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.


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.

Brown University

Brown University’s institute for international affairs and public policy has received a gift of $50 million dollars. With the new gift, the Watson Institute plans to increase its number of faculty by 30 professors, and construct a new building.

Approximately half of the gift will go towards the new building. Early plans call for 20,000 square foot facility. Final design and site selection have yet to be completed.

The gift comes as the university embarks on a funding campaign to raise $3 billion dollars, the largest in its history.

The group tasked with reevaluating the way the state spends money on K-12 education meets for the first time Tuesday. The state’s current plan for education spending is now five years old.

The Funding Formula Working Group will examine what changes might be made to the system, which comprises the second largest slice of the state’s budget.

Among the issues the group will tackle are the funding of charter schools, special-needs education, and programs for English language learners.


Brown University breaks ground Thursday on a new engineering building on their Providence campus. The three-story, 80,000 square foot building will give the department its own home for the first time. Currently, engineering shares space with the physics department.

Brown President Christina Paxson said the new facility will allow the school’s research to expand in areas like nano-engineering.

“So this is looking at very, very small particles that have interesting applications from health to material science, to environmental science,” said Paxson.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Island’s Council for Elementary and Secondary Education approved funding for school building projects in more than a dozen school districts. Most of the money comes from a multi-million school building authority proposed by Governor Gina Raimondo and passed by state lawmakers.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Island’s Council on Higher Education wants to freeze tuition at state colleges and universities for the upcoming academic year. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison sat down with State Higher Education Commissioner Jim Purcell to ask about the cost of a college degree.


Rhode Island's council for higher education has voted against tuition increases at the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College and the Community College of Rhode Island. 

In a letter, Governor Gina Raimondo had urged the council to keep tuition at current levels to make college more accessible to students.

"We must make it a priority to ensure that students who work hard, and want to pursue higher education, aren't prevented from doing so by high costs," Raimondo wrote.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

A committee searching for the next president of Rhode Island’s community college meets Wednesday, as the group is narrows the field of candidates.


University of Rhode Island President David Dooley is defending the football team after two of its players were charged with assault. The students allegedly got into a fight with a group of fraternity brothers, who were treated for injuries like broken noses. 

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A group of University of Rhode Island professors are urging the administration to equip campus police with body cameras.

The URI chapter of the American Association of University Professors, says the school should join the national trend. They say about a third of police officers in the U.S. have body cameras. The group also points to the relative affordability of the cameras, which usually run fewer than $500 dollars each.

URI voted to arm campus police last year, the force was armed this past Spring.