Last year, we introduced you to Pawtucket student Hannah Rini, who was about to start her first year of middle school as an openly transgender student. Before her first day at Goff Junior High she was filled with hope about the new friends she would make. She felt confident because of the way her elementary school friends accepted her when she came out:
“I don’t know how they knew, but they knew I was trans. Maybe the way I was acting? They just weren’t surprised one bit,” Rini said at the time.
Teachers in Providence have voted to reject a new contract that would have done away with the district's "no-layoffs" policy. The agreement to outlaw layoffs followed a major outcry when Providence Mayor Angel Taveras fired all of the district's teachers in 2011, citing a budget crisis. The teachers were later rehired and a contract deal was struck.
Providence Superintendent Susan Lusi responded to the union vote rejecting a new three-year contract with the following statement:
The Rhode Island Association of School Committees is warning school districts about a scam involving false invoices.
RIASC Executive Director Tim Duffy says districts may want to keep an eye on their accounts payable. The scammers tried to target North Smithfield with a fake invoice from a company calling itself Scholastic School Supply.
Duffy says districts in other states have reported receiving similar invoices. The amount billed is the same in each case: $647.50.
The University of Rhode Island has begun training campus police officers to carry guns after a controversial decision in April to arm the campus police force.
Public Safety Stephen Baker says the goal is to have all 27 campus officers carrying guns by the start of the Spring semester.
"State police have completed 17 of the background checks and they’ve been delivered to us. The next step in that process is to have those officers go through psychological examinations," Baker said. "Then we’ll begin the actual firearms training, and that’s planned for the month of October."
Rhode Island's Council for Elementary and Secondary Education delayed voting this week on whether districts can charge tuition for summer school. Council members said they wanted more time to look at the issue, after advocates raised concerns about the impact for low-income families.
Rhode Island's Council for Elementary and Secondary Education will take up renewals for a group of charter schools and requests for school construction funding later today. The Council will also consider a decision that could have implications for summer school programs.
With concern growing over the amount of time students spend on standardized testing, Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist has launched a review of state and local testing practices. Gist says she wants to address complaints from parents and teachers about over-testing.
“None of us wants to test students too much, and each of us can consider ways to streamline the assessment process,” Gist wrote in a letter to superintendents announcing the review, adding that the goal is to eliminate assessments that do not advance teaching and learning.
The head of the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says he welcomes any further delay in linking test scores to high school graduation.
ACLU of RI Director Steve Brown says waiting until 2020 could give schools more time to address systemic problems and intervene with struggling students. But Brown says he remains concerned that the State Department of Education is simply delaying a policy that would hold students accountable for the failures of their schools.
In the wake of a General Assembly decision to delay standardized testing for a high school diploma until 2017, Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist is now suggesting that the policy be pushed back even further to 2020. Rhode Island Public Radio Education Reporter Elisabeth Harrison asked Gist what made her change her position after arguing vigorously that Rhode Island should start linking test scores and diplomas this year.
After an investigation, a grand jury has decided against indicting two Brown football players accused of sexual assault.
"There will be no charges stemming from the incident," according to a statement from the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office.
The allegations were brought by a student at Providence College. She told police she started feeling groggy while hanging out with friends at a Providence bar. When she woke up, she said she found herself in a Brown dorm room, and there, she alleges, the football players sexually assaulted her.