Scathing review of Providence public schools released

Listen to “RI Education Commissioner Angelica Infante Green 6-26-19” on Spreaker.Listen to “Providence Teachers’ Union President Maribeth Calabro 6-26-19” on Spreaker.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – An independent review of the Providence public school system has found severe dysfunction, including rampant bullying and fighting among students, crumbling facilities and a tangled bureaucracy with no clear lines of authority.

The scathing 93-page report by the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy released Tuesday night concluded that everyone from the school district to the teachers’ union to the state Department of Education is failing the city’s children.


The review found that many students don’t take school seriously enough, parents feel left out, and poor teachers are almost impossible to fire.

The review was ordered by Gov. Gina Raimondo and Mayor Jorge Elorza, both Democrats.

New state Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green says she knew city schools were poor, but she was surprised by just how bad things are.

“This report is devastating for the generations of students who have been denied a quality education, for the teachers who haven’t been supported, and for the parents who haven’t been heard. After seeing this report, there is no question that the system is broken, and Providence schools are in crisis. This report calls on all of us to step up and to channel our collective outrage into action. I’ve tasked Commissioner Infante-Green with leading a series of community conversations over the coming weeks to help develop recommendations for the best path forward,” said Governor Gina Raimondo.

“This report paints a grim, concerning picture of our school district. The truth is that most, if not all, of the issues that were observed are challenges that we, too, have identified and experienced as barriers to progress. This report makes clear that the status quo is failing our kids and we know that nipping at the margins will not be enough. We need wholesale, transformational change and I look forward to working with state partners, teachers, parents and students to accomplish it,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza.

“This report delivers a direct and powerful message about the challenges facing the Providence Public School District – and it is a message that is both painful to hear and impossible to ignore,” said Angélica Infante-Green, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education. “The Johns Hopkins team has provided an invaluable service to us all — focusing our attention on the bureaucratic dysfunction that leads to a host of problems that prevent the city’s students from learning and thriving. Today offers us a moment to confront the facts and commit to do everything we can to give all Providence students the education they deserve. Let’s get to work.”

  • thomas quinn

    Gee, I wonder why nobody realized this sooner? The schools do NOT want outsiders to observe what goes on inside the school for the very reasons the report pointed out. Crimes are not reported to police, consequences for students nil because we don’t want to upset the parents. They might call the Superintendent. Classic Cold-War containment policy. Students refuse to follow directions, get up and walk out of class whenever they feel like it, punch lockers, scream in the hallways, bang on classroom doors while in the hallways, start fights in the cafeteria and hallways, etc. A complete zoo. That’s one of the reasons teacher absenteeism is high, as any human beings would be. There is only so much a human being can take. Step in my shoes for a day. You won’t come back.

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