Elisabeth Harrison

Morning Edition Host, Education Reporter

Elisabeth Harrison's journalism background includes everything from behind-the-scenes work with the CBS Evening News to freelance documentary production.

She joined the WRNI team in 2007 as a Morning Edition producer and freelance journalist. In 2009, she became a full-time reporter, and became the Morning Edition host in 2011.

Harrison's education is as wide ranging as her work at Rhode Island Public Radio. She has a B.A. in English and French from Wellesley College, and a joint M.A. in Journalism and French Studies from NYU.

A native of Los Angeles, Harrison loves good food and good movies.

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The Education Blog
8:24 am
Wed July 24, 2013

ACLU to Sue over High-Stakes Testing

The Rhode Island Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union plans to announce details of a lawsuit Wednesday over the state’s high school graduation policy. The suit stems from a new requirement that students show partial proficiency on standardized state testing to qualify for a diploma.

The ACLU and other groups have asked state officials to reconsider the policy, arguing that it overwhelmingly impacts minority and low income students.  Statewide, roughly 4,000 students failed to meet the testing bar during their junior year.

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The Education Blog
9:14 am
Tue July 23, 2013

Community Prep Looks to Open Charter School

A Providence private school is planning to close its elementary school and launch a charter school. Organizers from Community Prep say their goal is to find out whether they can extend a successful reputation to a randomly selected group of students.

Community Prep is known for a strong academic program and diverse student body, with many students receiving substantial scholarships. The school is now seeking approval from state officials to close its 3rd, 4th and 5th grades and replace them with a Kindergarten-5th grade charter school.

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The Education Blog
9:34 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Gov. Signs Shorter School Year Into Law

Governor Lincoln Chafee has signed a law allowing fewer school days in Rhode Island's public schools. The law requires any reduction in school days to be offset with an increase in class time. Still, supporters say, the move will provide more flexibility for school officials looking to reign in cost.

"We have to do anything we can to help schools stay on budget while still giving students the education they deserve,” said the bill's sponsor, Sen. Roger Picard, a Democrat representing Woonsocket and Cumberland in a written statement.

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Politics
10:08 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Gov. Chafee Vetoes "Choose Life" License Plates

Rhode Island will not be joining 29 other states that offer anti-abortion license plates.  Gov. Lincoln Chafee vetoed legislation Tuesday that would have created the plates, calling it an inappropriate use of state funding.

Proceeds from the $40 license plates would have gone to a Christian pregnancy clinic called CareNet, where women are advised against getting abortions.  Supporters point out that Massachusetts and Connecticut offer similar plates.

State lawmakers approved the bill, but a three fifths majority is needed to override the governor's veto.

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The Education Blog
9:26 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Charter School Prepares to Grow to Seven Campuses

Blackstone Valley Prep has received the go-ahead from state officials to continue operating for another five years and more than double the number of schools it runs around the state.

Blackstone Valley Prep, a charter school, currently operates two elementary schools in Cumberland and a middle school in Lincoln. Plans call for a high school to open this fall at a location still to be determined.

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The Education Blog
9:07 am
Tue July 16, 2013

New Appointments at RISD, URI

The Rhode Island School of Design in Providence has named Carol Strohecker as the new Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. Strohecker comes from a position as Director of the University of North Carolina’s multi-campus Center for Design Innovation, according to RISD officials.

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The Education Blog
7:18 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Board Delays Vote on Higher Education Commissioner

The State Board of Education put off a vote Monday night on Governor Lincoln Chafee’s recommendation of attorney Eva-Marie Mancuso for State Commissioner of Higher Education. The delay followed warnings from Common Cause Rhode Island that the appointment would constitute an ethics violation.

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The Education Blog
12:41 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Ethics Concerns Raised over Higher Ed Pick

Common Cause has asked Governor Lincoln Chafee to withdraw his recommendation of attorney Eva-Marie Mancuso for interim state commissioner of higher education.

Mancuso is currently chair of the State Board of Education, and Common Cause says that should bar her from consideration. The good-government group cites ethics rules that prohibit state board members from taking paid positions within the agencies they oversee.

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The Education Blog
10:31 am
Mon July 15, 2013

What Would Mancuso Move Mean for NECAP?

A vote Monday at the State Board of Education may create a leadership void at a key moment for opponents of a new test-based high school graduation requirement.

Those opponents have lined up some 20 people from the state’s higher education community to testify at Monday’s meeting, but they may be overshadowed by a vote to turn State Education Board Chair Eva-Marie Mancuso into the state’s Interim Commissioner of Higher Education. Governor Lincoln Chafee announced Mancuso as his choice for the post on Friday.

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Education
5:09 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Gov. Chafee taps Mancuso for Interim Commissioner of Higher Education

Gov. Chafee taps Board of Education chair Eva-Marie Mancuso for interim commissioner of higher education.
Credit file / RIPR

Gov. Lincoln Chafee is recommending that the chair of the state Board of Education give up that position to become the state Commissioner of Higher Education. The appointment would be full time, but only temporary while the board conducts a search for a permanent commissioner.

The governor said he chose board chair Eva-Marie Mancuso because he believes higher education needs full time leadership at this time.

Mancuso says she is thrilled at the chance to lead the state office of higher education, a post with a $200,000 salary.

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