In an unexpected bit of news yesterday, Providence schools Superintendent Chris Maher announced that he would be stepping down at the end of the year despite the recent extension to his contract. The chair of the school committee, Nick Hemond, immediately announced that they’d be forming a search committee “in the coming weeks” and that… Continue reading Pump the Brakes and Fix the System Before You Talk About Hiring a New Superintendent
It is no secret that any critique of teachers is seen by many—especially teachers themselves—as an attack or an attempt to vilify the entire profession. So let me say right out of the gate that I am not doing that. I spent a decade as a teacher and it was the most exhausting and draining… Continue reading Can We Please Have an Honest Conversation About Teacher Absenteeism?
In February of 2018 Mayor of Providence Jorge Elorza and school superintendent Chris Maher rolled out a strategic plan that laid out goals around student proficiency, student and teacher absenteeism, and the high school graduation rate. The motivator for the initiative was the chronic underperformance of students in math and reading as well as high… Continue reading A Glaring Omission in Elorza’s Inaugural
It would be an understatement to say that the earth shook a bit in Providence last week when the United States Department of Justice revealed that Providence Public Schools has got a major problem when it comes to how it is serving—and not serving—its English Language Learners. We now know that PPSD and the DOJ… Continue reading Federal Authorities Confirm “Tidal Wave of Need” in Providence
Student voice matters and when middle school students decide they want to push back on the negative narrative surrounding their school, we need to listen. Half a dozen students and one alumnus of Roger Williams Middle School in Providence fielded questions last week as part of a panel discussion entitled “I am Roger Williams Middle… Continue reading Students Speak Out to Shift the Narrative About Their School (but 93 percent of Students There Don’t Read at Grade Level)
Providence Superintendent Chris Maher speaks to graduates about how their hard work and resilience in the face of tremendous challenges gives him hope during these uncertain times. The full text of his speech is below. Class of 2017, today is a wonderful day. Today is a glorious day. Today is a day where you are surrounded… Continue reading Providence Supe to Graduates: “There Will Always Be Doubters But They Don’t Know You”
As another charter battle heats up in Little Rhody, the usual status quo protectors are talking about everything except what matters most: student outcomes and parent demand. And when it comes to Achievement First, the charter school looking to expand, it’s impossible to deny that they’ve earned the privilege of doing so. They’ve proven the… Continue reading Student Outcomes and Parent Satisfaction Must be Front and Center in Debate over AF