After local teacher's unions released poll results that were less than optimistic regarding Education Commissioner Deborah Gist performance, Gist delivered a hopeful "State of the Schools," address before a joint session of the General Assembly.
The address focused on preparing students for the "global economy."
"As I visit with students and teachers across the state, I see schools rallying around their students - putting programs in place to bring them the supports they need to improve their performance," said Gist.
Gist announced that the Rhode Island Department of Education will hold a second annual conference on "innovation powered by technology."
"Technology is not just a tool that can enhance education," said Gist. "Technology can improve the very nature of instruction."
Gist emphasized the difficulties faced by 4,100 high-school juniors who need to improve their test scores on the NECAP test in order to graduate with their class. She commended teachers and students for stepping up to the challenge through after school and summer programs.
"Regardless of what happened in the past, we must help our students in the present – to prepare them for the future," said Gist. "The right thing to do is to prepare our students for success now – while it is our responsibility, and while it is their right."