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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RI News
8:21 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Facing Down the Obstacles to High School Graduation

Rosa Ramos graduated from the Juanita Sanchez Education Complex this year, and is heading to Providence College in the fall.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

All this month, high schools across Rhode Island are holding graduation ceremonies, and there are many students who defied the odds to get to their graduation day. One of them is 18-year-old Rosa Ramos of Providence, who just got her diploma from the Juanita Sanchez Education Complex.

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The Education Blog
7:48 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Education Leaders to Review High-Stakes Testing

The State Board of Education will reconsider a graduation requirement that says students must score partially proficient or better on a state test to get a diploma. Several advocacy groups have filed a formal petition with the board asking it to rescind the testing policy. The petition triggers a 30-day deadline for the board to respond.

The groups joining the petition include the Providence Student Union and local chapters of the ACLU and NAACP. They argue that high stakes testing is unfair, putting some 4,000 students at risk of not graduating.

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The Education Blog
8:57 am
Thu June 20, 2013

RIDE Orders Thousands of Exams for Seniors Facing New Graduation Requirement

The Rhode Island Department of Education is preparing for a large number of next year's senior class to fail their second attempt at meeting a new test-based graduation requirement.

According to a state contract with testing company Measured Progress, RIDE has ordered 3,500 versions of a retest for seniors. That represents a majority of the roughly 4,000 seniors who will attempt the test for a second time this fall.

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Politics
7:26 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Rhode Island Gaming May Take a Hit Once Massachusetts Casinos Open

Paul Dion of the Rhode Island State Department of Revenue.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

Casino gambling just like in Las Vegas is scheduled to begin Wednesday at Twin River in Lincoln.

The one-time dog track has become the first venue ever in Rhode Island to offer table games thanks to voters, who approved the change to stave off competition from new casinos proposed for Massachusetts.

Gambling is a major part of the state budget, and to better understand how games like blackjack and roulette will affect the budget, Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison sat down with Paul Dion from the State Department of Revenue.

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The Education Blog
8:27 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Attorney Denies Wrongdoing at Disability Employment Nonprofit


The attorney for the former head of an agency that allegedly had disabled people working for less than minimum wage maintains his client did nothing wrong.

John Cicilline says he has received paperwork from the U.S. Justice Department relating to John Capobianco, Sr. and his nonprofit company Training Through Placement, but he said yesterday he had not yet had time to review it.

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The Education Blog
11:57 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Providence Mayor “Outraged” by Justice Dept. Probe at Birch School

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras says he is “outraged and saddened” by the findings of a Federal Justice Department investigation, alleging civil rights violations in a program for disabled students.

In a written statement, Taveras says the program, which ran for two decades at the Birch Vocational School inside Mt. Pleasant High School, failed its most vulnerable students. The city is looking into pursuing criminal charges.

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The Education Blog
8:53 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Chafee Joins Governors for Invite-Only Education Summit

Governor Lincoln Chafee is in Chicago Monday for a symposium on education. The event is hosted by James B. Hunt Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy, a group affiliated with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The institute says its goal is to strengthen public education by bringing politicians and policymakers together to discuss state-level education policy.

Education
8:45 am
Fri June 7, 2013

SVF Foundation Works to Preserve Endangered Livestock Breeds in Newport

SVF works to preserve 30-40 types of heritage livestock considered in endangered.
Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

On Saturday Rhode Islanders have a rare opportunity to visit the Swiss Village Foundation in Newport. It’s an organization working to preserve heritage livestock breeds in collaboration with Tufts University. The site opens its doors to the general public just once a year because of concerns about microbes that could hurt the animals living there.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Education Reporter Elisabeth Harrison arranged special tour to take you inside the foundation’s bucolic campus.

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Education
9:03 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Gist on the Bumpy Road to NECAP: This Will Get Better

State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist's contract is up on Friday.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The Rhode Island Board of Education is expected to vote tonight on a contract extension for State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist. She’s been weathering heavy criticism over the last few months from some parents, students and teachers, who complain that she ignores their concerns about all of the changes happening in Rhode Island public schools. One of the most controversial issues has been a new policy of standardized testing as a requirement for a high school diploma.

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Education
7:58 am
Tue June 4, 2013

EDU Commissioner Gist: Contract Less Than Two Years Difficult to Accept

Education commissioner Deborah Gist will likely find out if her contract has been renewed this week.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist is likely to learn Thursday whether her contract is being renewed and for how long.

Deborah Gist has been a target of criticism lately from some teachers and students who say they don’t like her leadership style and they disagree with her focus on test scores. Now that her contract is expiring, there’s speculation the State Board of Education will offer a one-year extension, instead of a three-year contract. Gist says that would be difficult to accept.

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