Elisabeth Harrison

News Director

Elisabeth Harrison's journalism background includes everything from behind-the-scenes work with the CBS Evening News to freelance documentary production.

She joined the WRNI team in 2007 as a Morning Edition producer and freelance journalist. In 2009, she became a full-time reporter, and became the Morning Edition host in 2011.  She was promoted to full-time News Director in June of 2015.

Harrison's education is as wide ranging as her work at Rhode Island Public Radio. She has a B.A. in English and French from Wellesley College, and a joint M.A. in Journalism and French Studies from NYU.

A native of Los Angeles, Harrison loves good food and good movies.

Ways to Connect

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The Rhode Island Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday  in two cases related to the long-running conflict over a visitors center proposed for the grounds of The Breakers mansion in Newport. 

Do you and a close friend or family member disagree about the presidential election? How do you handle conversations at the dinner table or the hardware store when they turn political? What about social media? We want to hear from you! Email your stories of the 2016 presidential race to news@ripr.org.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania has removed Rev. Howard White from the priesthood, citing allegations of sexual abuse documented in a report about St. George's School in Middletown. 


Rhode Islanders are struggling to get calls through to friends and family in Haiti in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Bernard Georges, who immigrated to Rhode Island from Haiti as a teenager, says he finally reached his brother and sister on Friday.

After an internal police investigation, Providence officers will be disciplined and receive retraining over an incident in which an officer dragged a woman by the hair and punched her several times.

The arrest, which happened in May, was caught on cell phone video, but came to light only after Channel 10 brought the tape to police in July. 

How Providence is working to get more kids to school every day; and what happened to the $75 million Rhode Island spent in federal Race to theTop funding?  Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison looks for answers from Providence Superintendent of Schools Chris Maher on our weekly Bonus Q&A. Political reporter Ian Donnis returns next week.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Analysis by Rhode Island Public Radio finds urban and middle class students in Rhode Island have lower test scores than their peers in Massachusetts; and the state’s ambitious goal to improve 3rd grade reading skills in less than a decade. We discuss the top issues in public education on a special education edition of our weekly political roundtable. 

Achievement First in Providence wants to add a third K-8 school and move forward with its plan to open a high school, and the Segue Middle School in Central Falls wants to add an elementary school. Those are just two of the charter school proposals on tap at the Rhode Island Department of Education. 

Elisabeth Harrison

After just two years of PARCC, there is little longitudinal data to help us understand how students and their schools are doing. But one of the promises of PARCC was that it would allow state-by-state comparisons of achievement, so let’s see what we can learn by comparing scores from Rhode Island with our high-achieving neighbor to the north: Massachusetts.

Sixty Rhode Island teachers are heading back to college to learn how to teach English as a second language. The program, a collaboration between urban school districts, the state and the Rhode Island Foundation, will cover the cost of tuition so that more teachers can gain certifications to teach English Language Learners or teach in bi-lingual programs known as dual language classrooms.

RIPR file photo

Fewer than one in three Rhode Island students is proficient in science, according to results from the most recent round of state science testing. Scores for 8th graders have shown no gains since the state began administering the test in 2008.

Some 30,000 students in grades 4, 8 and 11 took the test, known as the NECAP Science Test, in May. Roughly 29 percent scored proficient or better, a slight decrease from last year.

Average scores were better for elementary students than for middle or high school students, but no districts reported significant gains this year.

Elisabeth Harrison

Participation in SAT testing rose 1 percent for the class of 2016, with a record 6,303 students taking the test required for admission at many colleges. But average scores dropped by two points in reading and three points in Math, according to state education officials.

While the drop in scores was consistent with a nationwide trend, Rhode Island scores were below the national average. Local students scored 16 points below average in Math and nine points below average in reading. Writing scores were seven points lower than the national average.

Katherine Doherty

Gov. Gina Raimondo sat down with high school students Tuesday at Providence's Central High Schoolto hear about their experiences taking college courses through a state program known as PrepareRI.

The program, which covers the cost of college courses for public school students, has been touted by Raimondo and others as a way to encourage more students to attend college. It's also seen as a way to give students a discount on the cost of college by allowing them to arrive on campus with credits already under their belts.

RIPR file photo

Providence city officials plan to create a "day center" where homeless and others in need can seek assistance. Mayor Jorge Elorza made the announcement Thursday, as the city seeks to address complaints about panhandling and drug use in downtown.

“The issues we are addressing today are not unique to Providence," Elorza said. "They are complex and multifaceted, but by coming together as community, we have the opportunity to make lasting change."

RIPR file photo

By 2025, 75 percent of Rhode Island's third graders will be "proficient or better" in reading, according to the goal announced Wednesday by Gov. Gina Raimondo. In setting the target, Raimondo cited evidence that suggests third grade reading is a strong indicator of future success in school.

"Today, I'm drawing a line in the sand and setting a clear goal for Rhode Island: By 2025, when the kids who were born this year reach third grade, three out of four will be reading at grade level," Raimondo said in a prepared statement.