RI Education Chief Backs Off New Diploma System

CRANSTON, R.I. (AP) – Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist is backing off her plan to establish a three-tiered diploma system for public high schools.

Gist's plan would have provided an honors diploma to students who score highly on standardized tests.

The plan came under attack from advocates of low-income, minority and special-education students who often score poorly on standardized tests.

The Providence Journal reports that she now supports a single diploma system, but wants to give local school districts the option of handing out diplomas that reward high levels of academic achievement.

Gist is sticking with other more rigorous high school graduation requirements she has proposed, but now wants to enact them in 2014 instead of next year.

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