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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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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Education
8:57 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Rhode Island Schools Improving, Says U.S. Education Secretary Duncan

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says he has serious concerns about proposed changes to the federal law that governs public schools and their funding.
Credit Courtesty U.S. Department of Education

Congress is hammering out new requirements for public schools and federal school funding. The current bill, commonly known as the "No Child Left Behind Act," has been controversial because of the way it uses standardized test scores to measure public schools. Changes to the bill have been proposed in both houses of Congress.  

Federal Education Secretary Arne Duncan spoke with Rhode Island Public Radio's education reporter Elisabeth Harrison from Washington, D.C. to explain what these proposals could mean for Rhode Island.

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Business
6:41 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

The Bottom Line: Gov. Raimondo Tamps Down Expectations For The Economy, Calls For Middle Class Jobs

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 RIPR Political Analyst Scott MacKay to talk about Governor Gina Raimondo's forecast for the state's economy, her pledge to bring new jobs to Rhode Island, and the challenge as she crafts her first state budget.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

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Higher Education
8:59 am
Thu February 19, 2015

New President Says RISD Can Play A Key Role In Economic Development

New RISD President Rosanne Somerson
Credit Courtesy RISD

After an international search, the Rhode Island School of Design has settled on one of its own to take over as president. RISD has tapped Rosanne Somerson, a RISD graduate who’s been serving as interim president since December 2013.

Former president John Maeda stepped down suddenly, after a rocky relationship with RISD faculty. Maeda surprised many at RISD when he announced he had taken a job at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers.

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RI News
8:47 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Rhode Island's Overall Homeless Figures Decline 8.5 Percent

Homeless shelters, like the one operated at Crossroads RI, continue to serve the many people, (especially in the winter months), but the state's overall homeless population has decreased.
Credit RIPR FILE

Advocates working to end homelessness in Rhode Island release their annual report card Thursday looking at Rhode Island’s homeless population. For the second year in a row, the number of homeless declined. Jim Ryczek, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless, spoke with Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison to go behind the numbers.

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Higher Education
10:15 am
Wed February 18, 2015

RISD Selects New President

The Rhode Island School of Design has selected Interim President Rosanne Somerson to takeover the position permanently. The RISD Board announced the decision to faculty and students on Wednesday morning.

“President Somerson is a gifted, inspiring leader with great integrity, humility and vision, and is the perfect fit for RISD,” said Board of Trustees Chair Michael Spalter in the official announcement.

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RI News
9:12 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Immigration Ruling Leaves Some Rhode Island Residents In The Lurch

While there are no estimates for how many Rhode Island residents have been affected by a Texas court ruling halting the expansion of an immigration order from President Barack Obama, immigration attorneys at Dorcas International Institute in Providence say they are urging clients to begin the application process anyway.

The ruling affects people brought to the United States as children between 2007 and 2010. They would have been eligible to apply for protected status for the first time Wednesday, but the federal government has temporarily halted the program.

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The Education Blog
5:06 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Roof Collapses At Brown Sports Center

A portion of the roof at Brown University's Pizzitola Sports Center has collapsed under the weight of heavy snow.

The roof was made out of fabric, and the collapse affected the tennis facility at the complex.

Brown officials say no one was injured in the collapse, which happened in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

According to Brown, this is the second time the Pizzitola roof has given way under snow. The first time was in 2011.

The company that designed and installed the new roof is looking into the problem.

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