News

This I Believe Rhode Island: Ocean

Sep 27, 2016

It's no secret that water is central to life in the Ocean State.  Narragansett, Greenwich, and Mt. Hope Bays; myriad rivers and lakes; and Block Island Sound, our gateway to the Atlantic Ocean.  Muscular ship building, the gentle mainland-to-the-island ferries, riverboat cruises on the Blackstone.  For many of us, our connection to water defines who we are as Rhode Islanders in ways that are not possible in land-locked states.  The famed New England poet E.E.

RIPR file photo

Fewer than one in three Rhode Island students is proficient in science, according to results from the most recent round of state science testing. Scores for 8th graders have shown no gains since the state began administering the test in 2008.

Some 30,000 students in grades 4, 8 and 11 took the test, known as the NECAP Science Test, in May. Roughly 29 percent scored proficient or better, a slight decrease from last year.

Average scores were better for elementary students than for middle or high school students, but no districts reported significant gains this year.

Listenwise helps teachers use stories from their local public radio station with students in their classrooms. Working with RIPR we identify relevant local news stories, design and develop classroom resources around them and make them available for free on the Education Blog. If you want to find more public radio stories and lessons for your middle and high school ELA, social studies, and science classrooms you can sign up for a free account! 

Listenwise helps teachers use stories from their local public radio station with students in their classrooms. Working with RIPR we identify relevant local news stories, design and develop classroom resources around them and make them available for free on the Education Blog. If you want to find more public radio stories and lessons for your middle and high school ELA, social studies, and science classrooms you can sign up for a free account!

Elisabeth Harrison

Participation in SAT testing rose 1 percent for the class of 2016, with a record 6,303 students taking the test required for admission at many colleges. But average scores dropped by two points in reading and three points in Math, according to state education officials.

While the drop in scores was consistent with a nationwide trend, Rhode Island scores were below the national average. Local students scored 16 points below average in Math and nine points below average in reading. Writing scores were seven points lower than the national average.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

The National Rifle Association's Political Victory Fund is using its general election endorsements to mostly support General Assembly incumbents, although the group also backs a challenger to one House incumbent, and favors Republican candidates in the races for three of six open House seats.

In Cranston, the NRA's Political Victory Fund supported House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello (with an A+ rating) over GOP challenger Steven Frias (who has a B rating.)

U.S. Coast Guard / Creative Commons License

States that have legalized marijuana are contending with a new criminal tactic - smugglers who grow and process it for export to states where it remains illegal - and worth a lot more.

Colorado is the epicenter of the phenomenon, and it’s popping up in Oregon and Washington too. As Maine, Massachusetts and Canada consider legalizing recreational marijuana, the question arises - will the Northeast see a wave of new-age bootleggers?

John Bender / RIPR

The Providence Police hope to outfit all officers on patrol with body cameras within the next several months. But a new federal grant will only cover half of the cost.

The Providence Police department has received $375,000 in matching grants from the U.S. Department of Justice. But city must come up with an equal amount of money to outfit all 250 of its patrol officers with body cameras.

In addition to the cost of the cameras, the department must also pay for digital storage of the video.

bradlypjohnson / Creative Commons License

“Wicked” that ultimate prequel to “The Wizard of Oz” is back at the Providence Performing Arts Center. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Bill Gale says it’s a fine Broadway quality production its many fans are going to love.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Here’s what’s happening in health care in Rhode Island.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

A Kansas City design firm, Pendulum Studio, has been selected to study the future of McCoy Stadium and the area around the ballpark. The company is supposed to releases its findings by the end of next January.

The study by Pendulum Studio is meant to develop a plan and cost estimates for enhancing McCoy Stadium and the surrounding area. Many fans love the 74-year-old ballpark, but attendance for the Triple A PawSox has declined over recent seasons.

Nathan Carman – a 22-year old man lost at sea for eight days – is in stable condition according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Carman and his mother Linda departed by boat from Point Judith in Narragansett, last Saturday.

Carman was found aboard a life raft 100 nautical miles south of Martha’s Vineyard by a passing freighter, says Coast Guard Petty Officer Third Class Nicole Groll.

“Apparently he had food and water on his life raft, and that played a key factor in his being able to survive for so long,” said Groll.

Lonnie Tague / United States Department of Justice

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez made a stop in New Haven, Connecticut to make what he called, a house-call. He was checking in on an ex-offender reentry program supported in part by the federal government. It helps those formerly incarcerated prepare for jobs once they’re released back into the community.

Secretary Perez heard from about a half dozen inmates at the New Haven Correctional Center. They’re part of an on-site program with a goal to prepare people like Liam Daly, from Groton, CT to get out with a plan and hopefully a job at the end of his sentence.

Ready to Learn Providence, an education nonprofit, is working to regain funding from the U.S. Department of Education. The nonprofit has already laid off five employees and expects another round of layoffs next week.

Federal education officials put a hold on $1.5 million of the nonprofit's funding following allegations of embezzlement at Ready To Learn's parent organization, The Providence Plan.

Ready to Learn runs early childhood education programs in the Providence Public School system. 

Chuck Hinman

Rhode Island-based nonprofit, The Providence Plan, is handling fallout from the discovery of embezzlement by its Finance Director Charles Denno. 

Denno, who allegedly had a gambling problem, is under investigation for the disappearance of at least $600,000 over a four-year period. 

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