Education

Education
3:46 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

U.S. Education Secretary Defends RI Commissioner Gist

Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Rhode Islanders should look at progress made in its schools while weighing the fate of state education commissioner Deborah Gist. Duncan made the comment on a conference call with Rhode Island reporters.

In a call of support for Gist, Duncan touted rising test scores and graduation rates as signs that the state is making progress. Teachers and parents have been outspoken in their opposition to Gist. But Duncan defends her, calling her collaborative.

Read more
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.

Read more
Education
8:26 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Getting Cranston High School Students Ready for NECAP Testing

In Rhode Island's second largest school district, Cranston, nearly 400 students are studying to re-take the state math test.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

A controversial new state policy says high school students in Rhode Island need a score of 2 or better on standardized state testing to graduate. That’s only partially proficient, but thousands of students didn’t make the grade when they took the test last fall. School districts are now working to get those students up to speed so they can meet this new requirement. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Education Reporter Elisabeth Harrison sat down with a district official and a Math teacher in Cranston to find out how it’s going.

Read more
Education
9:04 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Meeting the Challenge of Standardized Testing

Students in an English Class at Attleboro High School.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison

As Rhode Island grapples with high school diplomas tied to test scores,  Massachusetts students have faced a similar requirement for a decade. Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison visited Attleboro High School to find out how high-stakes testing has changed what’s being taught.

Read more
Education
12:11 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Education Commissioner Gist Responds to Teacher Concerns

State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist is responding to teachers who say she has an overbearing management style and is disconnected from the rank and file.  At a meeting Monday night, more than 500 teachers demanded that Gist’s contract not be renewed when it expires next month.

Gist said she welcomes the feedback of teachers and hopes that in the years to come management and staff can avoid acrimony and focus on what’s best for students.

Read more
College Graduation
9:25 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Thousands of College Students Graduate Over the Weekend

Rhode Island is teeming with freshly minted college graduates this morning. Over the weekend, commencement ceremonies were held at all three public colleges, as well as Johnson &Wales, Roger Williams University, Bryant University, Salve Regina University and Providence College.

At Rhode Island College a flash mob formed at the end of the ceremony.  Graduates from the music, theater and dance departments led the crowd of 1,400 in a special rendition of “I’ve had the Time of My Life.”

Read more
Brown University
2:28 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Former Brown President Simmons Honored by French Government

Former Brown University president Ruth Simmons is being honored by the French government for her contributions to the advancement of French arts and culture.

Brown has been named Chevalier in the French National Order of the Legion of Honor.  The award is the highest decoration offered by the French government.

Simmons is not only fluent in French but has written about French-speaking authors and poets.

Read more
Education
1:23 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Sen. Jack Reed Proposes Changes to Student Loan Interest Rates

Congress has until July 1st before some federal student loan interest rates double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

Staring down a July 1st deadline, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are looking at ways to control the costs of federal student loans. Senator Jack Reed is behind a measure that would overhaul how student loan interest rates are calculated.

Reed and a handful of democrats in Congress are pushing legislation that offers adjustable rates and caps the maximum interest rates on federal loans. The bill also allows borrowers stuck with high interest rates to refinance.

Read more
Education
4:34 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Safety Concerns Push URI Graduation Indoors

The University of Rhode Island is moving its graduation indoors. The university said it’s for safety reasons. 

URI said the recent gun scare on campus and the bombings in Boston prompted it to move the graduation ceremony into the Ryan Center.  Graduating student Kelly Harris is unhappy with the move.  She said students are limited to bringing two guests and that will make it harder for her friends and family to see her walk across the stage.

“This is affecting the vast majority of graduating seniors,” said Harris.

Read more
Education
7:15 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Do Rhode Island State College Police Need Guns?

The University of Rhode Island is the only state university in the country not allowed to arm its campus police.
Credit RIPR File Photo

The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear testimony Wednesday on a bill that would allow Rhode Island State College Police to carry guns. 

The hearing comes after a scare at the University of Rhode Island about a gunman on campus, and Rhode Island is currently the only state in the country that does not allow armed campus police at public colleges and universities. The University of Rhode Island is also expected to release its preliminary review in the coming days examining how it responded to the report of a possible shooter.

Read more

Pages