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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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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The Education Blog
8:41 am
Tue October 7, 2014

New Legislation Targets Afterschool Programs

A new bill from Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline would require public schools to collaborate more closely with community groups and nonprofits to increase afterschool programs for students.

In Providence, the Providence After School Alliance serves roughly 2,000 students, most of them from the city's middle schools. Executive Director Hillary Salmons says there's a long waiting list.

"There’s a huge demand," Salmons said. "Middle schoolers love the AfterZone. We have a lot more demand than supply."

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The Education Blog
11:04 am
Mon October 6, 2014

NECAP Science Update

For those of you waiting with baited breath for the latest NECAP Science test results, here's an update.

The Department of Education says they continue their discussions with testing company Measured Progress about the scores from the latest round of testing, which took place back in May.

The issue seems to be a drop in scores at one grade level, which schools in several NECAP states have noticed, according to The Providence Journal.

The Education Blog
10:46 am
Fri October 3, 2014

Health Department Denies Misinforming Cumberland School Officials on Enterovirus

The State Department of Health says it notified school officials in Cumberland as quickly as possible after a student tested positive for enterovirus D68.

The 10-year-old student died last week of a bacterial infection. Health Department Director Dr. Michael Fine says enterovirus may have played a role, but a staph infection was the cause of death.

"We notified them very quickly as soon as we notified the family after we got confirmation of D-68, " Fine said. "The death was not from E-D68, the death was from staph aureus sepsis."

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

Newtown Father To Speak In Rhode Island

Daniel Barden
Credit Mark Barden

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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