Jim Morgan writes about the NECAP, the New England Comprehensive Assessment Program that RI Commissioner Gist defends and the Providence Student Union oppose, and reflects on the tragedy of Central Falls High School, which Superintendent Frances Gallo and State Commissioner Deborah Gist threatened to close in 2010:

“I teach in a district adjacent to Central Falls. CFHS has always been a school with excellent teachers trying their best to help an economically underprivileged ELL population of students to do their best. What Gist and Gallo did to those educators and their students is a travesty that will never be forgotten or forgiven in Rhode Island.

“CFHS’s test scores are always at or near the bottom of NECAP rankings. Most of the kids there are poor, many miss a great deal of school travelling back and forth between Rhode Island and other places such as Puerto Rico and Columbia, and speak English as a second language.

“The NECAP school rankings in RI mirror socio-economic rank almost perfectly, with Central Falls, the two Pawtucket high schools and the three non-magnet Providence high schools always at the bottom. The wealthy communities of Barrington and East Greenwich, and the Providence magnet school Classical–and the newspapers never bother to explain that Classical is a selective magnet school–are always at the top. To be a good teacher in RI, according to the powers that be, is to be hired by a wealthy district.

“I’m not sure how CFHS is doing. I hope students and teachers there are recovering from the damage inflicted on them in the name of politics.”