In a scathing assessment of the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), a new report released today by the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity grades RIDE with an “F” for its many documented failures.
The report, “Why Major Changes are Needed at the RI Department Of Education,” details the top-10 Failures of Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green and RIDE, while offering specific solutions. The Center joins with other public figures and parent groups in calling for an immediate change in leadership at RIDE, as well as one important legislative reform item.
“Under the deficient leadership of Commissioner Infante-Green, the Rhode Island Department of Education has failed to implement successful educational reforms,” said Mike Stenhouse, CEO of the Center. “Clearly, both the 2019 hiring of Infante-Green and the passage of legislation that empowered RIDE with curricula mandate authority over every school district have been abject failures. ”
The report highlights the alarming decline in student achievement across the state substantiated by the dismal RICAS scores released in October, as well as the implementation of a radicalized curriculum that is causing major concerns among parents and dividing local communities.
Infante-Green assumed office in 2019, coinciding with the enactment of a controversial bill (S0863) that stripped local school districts of control, granting RIDE unprecedented authority over curricula standards and guidelines in core subjects. The report asserts that Infante-Green and RIDE have proven to be ineffective, irresponsible, and unworthy of the considerable power they were granted to shape the education of Rhode Island’s children.
Consequently, student achievement has plummeted, while public confidence in the state’s educational system has eroded. Under its current leadership, RIDE’s controversial and divisive approach to education has created confusion and demoralization among students about their country, their values, their fellow students, themselves, and their families … all contributing to a concerning rise in youth mental health issues.
The findings of the report underscore the urgent need for new leadership at RIDE, accompanied by a repeal of the curricula authority that has contributed to the decline in educational standards and student well-being.