A look back at the past decade in RI education

  • 2010

    July: RI adopts the Common Core State Standards Initiative outlining quantifiable benchmarks in English and math from K-12.

  • 2012 - 2013

    RI has the 9th highest per pupil spending in the country. State SAT scores are near the national average and the state graduation rate is 79.7%, the lowest among neighboring states.

  • 2013-2014

    Full implementation of Common Core.

  • 2015

    More than 10,000 Rhode Island students chose not to take the PARCC, part of a nationwide protest against standardized testing.

  • 2016

    RI decides to transition to the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) with its own version, the Rhode Island Common Assessment System (RICAS).

  • 2017-2018

    RICAS is administered for the first time to students in grades 3-8. Students in grade 10 will take PSAT or SAT.

    November 2018

    • RICAS scores are released. Results in math and English reveal RI students lag far behind their peers in Massachusetts.
    • 14 public school students file a lawsuit against the state in Cook v. Raimondo, accusing RI of providing an education so inferior that it has failed to fulfill its duties under the U.S. Constitution.
  • 2019

    March 2019

    • State Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Ken Wagner announces his departure.
    • Angélica Infante-Green, a national leader on educational equity, is appointed new commissioner, having served as the Deputy Commissioner of New York City.

    April 2019: Governor Gina Raimondo and Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza announce that the John Hopkins Institute for Education Policy will conduct a “deep dive” into the Providence public schools.

    July 2019: Retired Central Falls Supt. Frances Gallo, is nominated as interim superintendent in Providence.


    August 2019: Several new education laws, mirroring neighboring Massachusetts are passed creating statewide academic standards and curricular frameworks, redefining how schools are governed and demanding more accountability at the local level.


    November 1: State takeover of the PPSD officially begins. It is to last 5 years, giving Commissioner Infante-Green and the superintendent to be appointed sweeping authority over budgetary and personnel decisions for the district.


    December 2019: RIDE  convenes 3 Community Design Teams, comprised of diverse stakeholders to develop measurable, actionable initiatives for Providence schools. They will focus on 3 priorities: World-Class Talent, Excellence in Learning, and Engaged Communities.

  • 2020

    January 2020: Dorothy Smith is the interim superintendent of schools, after Fran Gallo stepped down at the end of 2019


    February 2020: RIDE announces new PPSD superintendent, Harrison Peters.


    March 2020: Community Design Teams are expected to present the Commissioner and RIDE with recommendations for implementation into the Turnaround Plan.