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
9:36 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Education reporter leaving Projo

The Providence Journal is losing its excellent education reporter, Jennifer Jordan, who's leaving for a job at an education and economic mobility advocacy group.

Jordan writes in an email to friends and colleagues that she will be a senior writer at Opportunity Nation, a Boston-based coalition of non-profits. The organization's website describes its focus as expanding opportunities for residents of low-income neighborhoods, and fighting the "zip code is destiny" mentality.

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Education
8:46 am
Thu February 7, 2013

NECAP scores expected Friday

State education officials plan to announce results from the latest round of state-wide standardized testing, unless a blizzard gets in the way. The Department of Education says Governor Lincoln Chafee and Education Commissioner Deborah Gist will release the numbers at the statehouse on Friday morning.

If the weather cooperates, we will soon know just how many high school juniors are at risk for not graduating, under a new state rule that requires a score of two or better on the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) exam.

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Education
9:09 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Senate committee to consider education board

The Senate Education Committee holds hearings today on nominees for a new State Board of Education. The picks from Governor Lincoln Chafee include teachers' union president Larry Purtill and Colleen Callahan, also a teachers’ union leader, and a member of the former Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education.

State lawmakers dissolved the Board of Regents along with the board overseeing colleges and universities to create a new combined board of education. The move was aimed at improving coordination between higher education and K-12 schools.

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The Education Blog
9:03 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Gist joins panel on school leadership

State education Commissioner Deborah Gist is slated to discuss Rhode Island’s controversial teacher evaluations during a panel discussion this morning at the Fordham Institute in Washington, DC, a conservative public policy think-tank.

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Education
8:19 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Providence Student Union works to empower students

Credit courtesy of providencestudentunion.org

Students protest high stakes testing in Rhode Island and Providence puts a history teacher in a physics classroom. These are some of the most heated controversies recently on the education beat. But there’s a little known force behind both of these stories. It’s a student group called the Providence Student Union. Co-founder Aaron Regunberg is a recent Brown graduate. Elisabeth Harrison asked him how he became an activist in the public schools.


Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.  news@ripr.org
 

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Education
9:32 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Tensions flare over staffing rules

Relations appear tense between the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers, one of two teachers’ unions in Rhode Island, and State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist.

Gist sent a letter to Superintendents at the end of January reminding them that state regulations require staffing decisions to be based on performance, rather than the number of years a teacher has been on the job, a practice common in many schools.

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Education
9:16 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Class notes: school closures, high stakes testing

Photo by PaulSteinJC.

Schools close as budgets stretch and buildings age

East Providence is closing Oldham Elementary School citing the high cost of upgrading the building. The district has faced serious deficits in the past, contributing to municipal financial woes. The Providence Journal reports that district officials Oldham would have needed an estimated $2 million in renovations to stay open. As a result of the closure, some students will be shifted to other schools.

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Education
7:51 am
Thu January 31, 2013

To test, or not to test?

RIPR file photo.

State education officials are defending standardized testing as a graduation requirement starting with the class of 2014. Students opposing so-called "high stakes testing" staged a protest yesterday at the Statehouse.

State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist responded by saying her goal is to make sure students finish high school with the right skills for college or a career. If the testing rule took effect this year, 44 percent of seniors would be at risk for not graduating.

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Education
9:06 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Career training program at risk

Job Corps campus in Exeter, RI.

Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman Jim Langevin are asking the Federal Labor Department to reverse an enrollment freeze at Job Corps, a technical training and GED program with sites around the country, including Exeter, Rhode Island.

In a letter, a group of 17 senators say the freeze will have an adverse effect on thousands of young people.

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Education
9:05 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Harvard announces major NFL study

Photo by Ed Yourdin

Harvard University is partnering with the National Football League on a $100 million research project looking into serious health problems among NFL players. The initiative announced in today's Boston Globe will focus on 1,000 retired NFL players to better understand and potentially treat a wide range of physical ailments.

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