The Education Blog

The Education Blog is written by Elisabeth Harrison, Education Reporter and Morning Edition Host for Rhode Island Public Radio. Harrison’s work ranges from reporting on institutions like Brown University and the University of Rhode Island to efforts to reform low performing public schools in Central Falls and Providence.

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The Education Blog
9:54 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Fox Commentator Facing International Criticism Is Brown Alum

Steve Emerson, a self-styled terrorism expert, who has drawn fire for comments about "no-go zones" in France and other European countries following the attacks in Paris, graduated from Brown University.

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The Education Blog
8:49 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Tulsa Delays Vote on Gist

Tulsa education officials say they need more time to consider Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist and one other finalist in their search for a new superintendent.

The board had scheduled a vote for Monday, but Tulsa World reports they’ve delayed the vote until at least February 2nd.

Gist, who is a Tulsa native, has said she would like to remain in Rhode Island, but the opportunity to return to her hometown was too good to pass up.

Higher Education
12:23 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Brown Announces Changes To Sexual Assault Policy

In response to recommendations from a university panel, Brown has announced it will immediately begin using trained investigators to look into allegations of sexual misconduct on campus.

The university said other changes include the assigning of a dean to any student involved in the campus hearing process, and a new website to provide resources on sexual assault.

Brown has been reviewing its policy for handling allegations of sexual assault after a student went public with her concerns about the process.

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The Education Blog
8:28 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Are Charter Schools Straining Public School Budgets?

That's the question a legislative panel is investigating. Lawmakers are scheduled to hear from several local elected officials and school leaders on Friday.

Their concern is the impact of the state formula for funding public schools, and the way it calculates tuition for charter schools.

Cumberland Town Councilor Arthur Lambi, a Republican, is among those planning to testify. According to Lambi, Cumberland sends about $3 million to charter schools every year, and that number is expected to grow as charter schools add more seats.

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The Education Blog
8:58 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Cranston Superintendent Retiring

Cranston will have to hire a new superintendent of schools. The current Superintendent Judith Lundsten plans to retire at the end of June. In a message on the district’s website, Lundsten says she looks forward to spending more time with her family.

Higher Education
8:51 am
Wed January 21, 2015

RISD Begins Interviews In Search For New President

The Rhode Island School of Design has started conducting "preliminary interviews" in the search for a new president, a little more than a year after the departure of Johhn Maeda in December of 2013.

In a post on the university web site, RISD says the search committee has received nominations from nearly 100 faculty and other interested parties. University Board Chair Michael Spalter confirmed that the interview process has begun.

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The Education Blog
2:04 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

RI Education Commissioner Gist Confirms She Is Finalist For Job In Tulsa

Education Commissioner Deborah Gist is a finalist for superintendent of schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Credit File: Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

R.I. state Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Deborah Gist has confirmed that she is a finalist for the Superintendent of Schools post in her home city of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Gist's statement came after the Tulsa World newspaper reported that she is a finalist for the post.

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The Education Blog
8:28 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Gist Up For Superintendent's Job In Tulsa?

Deborah Gist addressing reporters in December, 2014.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison

State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist is reported to be a finalist in Tulsa’s search for a new superintendent of schools.

Tulsa World says multiple sources confirm that Gist is one of two finalists scheduled for interviews later this week. Tulsa’s current superintendent is stepping down at the end of June.

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Higher Education
8:16 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Brown: Fraternity Parties Facilitated Sexual Misconduct

Fraternity Phi Kappa Psi will loose recognition for 4 years at Brown University.
Credit RIPR FILE

Brown University has sanctioned two fraternities, saying they created an environment that "facilitated sexual misconduct" by failing to monitor parties and failing to properly safeguard the service of alcohol.

Phi Kappa Psi will loose recognition for four years, including the loss of its housing, effective immediately.

Sigma Chi has been sanctioned with probation until fall 2016. The fraternity cannot sponsor social events, or conduct recruitment, rush, or initiation processes.

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The Education Blog
9:57 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Can Students Opt Out Of Standardized Testing?

The Providence Journal reports this morning that standardized testing is not mandatory for Rhode Island students. While that is technically true, it is also true that Rhode Island has no official procedure for parents and students to opt out of annual testing, and parents may encounter significant resistance if they attempt to do so.

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