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.

Elisabeth Harrison

Starting in 2018, state colleges and universities will have to meet specific performance goals to receive increases in state funding, under a state law signed by Governor Gina Raimondo on Thursday.

The goals include increasing the number of students graduating on-time and adding graduates in fields that employers need. 


As students enjoy the last few weeks of summer vacation, faculty at Rhode Island College are gearing up for a new semester and a new president. 

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2016

With summer nearing a close, we turn to the experts for book recommendations not to be missed on those final trips to the beach.

Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison gets a few tips from Emma Ramadan and Tom Roberge, the owners of Riffraff, a new bookstore and bar opening this Fall in Providence.

Books you have to pick up right now

Emma Ramadan:  Ladivine, Marie NDiaye 

Courtesy of Brown University

Sovijja Pou, a senior at Brown University, will compete next week as one of two swimmers representing Cambodia. His event, the 100-meter freestyle, is scheduled for Tuesday.

Listenwise helps teachers use stories from their local public radio station with students in their classrooms. Working with RIPR we identify relevant local news stories, design and develop classroom resources around them and make them available for free on the Education Blog. If you want to find more public radio stories and lessons for your middle and high school ELA, social studies, and science classrooms you can sign up for a free account! 

Elisabeth Harrison

In Middletown, St. George’s boarding school has announced a settlement with up to 30 former students, who allege they were sexually abused. 

Ian Donnis

Gov. Gina Raimondo is expected to sign a series of bills Wednesday that impact schools and children, including a bill requiring 20 minutes of recess per day in elementary schools.

Also on the list, a bill requiring public reporting on the deaths of children in the foster care system, dyslexia screenings in elementary schools, and a bill that authorizes the creation of a "bi-literacy" seal for bilingual high school graduates.


Education advocates say there’s a lot to like about the state’s new budget for public schools. That includes new funding for special education and early childhood education. But some advocates are concerned about the future of charter schools.

For more on that, Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison spoke to Daniela Fairchild from the Rhode Island Campaign for Achievement Now, a group that advocates for charter schools and higher standards for all schools, among other issues.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

There were winners and losers in the 2017 budget for education. School districts got a boost, with increases in state funding. But charter schools will see their tuition payments cut, in a move some advocates say threatens the future for some of Rhode Island’s charter schools.

Elisabeth Harrison

Governor Gina Raimondo has signed a bill requiring schools to contact child welfare authorities when they suspect sexual abuse of their employees. The bill also requires the state's child welfare office to investigate allegations of abuse in schools.

Elisabeth Harrison

Starting in September, every public school in Providence will designate teams to meet one-on-one with transgender students and their families. Providence Public Schools spokesperson Laura Hart said it’s part of a new policy aimed at making sure schools respect the rights of transgender and other gender non-conforming students.

David DesRoches/WNPR

UConn student Haddiyyah Ali got an email from a woman whose story floored her. The woman was working at talent agency in 1965, when she says Bill Cosby invited her to a party at his house.

“When she got there, there was nobody else there," Ali said.

The woman said she was drugged, and woke up to Cosby assaulting her.

Elisabeth Harrison

House lawmakers have scheduled a committee hearing Wednesday on a bill that would add schools to Rhode Island’s mandatory child abuse reporting law.

The bill was filed in response to a sexual abuse scandal at St. George’s School in Middletown, after it became clear the school had failed to report numerous allegations of sexual abuse. The incidents span several decades and involve several former faculty members and one current employee.

Elisabeth Harrison

In the aftermath of the sex abuse scandal at St. George's School, Rhode Island lawmakers are considering legislation that would close a loophole in the state’s mandatory child abuse reporting law.

The loophole, first reported by Rhode Island Public Radio, seems to allow schools and other institutions to avoid reporting abuse allegations against their employees. 

School Improvements Bond Nixed Amid Debt Fears

Jun 8, 2016
Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

A $40 million dollar bond for general school improvements proposed by Governor Raimondo was removed from the state budget, approved early Wednesday morning by the House Finance Committee. The money was earmarked for various construction projects in Rhode Island’s schools.

While Rhode Island has a significant number of aging school facilities, Tim Duffy, executive director of the Rhode Island Association of School Committees, said cities and towns still will have to find other alternatives to fund improvements.