© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Cianci: Providence Students Must Be Better Served

Independent candidate Buddy Cianci rolled out his plans for Providence's public schools this week
Independent candidate Buddy Cianci rolled out his plans for Providence's public schools this week

Independent mayoral candidate Buddy Cianci released his plan for Providence Public Schools this week.

Noting that Providence students score well below average on standardized state tests, the former mayor, and twice convicted felon, focused on the need to provide quality education to all of the city’s children.

If voters re-elect him, Cianci said he would  give principals more autonomy, echoing a move already afoot in the district towards a policy known as “site-based management.” He proposed giving each school a

Independent candidate Buddy Cianci rolled out his plans for Providence's public schools this week
Credit File
Independent candidate Buddy Cianci rolled out his plans for Providence's public schools this week

dedicated social worker because of the high number of low-income students in Providence schools.

Calling technical education an important option, Cianci suggested that Providence use Worcester, Massachusetts as a model because of its successful career and technical high school. For students not pursuing career and technical classes, Cianci said he would increase the number of AP classes and add more gifted classes for middle school students.

Cianci also noted that many school buildings need attention , promising to address safety issues immediately .

“Right across the street at Roger Williams Middle School, there’s a multitude of violations that put students and faculty at risk,” Cianci said in a statement.

The statement did not mention how Cianci plans to pay for increased course offerings or building safety upgrades.

The state has, for several years, put a hold on funding for school construction, leaving state education officials the task of deciding which projects are severe enough to require immediate attention.

Cianci's main rival, Democrat Jorge Elorza has released his own plan for Providence Public Schools. The Roger Williams Law School professor has called for "full service community schools," which combine education, afterschool and enrichment activities with services like health care and adult education.

Some critics have pointed out that community schools are expensive, and they questioned how Elorza would pay for the services. Elorza, who graduated from Providence public schools, envisions working with community groups and nonprofits, citing examples like public schools in Baltimore and Portland, Oregon.

Elorza has also  called for a more diverse curriculum to provide opportunities for different types of learners, such as giving credit for experiences outside the classroom.

The third part of his education plan calls for continuing the district's move toward "site-based management," increasing efforts to bring grant funding into the district, and providing more meaningful training opportunities for teachers.

Elorza and Cianci face Republican Daniel Harrop in the November 4th election.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@ripr.org

Copyright 2014 The Public's Radio

Elisabeth Harrison's journalism background includes everything from behind-the-scenes work with the CBS Evening News to freelance documentary production.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content