Rhode Island Foundation commits $1M to public education

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A foundation will commit $1 million to public education in Rhode Island in an effort to improve schools.

The Rhode Island Foundation made the announcement after releasing a report Thursday that called on the state to “stay on course” in holding students to high standards. The 18-month study by a team of educators, nonprofit leaders and business executives presented a set of broad goals for improving the state's public education.

Some of the recommendations included previous goals for the state like continuing rigorous testing, improving teacher preparation and investing principals with more authority.

Neil Steinberg, executive director of the R.I. Foundation, promised that this report, unlike some of the others, will not sit on a shelf.

Steinberg referenced the state's new education commissioner and the takeover of Providence public schools as examples of the stakes involved with the current system.

“This report isn’t about reinventing the wheel or the new fad of the moment,” said Josh Block, spokesman for Gov. Gina Raimondo.

Block said the state’s recent standardized test results were “a wake up call.”

He adds, "This report builds on the momentum from that moment, getting everyone on the same page and pushing us to collectively stay the course on a long-term vision for education in Rhode Island.”

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