The best students in Rhode Island’s most rigorous schools may get a Regents diploma showing they’ve met state standards, while most graduates would earn a local diploma, reports the Providence Journal.
Tougher graduation requirements linked to the Regents diploma are supposed to go into effect in 2012. But many districts — including the three largest, Cranston, Providence and Warwick — aren’t ready to teach to that level. Students aren’t ready either.
. . . nearly half of 11th graders for the past two years have scored so low on the math test — “substantially below proficient” — they would be at risk for not graduating if the new standards were already in place.
Under the proposed plan, students who score “substantially below proficient” in their junior year would retake the test in their senior year. Schools would offer programs to help those students improve.
Only students who score proficient or proficient with distinction on the state tests and who attend a high school that has been approved by the state Department of Education would receive a Regents diploma.
Students in approved schools who score partially proficient or who show improvement on the tests between junior and senior year would receive a Rhode Island Diploma.
The plan would give schools and students “incentives to work hard and improve during the last two years of high school,” regents said.