Stenhouse Testimony Includes Remarks from Over 100 Citizens
H5498 Would Repeal RIDE’s Curricula Mandate Powers
Providence, RI – Mike Stenhouse, CEO of the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, today submitted testimony to the RI House Committee on Education in support of House bill H5498, which will be heard today in committee at 4:00PM in Room 101 at the State House.
The legislation would repeal the 2019 law that empowered the RI Department of Education to mandate standardized curricula to every school district and public school student in the state.
“It is the view of many parents in our state, and mine, that RIDE and its Commissioner, Angelica Infante-Green, have proven to be wholly ineffective, irresponsible, and unworthy of the authority granted to it by state lawmakers in 2019,” said Stenhouse. “RIDE continually infuses controversial political theories and age-inappropriate content into K-12 curricula … advancing political agendas instead of academic achievement … and to infringe on parental rights and on the authority of locally-elected school committee members. It’s clear that it’s time to reverse course.”
Stenhouse’s testimony, which can be accessed here, includes the personal remarks of over 100 citizens who submitted written testimony to the committee via email via an online tool provided by the Center. In just the past three days, over 125 Rhode Islanders utilized the tool to submit written testimony “for” H5498, while over 250 people had previously signed on online petition in support of the legislation.
As an example of RIDE’s politicized approach to education, the Center published a 54-page report in February, titled, “Taken for a RIDE; How Rhode Island’s Social Studies Standards Shortchange Students.” The report highlighted RIDE’s historically inaccurate and divisive social studies standards, which were rubber-stamped by the Board of Education. The report also made an argument for substantially modifying or entirely replacing the Standards with a more historically accurate and widely acceptable set of standards.
Bi-partisan companion legislation (S0187) has also been submitted in the RI Senate, although a hearing date has not yet been set.