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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Higher Education
9:05 am
Thu December 5, 2013

After Six Years, Maeda Leaving RISD

Faculty from the Rhode Island School of Design say they’re not surprised that President John Maeda is stepping down, but they were surprised by the timing of his announcement.

Maeda, in a YouTube video, announced Wednesday that he is leaving at the end of the semester, for a job at the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers.

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The Education Blog
9:29 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Board Approves New Standards for Teacher Preparation

New standards for teacher programs will link quality measures to factors that include student test scores. The standards also raise the bar for admissions to teacher programs, calling for undergraduate applicants to have at least a 2.75 grade point average.

The new standards are part of an ongoing effort to improve teaching in Rhode Island's public schools. I asked Nancy Castagno from Rhode Island College to weigh in on the standards, and she said RIC and URI have both been working closely with state officials to craft the language of the standards.

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The Education Blog
2:08 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Exclusive: Providence Schools Investigating Alleged Sexual Assault

Providence public school officials are investigating how an elementary school student was allowed to go home with a man who is now accused of sexually assaulting her.

The incident occurred last week at Asa Messer Elementary School. Providence Superintendent of Schools Susan Lusi says a student was allowed to leave the school with a man, who was known to staff and had been seen multiple times with the girl and her family. However, the man was not on the list of people allowed to take the girl home. After they left the school, the man allegedly assaulted the student.

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Higher Education
11:30 am
Wed November 13, 2013

RIC: Campus Police Will Remain Unarmed

Credit Rhode Island College

Rhode Island College has decided against arming its campus police force. In an email, RIC President Nancy Carriuolo said a campus survey showed the college community about equally divided on the issue, though she stressed the vast majority did not respond to the survey.

Carriuolo said she made the decision after discussions with campus police and her cabinet.

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The Education Blog
8:02 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Providence College Responds to Orange Sticker Policy

Credit Elisabeth Harrison

Providence College says it is following up with students cited for loud parties in the neighborhood around the college.

Providence police have started putting orange stickers on houses that repeatedly cause problems. PC President Rev. Brian Shanley says the college reviews police reports and considers whether students involved in the parties should be disciplined.

"If students are involved with off campus activities that are detrimental, we bring them in and we talk about it, so we are not laissez-faire about this at all," Shanley said.

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The Education Blog
9:05 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Students to Protest Closure of Alvarez High School

Students plan to testify at the Providence School Board on Tuesday against a proposal to shut down Alvarez High School. The board is considering converting the South Providence building into a middle school, as the city braces for a jump in middle school enrollment.

As a high school, Alvarez has struggled with a history of low test scores and is currently undergoing a state-ordered school overhaul. Still, senior Ruth Presendieu says closing it down would damage the one thing the small school has going for it, a strong sense of community.

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The Education Blog
7:51 am
Mon November 11, 2013

More Veterans Enrolling at RIC

RIC has taken steps to help veterans feel more comfortable on campus amid an uptick in veteran student enrollments.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison

Rhode Island College has seen a nearly 60 percent increase in the number of veterans on campus since 2009.

RIC has taken steps to better serve veterans, including opening a Veterans’ Resource Center, which helps connect veterans to a wide variety of services, including federal and state tuition assistance.

The center also employs student veterans in work study positions and makes regular phone calls to veterans to see how they are doing. RIC says the calls are a way of checking in on student veterans, who may not visit the resource center but may still have questions.

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The Education Blog
10:00 am
Thu November 7, 2013

RI Sees Little Improvement on National Testing

The National Assessment of Educational Progress found Rhode Island eighth graders had improved slightly in math and reading.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Island eighth graders inched upwards on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in 2013. The standardized test of English and Mathematics, often called "the Nation's Report Card," is administered to groups of 4th and 8th graders around the country.

Rhode Island, like the country on average, has seen scores improve since the early 1990's. Overall, the state's students scored at or slightly above than the national average in 2013.

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The Education Blog
7:57 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Brown Considers Disciplinary Action for Student Protesters

Brown University President Christina Paxson has created a task force after protesters forced New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to halt a lecture.

During his talk on October 29th, protesters repeatedly heckled Kelly, forcing university officials to clear the lecture hall and cancel Kelly's talk. In a letter to the Brown community, Paxon says she is concerned that the protest disrupted the free exchange of ideas at the university. 

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The Education Blog
8:55 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Controversial Charter School Wins $2 Million Grant

Blackstone Valley Prep, a mayoral academy based in Cumberland, will receive $2.2 million from the Charter School Growth fund to help pay for a planned expansion. Blackstone Valley Prep currently runs two elementary schools and a middle school, serving students from Cumberland, Central Falls, Pawtucket and Lincoln.

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