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
9:13 am
Tue May 21, 2013

A Shorter School Year for RI?

Legislation up for a vote Tuesday in the State Senate would allow school districts to shorten the school year, if they make the school day longer.

The bill says districts should be able to scrap the current requirement of 180 days as long as they have the equivalent number of hours. Assuming the school day lasts six hours, that works out to 1,080 hours.

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The Education Blog
8:24 am
Tue May 21, 2013

School Safety Bills Head to Senate Vote

The full State Senate is scheduled to vote Tuesday on several bills filed in the aftermath of deadly shootings at Connecticut’s Sandyhook Elementary School.

The bills would require schools to craft safety procedures in conjunction with local law enforcement and have their plans reviewed annually by the state.

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The Education Blog
9:44 am
Fri May 17, 2013

As RI Rolls Out Common Core, Are New Science Standards Next?

Rhode Island is one of 26 states that have promised to consider new science guidelines known as the Next Generation Science Standards. The standards were developed by the same organization that created the Common Core, a group of national standards many states including Rhode Island are now adopting for Math and English.

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The Education Blog
9:50 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Business Supports Gist

Business leaders are coming out in support of Deborah Gist, the state’s controversial education commissioner. The Providence Journal reports that two dozen business organizations have asked the State Board of Education to renew Gist’s contract, which is currently under review.

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Higher Education
8:52 am
Wed May 15, 2013

House Committee Delays Gun Vote

A key house committee has put off voting on a bill that would allow campus police to carry guns at state universities, saying lawmakers need more time to gather information.

Rhode Island is currently the only state that prohibits guns on state college police forces, although some individual schools have decided against the practice. Proponents of the bill to arm campus police say it will speed response times in an emergency, a concern that was underscored during a gun scare at the University of Rhode Island last month.

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Higher Education
9:02 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Executive Pay at Public Universities: How RI Measures Up

The Chronicle of Higher Education finds University of Rhode Island President David Dooley is 134th in the country when it comes to his compensation package.

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The Education Blog
9:06 am
Fri May 10, 2013

'Playful Providence' Encourages Kids to Get Outside and Play

Providence kicks off a 5-month celebration of children’s play Saturday with a pop up play day at India Point Park. The Providence Children’s Museum will be on hand with all kinds of different material, so kids can build forts, play games and get creative. Museum Director Janice O’Donnell says this type of free playtime is important for cognitive and social development.

"We know that children need to play, and we know that children’s time and space for free, self-directed kid-powered play has been declining, and it is certainly a goal of the children’s museum to bring back play."

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The Education Blog
8:54 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Senate Vote Scheduled on Teacher Evaluations

The full Senate is expected to vote today on a bill that would make teacher evaluations private under the state’s public record act.

Education officials have argued the evaluations are already private under personnel rules, but they want to make sure they are not considered part of the public record.

Open government advocates oppose the idea of exempting teacher evaluations from the list of public documents. A companion bill in the House is still in committee.

The Education Blog
9:49 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Ahlquist to Receive Award at Playboy Mansion

The Rhode Island student who successfully challenged a prayer banner in Cranston public schools is getting an award from Hugh Hefner.

Jessica Ahlquist will receive a Hugh Hefner First Amendment Award at the playboy mansion in Beverly Hills. Ahlquist writes on her Facebook page that she is honored to be chosen but adds she is not expecting to meet Hugh Hefner in person. She says his daughter Christie Hefner will attend the ceremony, where Ahlquist will receive a plaque and $5,000.

The Education Blog
11:17 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Controversy Follows Gist to the Statehouse

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist urged lawmakers to pass a series of bills aimed at improving school safety in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting during her State of Education speech on Tuesday. She also urged passage of the governor’s budget which increases funding for public schools, colleges and universities.

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