Commissioner outlines changes coming for Providence schools

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island's education commissioner plans to release a budget analysis for Providence schools, hire a superintendent and select a new curriculum by the end of the year.

Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green assumed control of the struggling school district Nov. 1. She told The Boston Globe she expects to release an independent financial analysis of the nearly $400 million budget, hire up to six new high-level employees for the district and select a reading and math program to be implemented at the elementary and middle schools next school year.

Infante-Green is also visiting city schools to see for herself what students are learning and the extent of the challenges she's confronting.

The state takeover was announced shortly after a scathing report from researchers at Johns Hopkins University was released in June. The review found the 24,000-student district was beleaguered with low test scores, crumbling infrastructure and widespread dysfunction, concluding that everyone from the school district to the teachers union to the state Department of Education is failing children. Researchers labeled the district among the worst in the nation.

Infante-Green says it will take at least five years to turn the district around. She not currently planning on asking the General Assembly for additional funding, though that could change.