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
9:14 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Central Falls High School, Three Years After A Mass Firing

Central Falls High School
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

For several years we’ve been following the struggling Central Falls School district.

The high school grabbed national headlines when it fired all of its teachers back in 2010.

The fired teachers were later rehired by the district, but the firings left Central Falls High School in an uproar.

Three years later, Rhode Island Public Radio's Education reporter Elisabeth Harrison found signs of progress at the school, but scars from the mass firings remain.

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The Education Blog
9:02 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Updating School Security

Rhode Island's Department of Education says it has reviewed school safety plans from every district in the state, after legislation passed in the aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut school shootings.

RIDE Spokesman Elliot Krieger says there was a fairly wide range of quality among the plans.

In the year since the Newtown tragedy, RIDE has worked with the State Department of Emergency Management on recommendations for school districts to beef up their security procedures. The Rhode Island Association of School Committees says they are reviewing the report.  

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The Education Blog
10:12 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Harvard Investigating Unconfirmed Report of Explosives on Campus

Update 12/18: Federal prosecutors are suing a Harvard student for causing the false alarm Monday, that led to an extensive search for explosives. They allege Eldo Kim sent emails to campus police and Harvard officials threatening that bombs would go off in buildings on Harvard Yard. According to prosecutors, Kim was trying to get out of taking an exam scheduled for Monday.

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The Education Blog
9:23 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Study Questions Use of MOOCs

A new study out of the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education has found that, on average, just four percent of people who sign up for online courses complete them.

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The Education Blog
8:28 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Has Your School Changed Since Newtown?

One year ago, a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and killed 20 children and six adults. Afterwards, schools in Rhode Island and around the country were on high alert, and many called for a conversation about how to make students safer.

So, what happened?

In Rhode Island, lawmakers passed a bill requiring school districts to work with local law enforcement on safety reviews and report their emergency plans to the State Department of Education.

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Higher Education
8:28 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Study: RI Ranks High for Student Debt

A new study by the Institute for College Access and Success shows Rhode Island students carry the fifth highest debt burdens in the country. The study looked at student loans for the class of 2012. The average in Rhode Island was $31,156.

Several other New England state also ranked high on the list, including Maine and New Hampshire, which ranked second. The average student loan rate in New Hampshire was $32,698.

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The Education Blog
12:29 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

RISD Names Interim President

The Rhode Island School of Design has announced that Provost Rosanne Somerson will take over the duties of president while the board seeks a replacement for John Maeda.

Last Wednesday, Maeda announced that he will step down at the end of the semester to take a job at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

RISD Board Chair Michael Spalter says he is confident that Somerson is the right person to lead RISD through the transition.

Higher Education
9:50 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Maeda Bids Farewell to RISD Faculty

RISD President John Maeda has announced he's leaving the school at the end of the year for a job in Silicon Valley.
Credit file / RIPR

Outgoing Rhode Island School of Design President John Maeda addressed RISD's faculty on Wednesday, the day he released a surprise announcement that he is stepping down at the end of the semester. Many RISD professors expressed profound shock at the news, although Maeda was not popular with some professors.

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The Education Blog
9:08 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Ed Board to Vote on Two-Council Plan

Rhode Island’s Board of Education votes Monday on a plan to split the board in to two separate councils. One council would focus on K-12 education, while the other would focus on higher education.

The plan comes after the state merged its separate boards of education, citing the need for better coordination of public schools and universities. Supporters said they were tired of hearing business and higher education leaders complain that graduates of Rhode Island high schools were unprepared for life after high school.

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Higher Education
9:08 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Maeda's Fundraising Numbers

As he prepares to step down, Rhode Island School of Design President John Maeda has been touting his record as a fundraiser. RISD has provided the following numbers to RIPR in support of his claim:

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