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
8:45 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Brown Mum on Prof Who Violated Social Host Law

Brown University is refusing to say whether it will pursue disciplinary action against a professor who pleaded no contest to charges he allowed minors to drink alcohol at his Barrington home. The university says personnel matters are generally kept private.

Doctor Bruce Becker had to pay a $500 fine after he changed his plea from not guilty to no contest. Police found teenagers having a party at his home on the night of July 30th. Becker was there at the time, and according to police reports, he told the teenagers to run when officers arrived at the scene.

Higher Education
8:54 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Rams Look to End Losing Streak

Meade Stadium, the Rams' home field at URI's Kingston campus.
Credit URI

The University of Rhode Island kicks off football season Thursday night with an away-game against Fordham University. The game marks the start of the 115th season for the Rhode Island Rams, founded in 1895.

But the team has not been faring well recently. The Rams have not won a game since 2011 and start this season hoping to snap a 13-game losing streak.

Critics question whether the state’s flagship university should spend the money on a football program at all. URI President David Dooley has said he supports believes it is important to keep the program alive.

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Education
8:38 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Starting Junior High as a Transgender Student

Hannah Rini and her mother Michelle of Pawtucket prepare for the first day of middle school. Hannah began living as a girl last year.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

It’s back to school season in Rhode Island. There’s an ever so subtle hint of fall in the air and schools around the state are opening their doors again for students after the long summer break.

With the first day of school comes that familiar mix of nerves and excitement. Will my friends be the same?  What new people will I meet? Will I like my teachers? And perhaps no start of school is quite as nerve-wracking as the first day of junior high.

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Education
9:17 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Closing the Achievement Gap Between Hispanic Students and Their Peers

Ana Cano-Morales, the director of the Latino Policy Institute, says the state education system needs to capitalize on the assets of Hispanic students; quickly becoming the majority population in urban districts.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

Students across Rhode Island are returning to school this week, but a new report suggests that some of them are not well served. The Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University finds Latino students in the state’s urban schools are as much as three grades behind their white peers. The institute is releasing its findings today, and Director Ana Cano-Morales is here to talk more about them.

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The Education Blog
8:52 am
Tue August 27, 2013

New Study Highlights Latino Achievement Gap

High School students in a summer math class at the Community College of Rhode Island's Providence Campus.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison

As thousands of students return to school this week, the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University is raising concerns about how Rhode Island serves Latino students.

The institute has put out a new study that finds the state’s Latino students are two to three grades behind their white peers in Mathematics. The report also says Rhode Island is in the bottom 10 states around the country when it comes to the overall gap between Latino and white student performance. 

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The Education Blog
9:24 am
Mon August 26, 2013

At Start of New School Year, A Reprieve for Teachers

Rhode Island teachers can breathe a sigh of relief as they go about the usual business of preparing for a new school year. State officials have announced a delay in the use of student test scores in the teachers’ annual performance ratings.

State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist says public school teachers need more time to understand how scores from the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) will factor into the ratings. A bad performance review could result in termination or loss of certification for a teacher receiving a poor evaluation for several years in a row.

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The Education Blog
8:54 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Board Releases Agenda for Contested Retreat

A Harvard researcher, a former Massachusetts education official and a testing company founder are among the experts slated to address high-stakes testing at the Rhode Island Board of Education this weekend. The board is holding a two-day retreat as it faces calls to reconsider a controversial policy linking test scores to a high school diploma.  

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The Education Blog
9:09 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Contested Charter School to Open in Providence

Achievement First, a big box charter operator from Connecticut, opens its first school in Rhode Island this month. Plans for Achievement First in Rhode Island originally called for a network of public charter schools serving students in Kindergarten through the end of high school, but the proposal almost immediately ran into opposition from parents and teachers.

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The Education Blog
9:04 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Scores of Openings Remain in State Pre-K

The Rhode Island Department of Education is looking for more applicants for a lottery to fill state-funded pre-kindergarten programs. RIDE has extended the deadline for the lottery until August 22nd, as it looks to fill 234 seats in seven local cities.

State lawmakers increased funding this year for pre-kindergarten programs, which education advocates see as an important step toward improving public schools. The theory is that if more students are ready when they arrive in elementary school, then fewer students will fall behind at an early age.

The Education Blog
8:48 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Education Board Schedules Special Meeting

The Rhode Island Board of Education will address two recent controversies in a special meeting scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

The board is planning to vote on Governor Lincoln Chafee’s pick for a new Interim Higher Education Commissioner. The candidate, Department of Education Chief of Staff Clark Greene, was named only after Education Board Chair Eva-Marie Mancuso stepped aside as a candidate herself, because of ethics questions.

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