Elisabeth Harrison

Morning Edition Host, Education Reporter

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.

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.

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The Education Blog
7:28 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Warwick Mayor Puts the Brakes on New Mayoral Academy

Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian has halted public hearings on a proposed Mayoral Academy Charter School.

Avedisian, who is the mayor sponsoring the proposal, says numerous issues including West Warwick's potential to pull out of the proposal,  preceded the request.

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The Education Blog
9:27 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Bill Seeks Relief From GED Cost Increase

The Rhode Island Senate has passed a measure aimed at easing the cost of the high school equivalency test known as the G.E.D.

The bill directs the State Board of Education to consider alternatives to the G.E.D. for students looking to earn a high school equivalency. It also calls for the reinstatement of a fee waiver for low income residents taking the G.E.D.

The testing company that administers the G.E.D. recently introduced a more difficult test and raised its rates to $120.

The Education Blog
11:01 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Budget Leaves School Construction in the Lurch

The budget scheduled for a vote Thursday in the House would extend a moratorium on school construction reimbursements from the state.

If it passes the General Assembly, the spending plan will leave school districts waiting for a third year to embark on major construction projects.

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The Education Blog
9:14 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Teacher Tenure Takes a Hit in California

A California judge has struck down the state's teacher tenure and seniority system, ruling it denies students their fundamental right to a quality education.

The LA Times reports the judge appeared to accept most of the prosecution's main arguments, including the idea that teachers can be fairly evaluated using student test scores. The paper also notes the judge rejected defense claims that teacher quality compares favorably to workforce quality in other fields.

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The Education Blog
11:54 am
Mon June 9, 2014

RIDE Releases 2014 School Rankings

31 percent of public schools in Rhode Island need to make improvements, according to the latest school classifications from the Rhode Island Department of Education.

A total of 32 schools, mostly in Providence, East Providence and Pawtucket fall in the department's lowest categories, which means they must craft or are in the midst of implementing restructuring plans with state oversight.

Another group of schools are labeled "warning" which means they must make improvements but without the same level of state involvement.

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Higher Education
10:54 am
Mon June 9, 2014

PC Renews Contract for President Brian Shanley

Providence College has offered a new five-year contract to President Brian Shanley, who has led the private Catholic college for the last decade.

Shanley, a member of the Dominican order, has presided over the construction of a new building to house PC's humanities program, a two-year requirement for all students, and the accreditation of a new business school. He is also credited with shepherding a reorganization of the Big East Athletic Conference.

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Higher Education
9:01 am
Thu June 5, 2014

$18.8 Million Awarded to URI Research Collaborative

A biomedical research program based at the University of Rhode Island has received $18.8 million in new grant funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Created in 2001, The Rhode Island IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (RI-INBRE), was intended to expand the state's biomedical research capacity. Since that time, it has received $42 million in federal grants, according to URI officials.

The new funding will shift the focus to research in areas of cancer, neuroscience and molecular toxicology. 

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The Education Blog
9:16 am
Wed June 4, 2014

In Providence, Teachers not just Students are Chronically Absent

Nearly a quarter of Providence’s public school teachers are chronically absent, according to a new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality.

Overall, teachers in Providence miss an average of nearly 13 days per school year, the 8th highest average in the study, higher than Baltimore, New York and Newark.

A total of 40 large school districts submitted data for the study, which looked at teacher attendance in major metropolitan areas.

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The Education Blog
12:42 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

In Defense of Cursive

A fascinating article in The New York Times this week suggests that cursive may have benefits beyond attractive penmanship.

As the author, Maria Konnikova, points out, cursive is largely left out of the Common Core standards, but there may be evidence that handwriting plays an important role in teaching children how to read and think.

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Higher Education
9:17 am
Tue June 3, 2014

RISD Launches Presidential Search

In an email to RISD faculty, Board Chair Michael Spalter has announced that the search for a new president is underway.

The board has appointed an 11-member search committee, which includes representatives from the RISD Museum, the faculty and the board of trustees.

The university has hired executive search firm Isaacson Miller to help with the search.

RISD's former President John Maeda stepped down unexpectedly in the middle of the academic year to take a venture capital job in Silicon Valley.

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