Education

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

St. George’s School is under intense scrutiny after a group of former students accused the school covering up years of sexual abuse, much of it dating to the 1970s and 80s. Their accounts raise questions about the culture of the elite, Episcopal boarding school, which remains largely unknown to outsiders.

Elisabeth Harrison

Rhode Island Public Radio has confirmed the name of another teacher at St. George’s School who has been accused of sexual abuse.

The teacher is referenced as "Employee Perpetrator #5" in the school’s recent investigation. Rhode Island Public Radio believes the teacher in question is Timothy Tefft, who worked at St. George's for just a few months in 1971.

Tefft was let go from St. George's for providing alcohol to students, according to the school's report. The school learned of the allegation of sexual abuse during its recent investigation and reported it to state police.

The Middletown boarding school accused of covering up allegations of sexual abuse provided home loans for the current Head of School Eric Peterson, even though he lives on the school’s campus. Later, the board forgave the loans, which were used to purchase a house on Cape Cod.


Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

A former Massachusetts Attorney General has been hired to spearhead a new investigation into allegations of sexual abuse at St. George’s prep school in Middletown, Rhode Island. Scott Harshbarger of Boston will take up the inquiry into the school.

A group of alumni has accused former teachers and faculty at the school of sexual misconduct in the 1970s and 80s. 

Lara/Creative Common License

Two more private schools have reached out to alumni and parents in connection with allegations of sexual abuse at St. George’s School. The schools notified current and former families that a former employee, the Rev. Dr. Howard White, has been accused of sexual misconduct at St. George’s.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

As the St. George's sexual abuse allegations continue to unfold, an Episcopal reverend named in the investigation has been relieved of some duties in the small Pennsylvania town where he now works.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The President of the Providence School Board, Keith Oliveira is stepping down. He’s served as the head of the group for the last four years.

Oliveira says interference by Mayor Jorge Elorza’s administration has caused him to leave. He says the mayor intervened on matters including hiring decisions, budget creation and contract agreements.

“I believe that school boards should have independent authority to make its own decisions on that affect the school district, without interference from the mayor’s office,” said Oliveira.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse took an active role in the overhaul of the “No Child Left Behind Act”. That’s the federal education law that ushered in a new emphasis on standardized testing in public schools. The new law, known as the “Every Student Succeeds Act” is supposed to reduce the focus on testing. It got a signature last week from President Barack Obama. Senator Whitehouse joins Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison now to discuss the new law.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Language immersion programs known as “dual language” programs are a growing trend in public elementary schools. They allow students to become bilingual in English and another language, like Spanish. 

Providence school officials have just announced a plan to offer new dual language programs in Spanish and possibly Mandarin at Carl Lauro Elementary School.

The programs would begin with two Kindergarten classrooms in each language, then add a grade every year until fifth grade.

RIPR FILE

In Rhode Island, Brown University has announced that it will use one-hundred million dollars to diversify its campus, to try to make the school more inclusive for students of color. This comes after weeks of protests over racial insensitivity on campuses across the country.

Brown University President Christina Paxson is out with a plan to address racial and class inequity on campus. 

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR FILE

Rhode Island is joining a national effort to increase reading proficiency in elementary school. New state and national test scores show major achievement gaps.

According to the new PARCC standardized test, and another known as the Nation’s Report card, low-income fourth graders are about half as likely to be reading at grade level as their peers.

The new initiative, spearheaded by the education advocacy non-profit RI Kids Count and the United Way of Rhode Island, hopes to close that gap, by the third grade.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

A group of parents wants Rhode Island to require recess as part of the school day. The parents are organizing to make their case at a public hearing scheduled for Monday.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Test scores are due out this week for Rhode Island public school students who took the PARCC, a new standardized test linked to the Common Core standards for math and English. Rhode Island is part of a group of states that piloted the test last year.

Earlier this year millions of students took PARCC for real in about a dozen states. Roughly 75,000 students in Rhode Island took the test from 3rd grade to high school. Their scores will be the first glimpse at how the new test is working, and how Rhode Island compares to other states.

RIPR FILE

Rallies and protests have erupted on college campuses across the country following racially charged incidents at the University of Missouri.   

Students throughout Rhode Island have responded as well, but At the University of Rhode Island, some students say the racial climate is less heated.

Still, senior Myles Holmes said there is a racial divide.

Katherine Doherty / RIPR

A large group of Brown University students and faculty rallied Thursday to show their solidarity with college students in Missouri. Students at the University of Missouri forced the resignation this week of the university president, amid allegations that a ignored racially charged atmosphere on campus.

At Brown University, students stepped forward to express their opinions on race, including Brown senior Justice Gaines.

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