The Education Blog

The Education Blog is written by Elisabeth Harrison, Education Reporter and Morning Edition Host for Rhode Island Public Radio. Harrison’s work ranges from reporting on institutions like Brown University and the University of Rhode Island to efforts to reform low performing public schools in Central Falls and Providence.

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The Education Blog
9:31 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Newtown Father To Speak In Rhode Island

Mark Barden, the father of one of the schoolchildren killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings will address the Rhode Island Coalition against Gun Violence on Thursday, as the coalition marks its first anniversary.

Barden has become a national advocate for reducing gun violence. He says he still struggles to deal with the death of his son, Daniel, nearly two years after the Sandy Hook tragedy.

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The Education Blog
8:56 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Schools Respond After Student's Death Linked to Enterovirus D68

Cumberland school officials say they were not told until Wednesday morning that the death of 10-year-old student was linked to enterovirus D68.

In an email to parents, Superintendent Philip Thornton says he first learned of the girl's death last week, but was told it not a case of the virus. Health officials notified him Wednesday the girl had a rare combination of staph infection and enterovirus D68.

"Within an hour of receiving this information, we pulled our crisis team together and sent out to parents and staff this new information," Thornton wrote.

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Higher Education
9:19 am
Wed October 1, 2014

NE Tech to Begin $120 Million Expansion

The New England Institute of Technology says it is ready to begin an expansion long in the works for its East Greenwich campus. The project will include the technical college’s first residential dorm, a fitness facility and new classroom and dining space.

“This is an exciting day for New England Tech,” President Richard Gouse said in a statement announcing the project. “This expansion will allow us to offer on-campus housing for the first time in our college’s 75 year history.”

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The Education Blog
1:36 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

RIDE Delays Release of Science Test Scores

Rhode Island’s Department of Education has delayed the release of test scores from the most recent standardized state science test, administered in May.

RIDE officials say they have concerns about the scores for one grade level and will not release a score report expected on Wednesday.

RIDE Spokesman Elliot Krieger declined to elaborate about the exact nature of the concerns, but he says RIDE is working with the testing company, Measured Progress, to review the results.

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The Education Blog
10:25 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Report Highlights Chronic Absenteeism

Rhode Island Kids Count releases new numbers on Monday that show 12 percent of young school children in Rhode Island were chronically absent during the last school year, meaning they missed 18 days or more of school.

The study finds that for Kindergarten students who are chronically absent, there is an increased risk of low achievement that persists at least into middle school. The students are also more likely to be held back a grade.

Rhode Island Kids Count Executive Director Elizabeth Burke Bryant says a number of factors can contribute to chronic absenteeism.

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The Education Blog
9:43 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Providence Teachers Endorse Cianci; Elorza Visits Former Elementary School

Democrat Jorge Elorza plans to stand in front of Asa Messer Elementary School on Monday to unveil his vision for the city of Providence. His announcement outside the school he once attended comes after the Providence Teachers Union endorsed Independent Buddy Cianci on Saturday in the race for Providence Mayor.

The teachers union says Cianci understands the needs of the district.

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The Education Blog
9:32 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Board Schedules Hearings on High Stakes Testing

The Rhode Island Board of Education has released dates for a series of hearings on delaying high stakes testing until at least 2020.

Earlier this year, state lawmakers halted a plan to introduce standardized test scores as a graduation requirement for the class of 2014. The legislation puts off the use of testing as part of the state's diploma system until 2017.

The legislation prompted State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist to propose waiting until 2020 to introduce high stakes testing. The Board of Education is now considering the new timetable.

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Higher Education
12:48 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Brown Concludes Probe into Kelly Lecture Protest

Brown President Christina Paxson says a protest that forced former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to halt a lecture last year was a violation of Brown's policy on the free exchange of ideas.

"There is no doubt that the disruption of Kelly's lecture represented a violation of these policies," Paxson wrote in her final response to the incident, which was posted this week on Brown's website and sent in an email to Brown students and faculty.

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Education
9:07 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Transgender Student Remembers Year Marred By Bullying

Hannah Rini came out as transgender while still in elementary school. She had a difficult first year in middle school, and has now transferred to a different Pawtucket school.
Credit Michelle Rini

Last year, we introduced you to Pawtucket student Hannah Rini, who was about to start her first year of middle school as an openly transgender student. Before her first day at Goff Junior High she was filled with hope about the new friends she would make.  She felt confident because of the way her elementary school friends accepted her when she came out:

“I don’t know how they knew, but they knew I was trans. Maybe the way I was acting? They just weren’t surprised one bit,” Rini said at the time.

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The Education Blog
10:37 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Scam Targets School Districts

The Rhode Island Association of School Committees is warning school districts about a scam involving false invoices.

RIASC Executive Director Tim Duffy says districts may want to keep an eye on their accounts payable. The scammers tried to target North Smithfield with a fake invoice from a company calling itself Scholastic School Supply.

Duffy says districts in other states have reported receiving similar invoices. The amount billed is the same in each case: $647.50.

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