STATE HOUSE – Saying proper science facilities are critical
to preparing students for 21st-century careers, Rep. Marcia Ranglin-Vassell is
sponsoring legislation requiring every public high school in Rhode Island to
have a functioning science laboratory.
Education and Welfare Committee tomorrow, was the idea of students at the
E-Cubed Academy, some of whom will be testifying for it at the hearing.
Representative Ranglin-Vassell is a teacher there.
The students, taught by E-Cubed history teacher John Healy,
developed the idea and began advocating for it as part of their involvement in Generation
Citizen, which inspires civic participation through a proven state
standards-aligned action civics class that gives students the opportunity to
experience real-world democracy.
stand up for students who will come years after we are no longer in school.
It’s time to prepare our students for the 21st century,” said E-Cubed Senior
Samiya Baez, one of the students advocating for the measure.
students’ access to science labs, and ranks last in New England in science
scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The problem is at
least in part linked to the aging and crumbling status of the state’s schools,
which are the subject of a proposal to spend $500 million over a decade to
will be a high priority in that proposal, because so many high schools have
labs that are outdated, unsafe and nonfunctional, and don’t have enough labs to
serve their student population.
across the state, we must be intentional in making sure that our students
remain competitive and equipped to respond to 21st-century expectations. Many
of the best jobs today require strength in the STEM fields, but our
schools don’t have the basic equipment to give students the solid science
foundation they need to compete for them. This proposal came from students,
because they know they need more than they are getting from the deficient
science facilities they have today,” said Representative Ranglin-Vassell
(D-Dist. 5, Providence). “I am extremely proud of these students’ advocacy and
agency, and the compassion that they show for students all over our state who
may not have adequate resources to compete in the sciences.”
work to seek better science labs is an example of the school’s efforts to
encourage students to speak up for change.
call attention to the issue of lack of adequate resources in Rhode Island
schools. Our students are simply asking for a 21st-century education to equip
them to compete in the global economy,” said Winfield. “Our work with
students and Generation Citizen has ranged from a mediation program that
promotes communication over conflict to a wider scope where students now are
able now to look at their community and talk about change that helps them alter
the trajectory of their lives and the expectations of others. All of our
student voice opportunities aligns with the vision and mission of the
Welfare Committee is scheduled tomorrow, Wednesday, April 25, at conclusion of
the House session (around 5 p.m.) in Room 101 on the first floor of the State