Parents, activists call for RI to drop NECAP requirement

The test required for Rhode Islanders to graduate from highschool has been failed by 40 percent of this spring's graduating class.

That's more than 4,000 seniors at risk of not getting adiploma.

Parents and educational activists are calling for the stateto drop the New England Common Assessment Program test.

Education Commissioner Deborah Gist said Tuesday now is notthe time to lighten up on much needed math instruction improvements. And shesaid there will be help for students to score better on the next round oftesting.

Gist said she doesn't want to deny diplomas to anyone whowants to work hard.

"That's why we put in the ability for them to earntheir diploma through growth and that means that students have a least a year,and even a little bit more than that if they take the third assessment todemonstrate the growth that they've made in mathematics," she said.

But Veronika Kot of Rhode Island Legal Services saysstudents in the 11th and 12th grades need to focus on their strengths that theywill be pursuing after high school.

"Cramming for a several question improvement on a NECAPtest does absolutely nothing to improve the meaningfulness of their diploma, ortheir post secondary outcomes," she said.

A hearing at the State House is scheduled for Wednesday on a bill that wouldban the test requirement for graduation.