Reps. Amore, O’Brien and Solomon express their concerns about new proposed high school graduation requirements


            STATE HOUSE – Representatives Gregg Amore, William W. O’Brien and Joseph J. Solomon, Jr. are releasing the following statement detailing their concerns with the Rhode Island Department of Education’s newly proposed updated high school graduation requirements for the state’s public schools:

            “While we acknowledge that our high school graduation requirements needed updating, and there are aspects to this update we applaud, there are still significant concerns we share within the new proposed requirements,” said Representatives Amore (D-Dist. 65, East Providence), O’Brien (D-Dist. 54, North Providence) and Solomon (D-Dist. 22, Warwick).

            “In particular, these updated proposed requirements would afford little time for the necessary planning, staffing, supply allocation, and establishment of proper facilities that is mandated by the new requirements.  We are also concerned that the new requirement that students complete two credits in world languages could be at odds with the established policies for existing and future English language learners. We also have serious reservations regarding the ability to not only find sufficient personnel to teach these requirements, as well as finding the funding for this and other proposed programs.

            “Our concerns also apply to requiring a computer science credit to graduate in that it may take away from arts programs. The Rhode Island Music Education Association and the Rhode Island Art Education Association oppose this plan, saying that the proposed requirements do not include fine arts courses and that it will decrease the time students have to accommodate, learn from and enjoy arts education.  This concern is compounded by the emphasis on ‘college readiness’ that will limit opportunities for our students who are more interested in career pathways rather than higher education.

            “While we are enthusiastic supporters of giving access to college preparatory classes to all students, our fear is that the new proposed graduation requirements will force students to take classes that they will not need or use later in life, such as advanced mathematics courses, while also forcing these students to forego classes that may interest and spur their educational growth and success, such as arts, music or trades programs.  Everyone knows that our educational system is in need of change but now is the time to focus on the significant learning losses and the chronic absenteeism that has resulted from the pandemic.  We must address these serious issues first to ensure that the changes we make to our graduation requirements are beneficial to every student in Rhode Island,” concluded Representatives Amore, O’Brien and Solomon.


It looks like the nation could have more confirmed cases of Monkeypox by today. A man already tested positive in Massachusetts and the CDC expects the same from two patients in Utah and one each in New York and Florida. The disease has spread to 12 countries in the past two weeks.       President Biden is on his way home after wrapping up a five-day trip to Asia. He met with leaders of Japan, India and Australia overnight for a summit of the Quad nations. He told them the world is navigating a dark hour and the war in Ukraine has become a global issue.        Polls are now open in Alabama and Arkansas for today's primary election. Georgia was the first to begin in-person voting this morning where the governor is hoping to win the GOP nomination. He campaigned with former VP Mike Pence who hinted at a possible 2024 run.       More children are adding to the nation's population. Birth rates rose about one percent last year after a steep decline during the first year of the pandemic. New CDC data shows this is the first increase in seven years, when births began dropping around two percent annually.        Another state is on the verge of banning transgender girls from playing school sports. Indiana's governor vetoed a bill in March but today House Republicans are expected to override that. They claim it will level the playing field and help girls get an athletic scholarship to college.       Some employees at a major video game company are joining a union. Nearly 30 quality assurance testers voted Monday and almost all agreed. They work for Raven Software, a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard which makes "Call of Duty" and "Candy Crush."