Education

Education
4:14 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Twenty-eight RI Schools Receive a Low State Ranking

Education commissioner Deborah Gist says the rankings provide an opportunity for improvement in RI's schools.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist said parents in schools receiving a low rating should seek answers into how those schools are going to improve.

Twenty-eight schools received the lowest ratings, many of them were in Providence. The education department said the rating system is designed to identify warning signs and to help schools improve. Gist said while it takes years to turn a school around, parents should be concerned about a low-performing school.

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Education
1:20 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Stolen Civil War Sword on its Way Back to Brown University

A Civil War sword stolen from a Brown University collection in 1977 is on its way home.

Nearly 30 years after it disappeared from the university’s collection, a federal judge in Virginia has ruled that the Civil War sword must be returned to Brown.

The sword belonging to Col. Rush Hawking was reported stolen back in 1977.

The ruling tracks the sword’s journey over the decades through at least four private collections.

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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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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
4:01 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

RI ACLU: Higher Suspension Rate for Black & Hispanic Students

The Rhode Island ACLU announcing a study that found minority students were more likely to be suspended than white students.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

One day after releasing a report showing that African Americans in the state are disproportionately arrested for marijuana possession, the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is out with a report showing a racial disparity in school suspensions. 

The civil rights group stopped short of calling it racial profiling, but says the issue is something education leaders need to study and correct.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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