Education

Education
8:08 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Two Year Contract Renewal for Gist

RI Board of Education Chair Eva Marie Mancuso and Commissioner Debora Gist listen to public testimony before the vote on her contract.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

After hours of deliberation … and discussion with Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist … the state's education board approved a new 2-year contract for Gist. The vote was 7 -3 with one abstention. Rhode Island Public Radio's Catherine Welch was there and has this report.

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Education
9:03 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Gist on the Bumpy Road to NECAP: This Will Get Better

State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist's contract is up on Friday.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The Rhode Island Board of Education is expected to vote tonight on a contract extension for State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist. She’s been weathering heavy criticism over the last few months from some parents, students and teachers, who complain that she ignores their concerns about all of the changes happening in Rhode Island public schools. One of the most controversial issues has been a new policy of standardized testing as a requirement for a high school diploma.

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Education
4:01 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

RI ACLU: Higher Suspension Rate for Black & Hispanic Students

The Rhode Island ACLU announcing a study that found minority students were more likely to be suspended than white students.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

One day after releasing a report showing that African Americans in the state are disproportionately arrested for marijuana possession, the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is out with a report showing a racial disparity in school suspensions. 

The civil rights group stopped short of calling it racial profiling, but says the issue is something education leaders need to study and correct.

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Education
3:46 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

U.S. Education Secretary Defends RI Commissioner Gist

Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Rhode Islanders should look at progress made in its schools while weighing the fate of state education commissioner Deborah Gist. Duncan made the comment on a conference call with Rhode Island reporters.

In a call of support for Gist, Duncan touted rising test scores and graduation rates as signs that the state is making progress. Teachers and parents have been outspoken in their opposition to Gist. But Duncan defends her, calling her collaborative.

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Education
7:58 am
Tue June 4, 2013

EDU Commissioner Gist: Contract Less Than Two Years Difficult to Accept

Education commissioner Deborah Gist will likely find out if her contract has been renewed this week.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist is likely to learn Thursday whether her contract is being renewed and for how long.

Deborah Gist has been a target of criticism lately from some teachers and students who say they don’t like her leadership style and they disagree with her focus on test scores. Now that her contract is expiring, there’s speculation the State Board of Education will offer a one-year extension, instead of a three-year contract. Gist says that would be difficult to accept.

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Education
8:26 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Getting Cranston High School Students Ready for NECAP Testing

In Rhode Island's second largest school district, Cranston, nearly 400 students are studying to re-take the state math test.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

A controversial new state policy says high school students in Rhode Island need a score of 2 or better on standardized state testing to graduate. That’s only partially proficient, but thousands of students didn’t make the grade when they took the test last fall. School districts are now working to get those students up to speed so they can meet this new requirement. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Education Reporter Elisabeth Harrison sat down with a district official and a Math teacher in Cranston to find out how it’s going.

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Education
9:04 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Meeting the Challenge of Standardized Testing

Students in an English Class at Attleboro High School.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison

As Rhode Island grapples with high school diplomas tied to test scores,  Massachusetts students have faced a similar requirement for a decade. Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison visited Attleboro High School to find out how high-stakes testing has changed what’s being taught.

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Education
12:11 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Education Commissioner Gist Responds to Teacher Concerns

State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist is responding to teachers who say she has an overbearing management style and is disconnected from the rank and file.  At a meeting Monday night, more than 500 teachers demanded that Gist’s contract not be renewed when it expires next month.

Gist said she welcomes the feedback of teachers and hopes that in the years to come management and staff can avoid acrimony and focus on what’s best for students.

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College Graduation
9:25 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Thousands of College Students Graduate Over the Weekend

Rhode Island is teeming with freshly minted college graduates this morning. Over the weekend, commencement ceremonies were held at all three public colleges, as well as Johnson &Wales, Roger Williams University, Bryant University, Salve Regina University and Providence College.

At Rhode Island College a flash mob formed at the end of the ceremony.  Graduates from the music, theater and dance departments led the crowd of 1,400 in a special rendition of “I’ve had the Time of My Life.”

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Brown University
2:28 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Former Brown President Simmons Honored by French Government

Former Brown University president Ruth Simmons is being honored by the French government for her contributions to the advancement of French arts and culture.

Brown has been named Chevalier in the French National Order of the Legion of Honor.  The award is the highest decoration offered by the French government.

Simmons is not only fluent in French but has written about French-speaking authors and poets.

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