Title 16

Chapter 97
The Rhode Island Board of Education Act

R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-97-9

§ 16-97-9. Comprehensive study — Unified approach to statewide education.

(a) The board of education, in conjunction with the commissioner of elementary and secondary education and the commissioner of postsecondary education, shall undertake a comprehensive study of the alignment of the core curriculum used by the various school districts throughout the state with the goals and objectives of the state’s colleges and universities:

(1) The main objective of the study shall be to determine a unified approach for education within and across the state that encompasses the education and development of workforce skills, of our youth and adult learners, from kindergarten through the graduation of college or the entrance into the workforce;

(2) The study shall include, at a minimum, recommended policy objectives, implementation strategies, and a timetable for the implementation of the policies and the formulation of the rules and regulations necessary to achieve a unified approach and curriculum for schools under the authority of the council and in furtherance of the objectives of the state colleges and universities.

(b) The board shall report its findings to the speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the senate no later than July 1, 2017.

(c) The board of education shall base its timetable for implementation of the unified approach to education on the time necessary to promulgate rules and regulations with respect to the following policies:

(1) Instituting a process for drawing up curriculum frameworks for the core subjects covered by the academic standards adopted by the board (common core state standards):

(i) The curriculum frameworks shall:

(A) Present approaches and strategies for assisting students in the development of the skills, competencies, and knowledge called for by these standards; and

(B) Provide sufficient detail as to provide objective measures and standards to be met by students and to assist in the education, professional development, certification, and evaluation of both active and aspiring teachers;

(ii) The establishment of curriculum frameworks, and any further revisions, shall be open and consultative and take into consideration:

(A) The knowledge and experiences of classroom teachers, school administrators, faculty of schools of education, parents, and any other persons with the knowledge and experience who may assist the committee in the furtherance of its objectives;

(B) Other accepted curriculum frameworks, model curricula, content standards, attainment targets, courses of study, and instruction materials currently being used, or in the process of being implemented, in the United States;

(C) Approaches being taken internationally that may be of assistance; and

(D) The exploration of collaborative development efforts with other projects, including, but not limited to, the national New Standards Project;

(iii) The curriculum frameworks shall be constructed to guide and assist teachers, administrators, publishers, software developers, and other interested parties in the development and selection of curricula, textbooks, technology, and other instructional materials, and in the design of pedagogical approaches and techniques for elementary, secondary, and vocational-technical schools.

(2) Develop a school-based management model that shall be submitted to the general assembly and the governor for consideration. The management model, at a minimum, shall include:

(i) A process where the superintendent of a school system hires the principals for their schools and the principal of the selected school hires his or her teachers;

(ii) An appropriate level of educational opportunities for teachers and administrators to learn and continue to develop the skills and leadership qualities necessary to become effective administrators and principals;

(iii) The creation of a school council to assist in the management and to provide support to each public elementary, secondary, and independent vocational school utilizing the school-based management model; and

(iv) A recommended transition plan that provides guidance and support to local districts in implementing the school-based management model.

(3) Establish a professional development plan for educational professionals within the k-12 system based upon the successful implementation of similar programs by other school systems/departments throughout the country and the most efficient way to implement similar practices in the state. In addition to continued professional development, any program offered by the board of education shall offer opportunities that encourage the development of leadership skills and the professional advancement of teachers to administrative positions.

(4) Ensure that all students, regardless of residence or economic status, are provided an opportunity to succeed; and to develop, based on best practices, the system and processes necessary to support the early intervention and long-term development of children from low-income families to maintain learning skills and school success and improve their ability to compete in their chosen endeavor after exiting the secondary school system.

History of Section.
P.L. 2016, ch. 507, § 1.