The number of babies born with exposure to opioid drugs and alcohol nearly doubled in Rhode Island between 2006 and 2013.
That’s one of the more startling facts in the new Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook. Executive Director Elizabeth Burke-Bryant said unlike earlier drug problems, this one is not concentrated in urban areas.
“90 percent of babies born with drugs in their system, were born to white mothers and 32 percent lived in the four core cities, which means the majority of these cases are spread to the rest of Rhode Island,” said Bryant.
Rhode Island is looking for a new leader for K-12 public schools as controversy grows over standardized testing and charter schools. So what do students want from the next commissioner of education?
Rhode Island Public Radio education reporter Elisabeth Harrison asked that question of three Providence students: 16-year-old Kendall Hall, 16-year-old Diane Gonzales and 15-year-old Xilian Sansoucy. They are members of the student advocacy groups Young Voices and the Providence Student Union.
Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist is about to step down to become superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools. Before she leaves, she reflected on her tenure with Rhode Island Public Radio’s education reporter Elisabeth Harrison. Gist says she made the right move delaying test scores for teacher evaluations. But she was disappointed lawmakers voted to delay using test scores for a high school diploma.