From the Blog

The Rhode Island Department of Education and The Great Schools Partnership Kick Off Rhode Island Learning Champions Program

CRANSTON, R.I. — Today, educators from around the state came together as part of the Rhode Island Learning Champions program, a joint initiative by the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) and Great Schools Partnership. The 90 Learning Champions come from 24 school districts, as well as charter schools, and represent a diverse array of educational programming, including early childhood, special education, after-school programs, and adult education.

Today’s event kicked off what will be an eight-month program, during which the Learning Champions will attend in-person work sessions and regular webinars to help develop a framework for proficiency-based learning in Rhode Island schools. This framework will support the state’s secondary regulations, which were revised in 2015 to incentivize and support student-centered course and career pathways. Participants will build a deeper understanding of the competencies necessary to ensure student pathways foster preparedness for college and careers through alignment to our learning standards.

The Learning Champions and their colleagues in classrooms across the state can then use this body of work to better define what proficiency means and what skills are necessary for students across content areas, ensuring all Rhode Island graduates are prepared for the future.

“The Learning Champions are representative of the exciting, innovative work being done in classrooms all across Rhode Island. Their unique experiences and expertise will help to shape education policy in a way that is thoughtful, relevant, and responsive to the field,” said Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Ken Wagner. “I’m grateful to all of the participants for generously giving their time and talent to this effort. I look forward to seeing what comes out of this partnership and how we can work together to expand and enhance opportunities for all Rhode Island students.”

Great Schools Partnership is a nonprofit educational support organization based in Portland, Maine, and is the lead coordinator of the New England Secondary School Consortium and the League of Innovative Schools.

“As we’ve come to expect, Rhode Island educators continue to work deeply in the creation of powerful learning strategies that engage every student across the state,” said David Ruff, executive director of Great Schools Partnership. “This collaborative effort promises to build equity of learning, ensure deep academic integrity, and provide tools and resources to support the hard work of teachers and students going on every day in Rhode Island classrooms.”

Media Contact: Megan Geoghegan, Rhode Island Department of Education,

This press release was originally issued by the Rhode Island Department of Education on April 4, 2017.