Elisabeth Harrison

News Director

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.  She was promoted to full-time News Director in June of 2015.

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.

Ways to Connect

John Bender

Reactions have been swift to news that Former House Speaker Gordon Fox pleaded guilty to three felony charges.

The charges include one count of bribery and one count of misusing campaign funds.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison reports on reaction from both sides of the aisle.

Calling it a "sad chapter" in Rhode Island Politics, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said in a brief statement, "there is no place for public corruption."

A Democrat, Mattiello took over after Fox resigned as speaker, following raids on his home and Statehouse office.

Teachers across the country are under fire to increase student test scores and start using tougher standards in their classrooms. They’re also about to start using new tests to find out how their students are doing. So what is it like to be a teacher right now, and what concerns do teachers have about the changes in their classrooms? 

Rhode Island Public Radio's education reporter Elisabeth Harrison spoke with Newport Middle School Science Teacher Barbara Walton-Faria to find out. Walton-Faria is the chair of RI Teacher Advisory Council.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week Dave and Mark sit down with Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien to find out how he's adjusting to news of a new ownership group for the Pawtucket Red Sox and their plan to move the team to Providence.

Providence NAACP branch President Jim Vincent talks with Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison, and WPRI investigative reporter Tim White, about community-race relations in the state, as the media has turned its focus from the demonstrations this summer.  Vincent also weighs in on the lack of diversity in state government, and asks what National Black History month really achieves.

Hear more of our conversation with Jim Vincent in our Political Roundtable

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo is asking a group of healthcare leaders to tackle the cost of Medicaid. The program provides healthcare for poor and elderly Rhode Islanders.

The per-patient cost for Medicaid in Rhode Island is the second highest in the nation, and the rising price tag is eating up too much of the state budget. That was the message from Governor Gina Raimondo, as she signed an executive order to create a working group on Medicaid.

Raimondo said if the state doesn’t address the issue, the consequences could be dire.

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.

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.

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.

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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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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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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