Education State of the States

Rhode Island

By Jeff Archer — January 25, 2005 1 min read

Gov. Donald L. Carcieri used his third State of the State Address to issue a challenge to make Rhode Island students “the best in the nation in math and science.”

Gov. Donald L. Carcieri

The Republican said in his Jan. 18 speech that he would form a commission to study the state’s performance in those subjects and recommend strategies for improvement. He plans to lead the commission, along with the head of a local defense contractor.

The effort builds on earlier work by Mr. Carcieri, who has already earmarked money to the state education department to help local educators in honing their teaching skills in mathematics.

Gov. Carcieri, a former business leader, also said that Rhode Island should make it easier for more people in fields other than education to become teachers. At the same time, he said the state should consider merit pay for educators, although he gave no details.

Read a transcript of Governor Carcieri’s address. ()

“We should reward teachers who are doing a great job,” he said. “Let’s begin that discussion now.”

Mr. Carcieri further called for lifting a moratorium on the approval of new charter schools, which Rhode Island lawmakers passed in their 2004 session. He noted that many of the state’s existing charter schools have long waiting lists.

“These schools are thriving,” he said. “They thrive because they are innovative, challenging, and family-friendly.”

A version of this article appeared in the January 26, 2005 edition of Education Week