Cranston High School West was the location for a Sept. 4 ceremony in which four education reform bills were signed into law by Gov. Gina Raimondo.
Speakers included Cranston Superintendent Jeannine Nota-Masse, Rhode Island Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green, state Sen. Hanna Gallo and state Rep. Joseph McNamara.
The legislation signed into law covers curriculum, certification, school-based management and proficiency in scientific reading instruction. Nota-Masse welcomed the governor and legislators as well as honored guests to the event.
“As we look forward to another school year which began for us yesterday, we appreciate the attention given to schools throughout Rhode Island,” the superintendent said. “It is important that we recognize the continued support of our legislators, governor and commissioner as we work together to improve students’ experiences in all of our Rhode Island schools.”
Gallo, who chairs the Senate Education Committee, emphasized the importance of the legislation being signed and thanked all for their support and dedication to Rhode Island’s students and educators.
“Education is transformative, and this has never been more true than it is today when so much of our economy is knowledge-based,” she said. “These bills seek to change the culture of education in our state. We have high standards in place now in the curriculum that aligns with those standards in the education department equipped to support our teachers in the implementation of the newly supported curriculum by providing support within the schools. Education is a priority for every member of the Senate and we all focused on this issue this year. I particularly want to thank all the members of the education committee who work so hard, not only this session but every year to improve education. They are deeply dedicated to building an education system that is deeply dedicated to helping every Rhode Island student reach their potential.”
McNamara, who chairs the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare, also spoke to the importance of the legislation and recognized the sponsors of the bills, thanking them for their vision, dedication and passion.
“We’re developing a high-quality statewide curriculum that will be very important for the students, aligned with testing and standards which will spell out success for our students,” he said. “Next, we are redefining the roles that teachers, superintendents and principals play. More authority will be given to school principals who know their building and students best while receiving support from their partners in administration and the department of education.”
McNamara also cited the testimony that Raimondo’s son gave regarding the topic of dyslexia when speaking about the Right to Read Act.
“We’re all individuals, we’re all different, and have different methods to learning. This will enable those individuals who have dyslexia to be able to be taught in the most scientifically structured way in which they will be successful,” he said.
Raimondo signed the legislation in the presence of all honored guests, legislators and Cranston Public Schools staff, students and administrators.
Jen Cowart is a communications specialist for Cranston Public Schools.