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Rhode Island School Superintendents' Association
 

Johns Hopkins Report on Providence Public Schools

25 Jun 2019 7:20 PM | Tom DiPaola (Administrator)

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Message from Education Commissioner 

I would like to update you on an important issue. 

Today, the team from the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy officially released its final report on the Providence Public School Department (PPSD). You can read and download a copy from their website. The results of the review were both hard-hitting and sobering. Based on direct observations and interviews, Johns Hopkins found that:

  1. PPSD has an exceptionally low level of academic instruction, including a lack of quality curriculum and alignment both within schools and across the district.
  2. School culture is broken, and safety is a daily concern for students and teachers.
  3. Beyond these safety concerns, teachers do not feel supported.
  4. School leaders are not set up for success.
  5. Parents are marginalized and demoralized.

While distressing on their own, the Johns Hopkins team concluded that the problems they encountered across the system point back to a central, structural deficiency:

“Providence Public School District is overburdened with multiple, overlapping sources of governance and bureaucracy with no clear domains of authority and very little scope for transformative change. The resulting structures paralyze action, stifle innovation, and create dysfunction and inconsistency across the district. In the face of the current governance structure, stakeholders understandably expressed little to no hope for serious reform.”

In short, the system is broken. Now is the time to start rebuilding. Every stakeholder, including RIDE, has played a part in getting us here – and every stakeholder must play a part in moving the Providence schools forward. That is why I am so encouraged by the leadership shown by Governor Raimondo and Mayor Elorza, joining with me to send a clear message: the status quo is unacceptable, and it will require all of us working together to fundamentally improve outcomes for students in Providence.

That work starts tomorrow, with the first of our public forums with community members. We hope you will join us at D’Abate Elementary School at 6 p.m., or at one of the other events scheduled over the coming weeks. You can see the full schedule at the RIDE website. Everyone – teachers, students, parents, community leaders, and anyone else who cares about the future of our kids – is invited, and I am calling on all of us to set the example and be a part of positive change for Providence. Your participation in these events would be incredibly helpful.

Sincerely,

Commissioner Infante-Green

RISSA

2480 Post Road, Warwick, RI  02886

Mailing Address:  PO Box 7791, Warwick, RI  02887

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