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The Education Blog
11:54 am
Mon June 9, 2014

RIDE Releases 2014 School Rankings

31 percent of public schools in Rhode Island need to make improvements, according to the latest school classifications from the Rhode Island Department of Education.

A total of 32 schools, mostly in Providence, East Providence and Pawtucket fall in the department's lowest categories, which means they must craft or are in the midst of implementing restructuring plans with state oversight.

Another group of schools are labeled "warning" which means they must make improvements but without the same level of state involvement.

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Higher Education
10:54 am
Mon June 9, 2014

PC Renews Contract for President Brian Shanley

Providence College has offered a new five-year contract to President Brian Shanley, who has led the private Catholic college for the last decade.

Shanley, a member of the Dominican order, has presided over the construction of a new building to house PC's humanities program, a two-year requirement for all students, and the accreditation of a new business school. He is also credited with shepherding a reorganization of the Big East Athletic Conference.

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Higher Education
9:01 am
Thu June 5, 2014

$18.8 Million Awarded to URI Research Collaborative

A biomedical research program based at the University of Rhode Island has received $18.8 million in new grant funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Created in 2001, The Rhode Island IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (RI-INBRE), was intended to expand the state's biomedical research capacity. Since that time, it has received $42 million in federal grants, according to URI officials.

The new funding will shift the focus to research in areas of cancer, neuroscience and molecular toxicology. 

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The Education Blog
9:16 am
Wed June 4, 2014

In Providence, Teachers not just Students are Chronically Absent

Nearly a quarter of Providence’s public school teachers are chronically absent, according to a new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality.

Overall, teachers in Providence miss an average of nearly 13 days per school year, the 8th highest average in the study, higher than Baltimore, New York and Newark.

A total of 40 large school districts submitted data for the study, which looked at teacher attendance in major metropolitan areas.

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The Education Blog
12:42 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

In Defense of Cursive

A fascinating article in The New York Times this week suggests that cursive may have benefits beyond attractive penmanship.

As the author, Maria Konnikova, points out, cursive is largely left out of the Common Core standards, but there may be evidence that handwriting plays an important role in teaching children how to read and think.

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The Education Blog
11:56 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Gist Responds to Providence Graduation Waivers

State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist has declined to comment, at least in person, on Providence's waiver of the testing portion of the state's diploma system for roughly 200 seniors. She did provide the following written statement to RIPR, via email.

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The Education Blog
9:19 am
Wed May 28, 2014

House Approves Rollback of Teacher Evaluations

In a 68-3 vote, the Rhode Island House has approved a bill easing teacher evaluations for the vast majority of public school teachers.

The bill calls for teachers who earn effective or highly effective ratings to be evaluated just once every three to four years, instead of the current policy of annual reviews.

If the bill becomes law, new teachers and teachers with low evaluation ratings would still be evaluated on an annual basis.

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The Education Blog
9:03 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Providence Introduces New Waivers from Testing Requirement

Providence is granting a reprieve to some 200 high school seniors, who risk not graduating under a new state policy linking test scores to a high school diploma.

The rule, in effect for the first time this year, calls for students to score partially proficient or better on the NECAP test or improve significantly on a retake. Students can also use alternative tests or acceptance at a competitive college to earn their diploma.

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Higher Education
9:09 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Brown Corporation Discusses Controversy over Sexual Assault

Officials at Brown University say they expect a full report on the school’s sexual assault policy to be complete by the end of the fall semester. The Brown Corporation discussed the issue at its quarterly meeting on Friday, just before Brown’s commencement ceremonies got underway.

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The Education Blog
8:38 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Pawtucket Places Teacher on Leave after Porn Arrest

Pawtucket school officials are assuring parents their children are safe after a high school teacher was arrested on child pornography charges.

State Police say they arrested George Grimes of Warwick for allegedly putting pornographic photos in a shared online storage account. Grimes is an English Teacher at Shea High School.

Pawtucket school officials say Grimes has been placed on administrative leave until the charges are resolved, and they can determine whether internal disciplinary action is necessary.

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