PAWTUCKET â€” Usually, it's the marginal students who sigh in relief upon learning they will graduate after all. This June, more so than in years past, the city's teachers and administrators will be feeling that sense of relief right along with them.
The Class of 2014 is the first where the receipt of a diploma is tied to passing the New England Common Assessment Program test or an approved alternative waiver as required by the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE). Back in the fall of 2012, school officials were dismayed to learn that a total of 424 of the city's high school students took the NECAP test as underclassmen and 300 failed to pass it.
In what has been a long road for the class of 2014 as well as their educational leaders, 371 seniors out of the cohort of 424 have now been cleared for graduation from Shea, Tolman, Jacqueline M. Walsh School for the Performing and Visual Arts and the Alternative Learning Program.
However, according to interim Schools Superintendent Patricia DiCenso, not all of these 371 passed the NECAP. This figure reflects the students who have either passed the NECAP (for some, it took three tries) or who met two other state-approved alternative requirements: passing the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery or gaining acceptance to a four-year college.
Full story appears on page A1 of Thursday's Times.