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Great Public Schools Criteria for Rhode Island

Great Public Schools Criteria refers to the seven elements needed for closing the achievement gaps and raising achievement for all students. The seven elements are: (1) readiness to learn, (2) high expectations, (3) quality conditions, (4) qualified staff, (5) accountability, (6) parental involvement, and (7) funding.

Read more below about the Great Public Schools Criteria in Rhode Island.

Readiness to Learn

Rhode Island's Early Childhood Investment Fund provides school districts with resources for a variety of purposes, including, before- and after-school care, extended-day kindergarten, class size reeducation in elementary school, and parent education and family support programs. Districts determine how to use these funds. (NIEER)

In 1997, within a larger school improvement bill, the legislature established state aid for local school districts to design early childhood programs in response to family needs. In 1998, the legislature amended the bill to establish a 3 percent set aside for early childhood and require school districts to submit an early childhood plan to the Department of Education for approval. Funds may be used for direct services and to purchase materials and equipment for children. (ECS)

Rhode Island participates in the federally funded Even Start Program and has At present, Rhode Island has nine continuing Even Start Family Literacy Programs in Newport, Woonsocket, Pawtucket, and at Tri-Town Community Action serving Smithfield and Johnston, North Providence, Foster, Burrillville, and North Smithfield; Providence Even Start at Dorcas Place, Central Falls, Westerly, Chariho, and North Kingstown. Two new programs have been awarded Even Start Grants in the Fall, 2000. For further information contact: Charlotte Diffendale, Rhode Island Even Start Coordinator, at 222-4600 X 1-2457. (RIDOE)

Full-day Kindergarten:

Quality Conditions

Class Size.
Legal Basis: R.I. GEN. LAWS § 16-67-2. Enacted 1987. Effective 88-89. Re-enacted 2001.

The statute, through a literacy program, encourages districts to reduce class size to no more than 15 in grades K-3.  Funding is provided through Educational Improvement block grants R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-5-31 (3).

Current Average Elementary School Class Size: 20


R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-1-5, § 16-1-8, § 16-1-11, § 16-5-30,
§ 16-7.1-5, § 16-7.1-16, § 16-7-31, § 16-10-10, § 16-60-4,
§ 16-60-6, § 16-60-9, § 45-13-1.1

Rhode Island does not reward but it sanctions districts on the basis of performance. State sanctions on districts include written warning, offer of technical assistance and more funds, requirement that either the district or another entity create and implement a plan for improvement, placement on probation, loss of accreditation,  withholding of funds, district reorganization, or state take-over of the school district.

Rhode Island does not reward but it sanctions schools on the basis of performance. State sanctions of schools include offer of technical assistance, requirement that either the school or another entity create and implement a plan for improvement, placement on probation, loss of accreditation, withholding of funds, reconstitution, closure, and state take-over of the school.

The state of Rhode Island  allows the state department of education in collaboration with the school district and municipality to exert progressive levels of control over a low-performing school’s budget, program, and/or personnel. Actions against low-performing schools can take the form of reconstitution and the restructuring of the school's governance, budget, program, and personnel, and/or may include decisions regarding the continued operation of the school.

This policy was enacted as part of the state accountability system that was in place prior to the enactment of NCLB and appears to be unrelated to NCLB's AYP timeline. [16-7.1-5]