Elisabeth Harrison

Interim News Director & 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.  In 2015 she became interim News Director upon the departure of Catherine Welch.

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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Political Roundtable
8:44 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Political Roundtable: Jim Vincent On Racial Disparities, The PawSox + More

President of the NAACP Providence branch Jim Vincent joins the Political Roundtable this week.  Vincent weighs in on the recent sale of the Pawtucket Red Sox, and the team's possible move to Providence. He also discusses the resignation of Rhode Island Health Department head Michael Fine and the American Civil Liberties Union report on racial disparities in Rhode Island's schools and prison system.

Hear more of our conversation with Jim Vincent in our Bonus Q&A.

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Health Care
5:21 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Raimondo: Abuses At Slater Hospital Are "Unacceptable"

Elisabeth Harrison RIPR

State police and state and federal health officials are investigating the apparent abuse of three patients with profound disabilities at the state-run Eleanor Slater Hospital. Gov. Gina Raimondo said the alleged abuses are upsetting.

Raimondo said Maria Montanaro, the new director she appointed to state department of behavioral healthcare, is conducting a robust investigation.

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The Education Blog
9:53 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Raimondo Kicks Off Search For Education Commissioner

Credit Catherine Welch

Governor Gina Raimondo began a series of what her office is calling "listening sessions" as part of the search for a new state commissioner of education.

Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison reports the governor convened a group of teachers, principals, charter school leaders and district leaders for an invitiation-only event.

About 20 people gathered around tables in a Providence elementary school classroom to give feedback on the search for a new education commissioner.

The event was by invitation only, with guests hand-picked by the governor’s office.

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RI News
8:59 am
Wed February 25, 2015

New PawSox Stadium Might Not Be The Boon RI Is Hoping For, Says Economist

McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket likely won't remain the home of the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Credit RIPR FILE

An economist who has studied the impact of sports stadiums says Rhode Island should be wary of committing taxpayer dollars to pay for construction on a new facility for the PawSox. 

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The Education Blog
5:07 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Union Approves Resolutions Against Standardized Testing

Credit taylor.a

On of the state's two teachers' unions is calling for parents to get better information about how to opt out of standardized tests.

In a resolution, the executive committee of the National Education Association Rhode Island says the state and local districts should provide written information to parents about their right to remove children from testing.

The resolution stresses that teachers have a free speech right to talk to parents about opting out of testing, including the new multi-state test known as PARCC.

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The Education Blog
4:17 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Senate Finance Committee Hears Slate Of Education Bills

A series of education bills on the agenda at the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday range from a tax credit for college graduates to funding for charter schools.

One bill would give recent college graduates a break on their state income taxes. The idea is to stem the so-called “brain drain,” when local graduates put their newly-minted degrees to work in other states.

The measure would give a maximum $5,000 credit for a worker who received a bachelor’s degree from a local college or university within the last 10 years.

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The Education Blog
4:08 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Achievement First To Open Second Elementary School In Providence

Achievement First opened it's first school in Providence in the fall of 2013.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison

The second Providence elementary school operated by charter school network Achievement First will share a building with its first elementary school, which opened in 2013.

The building on Hartford Avenue was formerly home to a public middle school, but the city shut down the school, citing the cost of rehabilitating an aging facility.

Achievement First says it plans to eventually re-located the new school, "Iluminar Academy," but the co-location is likely to last about two years. The two schools will offer similar programs.

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The Education Blog
4:31 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

State Submits Final Race To The Top Report

Rhode Island education officials have submitted their final report to the federal government, tracking the state's $75 million federal Race to the Top Grant.

According to the report, the grant paid for nearly half of Rhode Island educators to receive training in the Common Core standards. It also paid for a data system that is supposed to help teachers get feedback on how their students are doing.

The Education Blog
4:09 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Providence School Board To Request Leniency On School Year

The Providence School Board has voted to ask  for a one-day reprieve from the state-mandated school year. Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison has details.

State law requires 180 days in the school year, but that may prove difficult for Providence, which has already taken six snow days.

Without leniency from state officials, the district may have to extend classes into the week that includes the July 4th holiday. That's less than ideal because many families and employees had planned to head out of town by then.

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Health Care
3:52 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Women & Infants Hospital Lays Off Dozens Of Workers

Women & Infants hospital is laying off 41 employees and reducing hours for half a dozen others. The hospital blames the job cuts on dropping birth rates in Rhode Island, combined with changes in the way insurance and federal healthcare plans pay hospitals. Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison reports.

According to Women & Infants Senior Vice President for Patient Care Angelleen Peters-Lewis, the focus now is better outcomes, not more procedures.

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