RI Adds Varied Graduation Requirements

K-12 Testing

The Rhode Island Board of Regents for Education has approved new graduation requirements that do not mandate any standardized testing. To graduate, students entering ninth grade in September 2004 “shall exhibit proficiency in a common academic core curriculum that includes the arts and technology. This proficiency must be demonstrated through at least two of the following: departmental end of course exams, a Certificate of Initial Mastery, portfolios, extended ‘capstone’ projects, public exhibitions, and the use of technological tools.”


Schools may use results from the state assessment as part of the graduation determination, but if they do, the exams may not count for “more than 10 percent of all the weighted factors contributing to promotion or graduation.”


The state Education Commissioner will approve local graduation requirements. The regulations appear to allow students from the same school to use different means of demonstrating proficiency.


The state also required districts to regularly evaluate student literacy acquisition and provide help to students who have not reached proficiency. Districts may use an assessment instrument or process to evaluate the students; standardized tests are allowed but not required.