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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The Education Blog
10:00 am
Fri January 24, 2014

ACLU Again Calls for Rethinking Diploma Policy

The Rhode Island Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has completed a survey of school districts and their policies to grant waivers from a controversial test-based requirement for high school graduation.

The ACLU finds that some districts have no finalized waiver policy, while others are confusing or arbitrary.

Long an opponent of linking test scores to a high school diploma, the RIACLU has written a letter to the state board of education, renewing its call for a review of the test-based graduation requirement.

The Education Blog
8:55 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Philadelphia's Testing Scandal

Philadelphia is firing principals in the latest scandal over cheating on standardized tests. As The New York Times reports, a large number of erasure marks in testing booklets raised red flags and led to the investigation that uncovered the cheating.

The scandal, one of the largest in the country, has implicated 137 educators at 27 different schools over a three-year period.

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Local Feature
9:46 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Debrief: What Does It Mean To Reduce Nitrogen In Narragansett Bay?

A local quahog fisherman is happy with the improving the health of Narragansett Bay. He harvested these quahogs on a recent chilly and windy morning.
Credit Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Rhode Island is remarkably close to meeting a goal of reducing nitrogen discharged in upper Narragansett Bay by 50 percent. Upgrades at wastewater treatment plants have played a major role in helping meet this goal. Rhode Island Public Radio’s environment reporter Ambar Espinoza joined Elisabeth Harrison in the studio to talk about what it means to reduce the amount of nitrogen we put into the bay.

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Providence
9:10 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Providence Preservation Society Releases List Of Endangered Historic Properties In The Capital

The Atlantic Mills building is number two on the list of the Providence Preservation Society's most endangered properties in the city.
Credit Jesse Burke / Providence Preservation Society

The Providence Preservation Society is out with its annual list of the most endangered properties.

These are buildings of historic or architectural interest that are threatened by neglect or development.

This year’s list includes the Superman Building in downtown Providence, which has been sitting vacant since its tenants moved out last year.

The Statehouse lawn is also included; it was partly mowed over to create more parking spaces.

Also on the list is a building at 57 Federal Street, which the society says is one of the oldest buildings in Federal Hill.

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The Education Blog
8:47 am
Wed January 22, 2014

It's a Snow Day

Many public and private schools across Rhode Island cancelled classes for today, as the snow storm gathered steam on Tuesday afternoon. In a rare move, many colleges and universities also shut down, including the Rhode Island School of Design and Rhode Island College. One notable exception, Brown University, cancelled only those classes scheduled before 10 a.m.

The Education Blog
9:09 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Providence City Council Calls for Pause on High Stakes Testing

The Providence City Council wants to delay a testing requirement for high school seniors, taking effect for the first time this year. The council unanimously passed a resolution last week requesting the pause, citing new advice from education officials that would exempt students accepted at competitive colleges.

Providence City Councilman Sam Zurier says the exemption seems unfair to most Providence students, who are more likely go to community college or straight to work.

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The Education Blog
9:07 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Barrington School Board Backs Common Core, Critics Vow to Continue Fight

The Barrington School Committee has overwhelmingly passed a resolution supporting the Common Core standards, despite protests from some parents and teachers, who say the standards have serious flaws.

Pam Fuller, a Barrington resident whose husband is on the school committee, has been lobbying for a pause to consider concerns about the standards.

“This one cookie cutter fits everybody, I don’t think it meets the kids on the bottom and it certainly doesn’t meet the kids in the top,” Fuller said.

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The Education Blog
9:18 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Chafee Calls for Boost in Education Funding

Governor Lincoln Chafee’s budget proposal includes thousands of dollars in new funding for public schools, colleges and universities. The $8.5 billion spending plan would increase funding for K-12 schools by roughly $38 million, and provide $10 million for public colleges and universities.

Chafee touted the power of education in his State of the State address, saying it should provide a pathway to a better life and a stronger state economy. He also made a strong argument for the role of government in growing the middle class.

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Standardized Testing
9:00 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Education Commissioner Gist Defends NECAP Waivers

Students take summer math courses to prepare for NECAP testing.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Last week, Rhode Island education officials told districts they would recommend waiving a controversial part of the state’s high school graduation requirements for students who get into college.

Those students will be allowed to receive their diplomas, even if they don’t get the minimum score required on the state standardized test known as NECAP.

The change has touched off another round of questions about whether Rhode Island should use standardized testing at all as a requirement for a high school diploma.

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The Education Blog
10:43 am
Mon January 13, 2014

A Few Thoughts on the Latest NECAP Controversy

First of all, I go away for a family emergency, and what happens? News, that’s what!

The Department of Education announced at the end of last week that some high school students will no longer have to pass the standardized test known as the New England Common Assessment Program, or NECAP, to earn a high school diploma. The exception applies to students who get into colleges with non-open enrollment.  

So, in other words, if you get into a competitive college, the test-based part of the state’s graduation requirement will be waived.

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