test results showed Rhode Island students trailing far behind students in neighboring Massachusetts, prompting legislative leaders to call for reforms.

Another measure, approved Wednesday, would require education officials to develop a “fast-track” program to certify new school principals. Candidates would be required to have at least 10 years of teaching experience.

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