U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Photo by Ralph Alswang.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says he’s happy with the way Rhode Island is using its $75 million Race to the Top Grant. The state has been working on several major initiatives including annual teacher evaluations and curriculum reviews.
Duncan says his staff will sit down with state education officials next week to review their progress.
Economics has surpassed the biological sciences as the most popular field at Brown University. Roughly 220 members of the undergraduate class of 2012 will receive economics degrees during commencement exercises this weekend.
Biological sciences are the second most popular degree with 200 concentrators, while international relations comes in a distant third.
More children are living with grandparents and other relatives, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. In Rhode Island, an estimated 6,000 children are in that situation. Rhode Island Kids Count Executive Director Elizabeth Burke Bryant says it’s not always easy for grandparents or aunts and uncles to become primary caretakers.
“It’s a hard job, it’s something that really strains resources in their own family structure,” Burke Bryant explains. “And yet they are stepping up in order to provide care during these periods of difficulty.”
The Rhode Island School of Design has a new leader for its governing board. The art school has elected Michael Spalter, a businessman with a vast personal collection of digital ar, to chair its board of trustees.
Spalter replaces outgoing RISD Board Chair Merrill Sherman, who will stay on as a member of the board for three years. Sherman led the search for the school’s current president, John Maeda, who has proved unpopular with many faculty.
Spalter is married to the artist Anne Spalter, who has a studio in Pawtucket. She’s a graduate of both RISD and Brown University.
State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist holds a public meeting tonight in Central Falls. She’ll take questions from the community while seated alongside a panel of local school leaders.
Numerous concerns have emerged about the tiny school district in the wake of the Central Falls bankruptcy. The school department has agreed to merge some services with the city including finance, human resources and sports.
Thousands of college and university students received degrees across the state this weekend, but across the state, nearly half of Rhode Island residents do not have a bachelor’s degree. Business analysts often cite this statistic as one of the factors behind Rhode Island’s slow economic recovery.
To find out what’s behind the number, I met four Rhode Islanders who started college but never finished their degrees. They explained what got in the way of college, and what their lives have been like since leaving school.
Here’s the Rhode Island Department of Education’s newly minted tool for comparing school performance.
The website graphs both proficiency rates on annual state tests of English and Mathematics and individual score changes from one year to the next. Education officials call it “the Rhode Island Growth Model Visualization Tool.”
Starting next year, the state will start keeping track of growth data for individual teachers and classrooms.