R.I. teachers protest evaluation system

Nearly 4,000 Rhode Island teachers are protesting a new evaluation system. Test scores and other measures of student progress will affect the rating that Rhode Island teachers receive this year as part of a national effort to improve student achievement. The Providence Journal reported that some teachers worry that student progress will count too heavily toward their ratings. They argue that student improvement is not entirely in their control, because it also can be linked to a student’s motivation and home life. Superintendents and principals also say the evaluations are too time-consuming and cumbersome. State Education Commissioner Deborah A. Gist backs the system, but has approved a plan by Providence schools to temporarily reduce the emphasis on the more contentious aspects of the evaluations.