Rhode Island lawmakers advance education revamp bills

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island lawmakers have advanced legislation aimed at reforming the state's education system and boosting academic performance by students.

The House and Senate on Thursday backed separate versions of a bill that would require the state's education commissioner to develop new curriculum frameworks and align the curriculum with statewide academic goals and standardized testing.

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

Another measure approved Thursday by both the House and Senate 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, a recommendation from the superintendent in the district where they taught, and a master's degree.

The bills still need final enactment.

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