I am convinced that Newport county needs a Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Charter high school.
These exist in other parts of the country , the top 12 are listed on the web site:http://www.onlinecolleges.net/2011/08/19/12-best-high-schools-for-stem-education/
While the recent Chicago teachers strike is contentious, what is amazing ,is that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has crossed party lines and insists that an integral part of their solution to their inferior high school gradation rates is the establishment of five high schools focused on Science, Technology Engineering and Math. While I am not inferring that we have similar graduation rate issues, I do feel that we need to enhance our STEM offerings to our County high school students.
We , your public servants, have made a gallant effort with limited success over the last two years of public service to evaluate and develop a regional approach to education, the prime focus of the effort was to enhance the level of education for our county high school students.
In addition, A recent Skills gap study reinforced the fact that , while our high schools and teachers deserve and A plus in their efforts, due to circumstances beyond their control, a lot of our high schools students are not graduating with the STEM skills that they need to fill open jobs in the marketplace today.
I am convinced that if a County wide STEM Charter high school were built in Newport County, Students who are actively seeking careers in these associated fields after college , would flock to it.
Funds do exist for the creation of such a school here in Newport County, at the Rhode island department of education.
I would encourage a meeting of stakeholders on the island to discuss such a school, I am told that Representatives of The Rhode Island Department of Education would be happy to attend and provide information about the application/development process, background on charters, and field questions on behalf of RIDE.
I am convinced the first step of a successful Regionalization or Collaboration effort in our county, is to provide an Educational experience that would be attractive to all area high school students ,and Parents, what better starting point to this goal, than the development of a Science Technology Engineering and Technology ( STEM) Charter high school in Newport County