R 262
2017 -- S 0882
Enacted 05/23/2017

S E N A T E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Senators Conley, DiPalma, Gallo, Metts, and Satchell
Date Introduced: May 11, 2017

     WHEREAS, The Program for International Assessment (PISA) is an international
assessment that measures the academic performance in reading, mathematics and science literacy
of a sampling 15-year-old students in each country with the most recent assessment occurring in
2015; and
     WHEREAS, The United States ranked 24 out of 65 countries in the 2015 PISA; and
     WHEREAS, The National Conference of State Legislatures released a report titled, "No
Time to Lose – How to Build a World-Class Education System State by State," that identified the
common elements of educational systems of high-performing countries; and
     WHEREAS, The report found that most high-performing countries had developed an
integrated plan for public education and implemented that plan over the course of 10 to 20 years;
     WHEREAS, Children should come to school ready to learn, and extra support should be
provided to struggling students so that all have the opportunity to achieve high standards; and
     WHEREAS, A world-class teaching profession supports a world-class instructional
system, where every student has access to highly effective teachers and is expected to succeed;
     WHEREAS, A highly effective, intellectually rigorous system of career and technical
education should be available to those preferring an applied education; and
     WHEREAS, Individual reforms should be connected and aligned as parts of a clearly
planned and carefully designed comprehensive system; and
     WHEREAS, Students should be provided a learning environment in classrooms,
buildings and facilities that enable learning in a safe environment; and
     WHEREAS, Students and parents are entitled to a clear statement of the academic
standards that define what students are expected to know and accomplish at every educational
level and identify the basic conditions for learning that pupils and families can expect from
Rhode Island's Public Education System; and
     WHEREAS, Rhode Island's public education should enable students to compete for
admission at any pubic university in the state, to compete for a high quality job, and to participate
actively in Rhode Island's civic life; and
     WHEREAS, Students should be subject to a fair and accurate assessment system used to
measure and improve the quality of education and supplementary educational services that
respond to and identify student needs; and
     WHEREAS, A diverse group of stakeholders should examine the elements of a world-
class education system and the public education system in Rhode Island and provide
recommendations; now, therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That a special legislative commission be and the same is hereby created
consisting of eleven (11) members: three (3) of whom shall be members of the Senate, not more
than two (2) from the same political party, to be appointed by the President of the Senate; one of
whom shall be the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, or designee; one of
whom shall be the Commissioner of Postsecondary Education, or designee; one of whom shall be
the President of the Rhode Island Association of School Committees, or designee; one of whom
shall be the President of the Rhode Island Association of School Principals, or designee; one of
whom shall be the President of the Rhode Island School Superintendents' Association, or
designee; one of whom shall be the President of the National Education Association of Rhode
Island, or designee; one of whom shall be the President of the Rhode Island Federation of
Teachers and Health Professionals, or designee; and one of whom shall be the Executive Director
of Rhode Island Kids Count, or designee.
     In lieu of any appointment of a member of the legislature to a permanent advisory
commission, a legislative study commission, or any commission created by a General Assembly
resolution, the appointing authority may appoint a member of the general public to serve in lieu
of a legislator, provided that the Majority Leader or the Minority Leader of the political party
which is entitled to the appointment, consents to the appointment of the member of the general
     The purpose of the said commission shall be to conduct a comprehensive review and
make recommendations regarding the creation of a world-class education system in Rhode Island.
Recommendations may include, but is not limited to, programmatic changes, expanding
successful pilot programs, and identifying outdated requirements and practices.
     Forthwith upon passage of this resolution, the members of the commission shall meet at
the call of the Chair, who shall be appointed by the President of the Senate.
     Vacancies in said commission shall be filled in like manner as the original appointment.
     The membership of said commission shall receive no compensation for their services.
     All departments and agencies of the state, shall furnish such advice and information,
documentary or otherwise, to said commission and its agents as is deemed necessary or desirable
by the commission to facilitate the purposes of this resolution.
     The Joint Committee on Legislative Services is hereby authorized and directed to provide
suitable quarters for said commission; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the
President of the Senate on or before March 1, 2018, and said commission shall expire on July 1,