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The Education Blog
8:27 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Attorney Denies Wrongdoing at Disability Employment Nonprofit


The attorney for the former head of an agency that allegedly had disabled people working for less than minimum wage maintains his client did nothing wrong.

John Cicilline says he has received paperwork from the U.S. Justice Department relating to John Capobianco, Sr. and his nonprofit company Training Through Placement, but he said yesterday he had not yet had time to review it.

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The Education Blog
8:53 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Chafee Joins Governors for Invite-Only Education Summit

Governor Lincoln Chafee is in Chicago Monday for a symposium on education. The event is hosted by James B. Hunt Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy, a group affiliated with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The institute says its goal is to strengthen public education by bringing politicians and policymakers together to discuss state-level education policy.

Education
8:45 am
Fri June 7, 2013

SVF Foundation Works to Preserve Endangered Livestock Breeds in Newport

SVF works to preserve 30-40 types of heritage livestock considered in endangered.
Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

On Saturday Rhode Islanders have a rare opportunity to visit the Swiss Village Foundation in Newport. It’s an organization working to preserve heritage livestock breeds in collaboration with Tufts University. The site opens its doors to the general public just once a year because of concerns about microbes that could hurt the animals living there.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Education Reporter Elisabeth Harrison arranged special tour to take you inside the foundation’s bucolic campus.

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Education
8:08 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Two Year Contract Renewal for Gist

RI Board of Education Chair Eva Marie Mancuso and Commissioner Debora Gist listen to public testimony before the vote on her contract.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

After hours of deliberation … and discussion with Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist … the state's education board approved a new 2-year contract for Gist. The vote was 7 -3 with one abstention. Rhode Island Public Radio's Catherine Welch was there and has this report.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Bonus Q+A: Walsh Offers a Labor Perspective on the Democratic Gubernatorial Field for 2014

Robert Walsh, executive director of the National Education Association Rhode Island, joins Bonus Q+A for a discussion of pensions, President Obama, public education, and the Democratic field in next year's race for governor.

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Education
9:03 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Gist on the Bumpy Road to NECAP: This Will Get Better

State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist's contract is up on Friday.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The Rhode Island Board of Education is expected to vote tonight on a contract extension for State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist. She’s been weathering heavy criticism over the last few months from some parents, students and teachers, who complain that she ignores their concerns about all of the changes happening in Rhode Island public schools. One of the most controversial issues has been a new policy of standardized testing as a requirement for a high school diploma.

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Education
7:58 am
Tue June 4, 2013

EDU Commissioner Gist: Contract Less Than Two Years Difficult to Accept

Education commissioner Deborah Gist will likely find out if her contract has been renewed this week.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist is likely to learn Thursday whether her contract is being renewed and for how long.

Deborah Gist has been a target of criticism lately from some teachers and students who say they don’t like her leadership style and they disagree with her focus on test scores. Now that her contract is expiring, there’s speculation the State Board of Education will offer a one-year extension, instead of a three-year contract. Gist says that would be difficult to accept.

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The Education Blog
8:38 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Providence Changes School Start Times

Some Providence high schools will begin Wednesday classes later than usual under a new plan aimed at saving the city up to $2.5 million. The change to a 9:25 a.m. start may be welcome for students and their teachers, who often complain teenagers are zombies early in the morning.

Schools adopting the later Wednesday mornings include Hope High School, Classical High School and Central High School. On other days those schools will start at 8 a.m. and finish up by 2:45 p.m. like most other high schools in the district.

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The Education Blog
9:44 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Students to Gist: We’re Sorry

Members of the student advocacy group Providence Student Union have issued an apology to Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist for making comments about her reputation. The students said they regretted the tone of a press release that said they planned to mourn the “expected ‘death’ of Commissioner Gist’s reputation.”

The comments came after Gist refused the group’s invitation of a public debate about the state’s use of standardized test scores. The Providence Student Union called it a mistake to make the issue personal.

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The Education Blog
8:55 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Gist Declines Debate with Students

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist has turned down a request from students for a public debate over high stakes testing. The invitation came from the Providence Student Union, a student advocacy group operating in Providence Public Schools.

The group plans to hold a protest vigil at the Department of Education with candles, dirges and other symbols of mourning. Organizers say the demonstration is meant as a “tongue in cheek display of mourning for the expected ‘death’ of Education Commissioner Gist’s reputation.”

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