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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Politics
10:35 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Analysis: What Chafee's Switch to Become a Democrat Means

Gov. Chafee has been a Republican and an Independent, now he plans to join the Democratic party.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay sat down with host Elisabeth Harrison to discuss Governor Lincoln Chafee's decision to join the Democratic party.

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The Education Blog
9:44 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Students to Gist: We’re Sorry

Members of the student advocacy group Providence Student Union have issued an apology to Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist for making comments about her reputation. The students said they regretted the tone of a press release that said they planned to mourn the “expected ‘death’ of Commissioner Gist’s reputation.”

The comments came after Gist refused the group’s invitation of a public debate about the state’s use of standardized test scores. The Providence Student Union called it a mistake to make the issue personal.

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The Education Blog
8:39 am
Wed May 29, 2013

RISD to Update Former Dye Plant

An architectural rendering of the plan for RISD's illustration building at 55 Canal Street.
Credit RISD

The Rhode Island School of Design breaks ground Thursday on a major renovation of its Illustration Studies Building. The project is expected to take three years to complete at a cost of more than $12 million.

RISD plans to add 5,600 square feet to the former chemical and dye plant in downtown Providence and make it fully handicapped accessible. The project also calls for a complete renovation of the illustration studios and classrooms housed in the building.

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The Education Blog
8:55 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Gist Declines Debate with Students

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist has turned down a request from students for a public debate over high stakes testing. The invitation came from the Providence Student Union, a student advocacy group operating in Providence Public Schools.

The group plans to hold a protest vigil at the Department of Education with candles, dirges and other symbols of mourning. Organizers say the demonstration is meant as a “tongue in cheek display of mourning for the expected ‘death’ of Education Commissioner Gist’s reputation.”

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Higher Education
10:03 am
Mon May 27, 2013

Brown Holds 245th Commencement

A bacteriologist, a Hollywood star and a celebrated writer were among the six people receiving honorary degrees at Brown University commencement this weekend. The ceremony, during which more than 2,400 students received degrees, was the first presided over by Brown’s new president Christina Paxson.

The graduating class weathered some rain and wind during this year's festivities, forcing the university to cancel the traditional Baccalaureate procession on Saturday. Sunday's commencement exercises went forward as scheduled.

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Higher Education
10:10 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Board Votes to Allow Armed Campus Police

Rhode Island has lifted a ban on armed police forces at state colleges, after a Board of Education vote last night. The board’s new policy allows each state institution to make the decision about whether campus police officers will carry guns.

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The Education Blog
9:26 am
Fri May 24, 2013

No Decision on Gist Contract

The State Board of Education discussed a contract extension for Education Commissioner Deborah Gist last night but took no action. The conversation took place behind closed doors, which is standard practice for personnel matters.

At least 200 people attended the public portion of the board meeting, some to testify in opposition to Gist and others to speak on a controversial measure to arm state college police. The board passed the measure on campus police, allowing each state university to make its own decision about arming campus police forces.

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RIPR News
9:26 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Rhode Island Lifts Ban on Armed Campus Police

Credit Michael Donnermeyer / Wiki Commons

State colleges and universities in Rhode Island can now arm campus police after a vote Thursday night at the State Board of Education.  Critics said more guns on campus will not make students safer, but supporters, including University of Rhode Island President David Dooley, said campus police should carry guns to do their jobs more effectively.

Dooley said he believes arming police is logical decision for URI.

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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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The Education Blog
9:29 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Board of Ed Tackles Guns, Gist and Science

There’s a meaty agenda on tap this week at the State Board of Education. The group is scheduled to vote Thursday on a controversial proposal to allow police to carry guns on state college campuses. The board is also scheduled to vote on adopting new science standards and consider a contract extension for Education Commissioner Deborah Gist.

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