Posted by: Providence Chamber of Commerce | August 24, 2011


GPCC, along with local leaders, celebrated the one year anniversary of Rhode Island’s competitive and coveted Race to the Top Funds Award by the US Department of Education. Awards were granted to 12 states in 2010 (including RI), recognized as ambitious leaders with achievable plans for implementing coherent, compelling, and comprehensive education reform. Race to the Top winners are charged with implementing trail-blazing improvements and providing templates for other States and local school districts throughout the country to follow, with the goal of transforming education delivery throughout the US.

Today’s event also gave pause to mark the progress made to date in revolutionizing elementary and secondary education in the Ocean State. Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist reviewed the major accomplishments realized due to stakeholder input and collaborations, combined with the infusion of the significant federal investment dollars. Milestones include: implementing the “Study of the Standards” training session for 2,380 educators in 19 districts –to prepare for the transition to the new Common Core State Standards; developing a new teacher and principal evaluation system; launching a new-teacher induction program, focused on providing beginning teachers with better support systems in order to accelerate student achievement; and completing many of the essential infrastructure tasks and federal grant requirements.

Looking ahead, Rhode Islanders can expect Race to the Top Funding to target continued teacher training sessions and the implementation of new teacher and principal evaluation processes. Development for new data systems, assessments, and new virtual learning opportunities will be unveiled. Collaborative Learning Outcomes, where best practices are shared with district leaders, will also be scheduled.

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