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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Higher Education
11:25 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Warren Simmons Stepping Down at Annenberg Institute

The Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University has announced that Executive Director Warren Simmons will step down at the end of the current school year.

The institute is searching for a successor to Simmons, who has has been at its helm since 1998.

Simmons plans to cease his current duties at the end of June, but will stay on as a senior fellow to ease the transition. He will remain a member of the Brown faculty in the Urban Education Policy program.

The Education Blog
9:33 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Mayoral Academy Will Move Forward

Rhode Island’s Board of Education has voted to give preliminary approval to a new charter school in Woonsocket. The RISE Mayoral Academy would start out with a kindergarten class and grow to a K-8 school serving more than 700 students from Woonsocket, Burrillville and North Smithfield.

Critics say charter schools draw money away from regular public schools, a particular problem in Woonsocket, where school officials are working under severe budget constraints.

The Education Blog
9:07 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Board Allows Fees for Summer School

Public schools can charge tuition for summer school courses, under a decision from the State Board of Education

The board voted 7-2 last night to uphold a decision from State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist, in a case that pits a relatively common practice in suburban schools against concerns about fairness for low-income students.

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Higher Education
8:17 am
Tue October 14, 2014

RIC to Host President Obama

Credit Rhode Island College

Rhode Island College has released new details on President Barack Obama's visit to The Ocean State on Thursday.

RIC says the president is scheduled to speak at 3 p.m. at the Murray Center on the college's Providence campus. The address is expected to focus on the economy.

Tickets for the event will be available this morning for RIC students and faculty, starting at 11 a.m., according to the college's website.

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The Education Blog
12:25 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Ed Board to Vote on Proposed Mayoral Academy

Rhode Island's Board of Education is poised to vote Tuesday on a new mayoral academy charter school that would serve Woonsocket, North Smithfield and Burrillville.

The Department of Education has recommended preliminary approval for the school, which eventually hopes to serve 729 students in grades Kindergarten through 8th grade under the name RISE Mayoral Academy.

The board is also scheduled to vote on a proposed expansion that would more than double the student body at Blackstone Academy, a charter high school in Pawtucket. 

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The Education Blog
9:12 am
Fri October 10, 2014

RI Extends NCLB Waiver

Rhode Island has been granted a one-year extension to its waiver from the federal education law known as the “No Child Left Behind” Act. The law required schools to get all students to proficiency on standardized tests by this year.

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The Education Blog
12:21 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

DiPasquale to Stay at CCRI

Community College of Rhode Island President Ray DiPasquale has withdrawn from the search for a new Higher Education Commissioner in Louisiana.

DiPasquale was a finalist for the post, vacated by Rhode Island’s current Higher Education Commission Jim Purcell. He was in Louisiana this week for an interview and spoke to Purcell before returning to Rhode Island on Thursday.

"I think it was really just about his love for his efforts here, and he’s excited about coming back to work and moving forward," Purcell said.

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2014 Providence Mayoral Race
9:37 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Providence Mayoral Candidates Face Off In Debate Over Education

Buddy Cianci, Jorge Elorza, and Daniel Harrop at a previous Providence mayoral debate.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

The main candidates in the race for Providence Mayor faced off Wednesday night in a debate at Moses Brown School.  The forum focused on education, and Rhode Island Public Radio's political analyst Scott MacKay was there.  He joined Rhode Island Public Radio host Elisabeth Harrison to discuss their positions.

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Education
8:46 am
Thu October 9, 2014

One Square Mile: The Slave Trade On The Narragansett Bay

Portrait of John Potter (1716-1787) and his family including three women and a young black servant. John Potter was a wealthy South Kingstown planter.
Credit Newport Historical Society

We continue our series One Square Mile: Narragansett Bay with a look at the bay’s role in the slave trade. Tens of thousands of slaves were traded on ships out of Narragansett Bay, more than any other part of North America.

Newport was at one time the largest slave-trading port in the region. To find out more, Rhode Island Public Radio's education reporter Elisabeth Harrison met Newport history teacher Matt Boyle at Bannisters Wharf, which was built by a merchant involved in the slave trade. She asked him what it would have looked like in mid-18th Century.

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The Education Blog
1:36 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

RI Improves SAT Scores but Sees Declines in Writing

Average SAT scores are in for the class of 2014.

The good news is Rhode Island's average improved by 5 points in both reading and mathematics. The State Department of Education says this is the first time scores have improved significantly since 2009.

More than 6,000 public school students took the SAT in the 2013-2014 school year, scoring an average of 484 in mathematics and 483 in critical reading.

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