Elisabeth Harrison

Interim News Director & 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.  In 2015 she became interim News Director upon the departure of Catherine Welch.

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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Politics
3:51 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

RI Politicians React To Fox Plea Deal

Gordon Fox faced reporters on the steps of the federal courthouse following his arraignment on three counts of corruption.
Credit John Bender

Reactions have been swift to news that Former House Speaker Gordon Fox pleaded guilty to three felony charges.

The charges include one count of bribery and one count of misusing campaign funds.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison reports on reaction from both sides of the aisle.

Calling it a "sad chapter" in Rhode Island Politics, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said in a brief statement, "there is no place for public corruption."

A Democrat, Mattiello took over after Fox resigned as speaker, following raids on his home and Statehouse office.

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Education
9:01 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Rhode Island Educators Prepare For PARCC

Science teacher Barbara Walton Faria stands in front of Thompson Middle School in Newport

Teachers across the country are under fire to increase student test scores and start using tougher standards in their classrooms. They’re also about to start using new tests to find out how their students are doing. So what is it like to be a teacher right now, and what concerns do teachers have about the changes in their classrooms? 

Rhode Island Public Radio's education reporter Elisabeth Harrison spoke with Newport Middle School Science Teacher Barbara Walton-Faria to find out. Walton-Faria is the chair of RI Teacher Advisory Council.

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Business
3:48 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

The Bottom Line: Pawtucket Mayor On PawSox Plan To Move To Providence

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week Dave and Mark sit down with Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien to find out how he's adjusting to news of a new ownership group for the Pawtucket Red Sox and their plan to move the team to Providence.

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Political Roundtable
9:28 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Bonus Q&A: Jim Vincent On Race Relations, Diversity In Government + More

Providence NAACP branch President Jim Vincent talks with Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison, and WPRI investigative reporter Tim White, about community-race relations in the state, as the media has turned its focus from the demonstrations this summer.  Vincent also weighs in on the lack of diversity in state government, and asks what National Black History month really achieves.

Hear more of our conversation with Jim Vincent in our Political Roundtable

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Health Care
9:03 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Gov. Raimondo Tackles Rhode Island's High Medicaid Costs

Gov. Gina Raimondo signs executive order creating a group to tackle the state's high cost of medicaid.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo is asking a group of healthcare leaders to tackle the cost of Medicaid. The program provides healthcare for poor and elderly Rhode Islanders.

The per-patient cost for Medicaid in Rhode Island is the second highest in the nation, and the rising price tag is eating up too much of the state budget. That was the message from Governor Gina Raimondo, as she signed an executive order to create a working group on Medicaid.

Raimondo said if the state doesn’t address the issue, the consequences could be dire.

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Political Roundtable
8:44 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Political Roundtable: Jim Vincent On Racial Disparities, The PawSox + More

President of the NAACP Providence branch Jim Vincent joins the Political Roundtable this week.  Vincent weighs in on the recent sale of the Pawtucket Red Sox, and the team's possible move to Providence. He also discusses the resignation of Rhode Island Health Department head Michael Fine and the American Civil Liberties Union report on racial disparities in Rhode Island's schools and prison system.

Hear more of our conversation with Jim Vincent in our Bonus Q&A.

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Health Care
5:21 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Raimondo: Abuses At Slater Hospital Are "Unacceptable"

Elisabeth Harrison RIPR

State police and state and federal health officials are investigating the apparent abuse of three patients with profound disabilities at the state-run Eleanor Slater Hospital. Gov. Gina Raimondo said the alleged abuses are upsetting.

Raimondo said Maria Montanaro, the new director she appointed to state department of behavioral healthcare, is conducting a robust investigation.

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The Education Blog
9:53 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Raimondo Kicks Off Search For Education Commissioner

Credit Catherine Welch

Governor Gina Raimondo began a series of what her office is calling "listening sessions" as part of the search for a new state commissioner of education.

Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison reports the governor convened a group of teachers, principals, charter school leaders and district leaders for an invitiation-only event.

About 20 people gathered around tables in a Providence elementary school classroom to give feedback on the search for a new education commissioner.

The event was by invitation only, with guests hand-picked by the governor’s office.

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RI News
8:59 am
Wed February 25, 2015

New PawSox Stadium Might Not Be The Boon RI Is Hoping For, Says Economist

McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket likely won't remain the home of the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Credit RIPR FILE

An economist who has studied the impact of sports stadiums says Rhode Island should be wary of committing taxpayer dollars to pay for construction on a new facility for the PawSox. 

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The Education Blog
5:07 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Union Approves Resolutions Against Standardized Testing

Credit taylor.a

On of the state's two teachers' unions is calling for parents to get better information about how to opt out of standardized tests.

In a resolution, the executive committee of the National Education Association Rhode Island says the state and local districts should provide written information to parents about their right to remove children from testing.

The resolution stresses that teachers have a free speech right to talk to parents about opting out of testing, including the new multi-state test known as PARCC.

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