Math 'Camp' for 'Not Proficient' Juniors Approved by School Committee
Approximately 42 percent of juniors at East Providence High School would not graduate right now based on their 'high-stakes testing' scores in math.
Approximately 42 percent of the juniors at East Providence High School would not graduate today based on their math scores under Rhode Island’s “high-stakes testing” requirement for graduation that kicks in nex year.
To help deal with those 141 students in the Class of 2014, the School Committee approved Tuesday night spending $17,000 for a “summer math camp” that will not be required, only recommended. The vote was unanimous.
The so-called camp was proposed by Janet Sheehan, the high school principal. It is expected to run about four weeks at the end of this summer after the traditional “summer school” ends.
“I’ve already talked to those juniors,” Sheehan said. “They know that if they don’t participate they will be on their own.”
Those 141 juniors scored as not proficient on the NECAP (New England Common Achievement Program) tests given last fall. They must demonstrate at least partial proficiency or show some improvement in math to graduate, said Rebekah Gendron, a curriculum administrator for the East Providence schools.
Gendron made a presentation on NECAP scores to the School Committee at its Tuesday meeting. This “cohort” of juniors faces for the first time a graduation requirement that includes NECAP scores, she said.
Anthony Ferreira was the most vocal School Committee member about the so-called “camp,” which means taxpayers will be paying twice for math instruction those students have received once already, he said. He asked Sheehan about attendance requirements.
“I have no doubt that people will support the math camp to help these students,” he said, but he wants to make sure those students show up regularly.
Sheehan said she could not guarantee that all the students will show up and take it seriously. About 26 of the juniors, in fact, are within a few points of scoring at “partial proficiency” – the minimum requirement needed for high-stakes testing, she said.
They may choose to take a chance that they will improve their scores when they take the test again in their senior year, Sheehan said, one of the options available to them.
To fund the math camp, Interim Superintendent John DeGoes said he is moving $18,000 from a salary line item for a middle school vice principal position that was vacated earlier this year. There is still money left in that account, he said.
Separate requests for middle school math camps were rejected by the School Committee because there is no money in the budget for those proposals.