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
12:44 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Gist takes message to YouTube

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist speaks directly to teachers about a controversial new evaluation system. The video first appeared on YouTube earlier this month.

Education
9:31 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Rhode Island sees greater gender gap for dropouts

More boys are dropping out of school than girls, and the disparity is greater in Rhode Island and Connecticut than anywhere else in the country, according to a new report from the Federal Department of Education.

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Education
8:48 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Senate committee to review school safety

School safety procedures dominate the agenda today at the State Senate Education Committee. Lawmakers say the discussion will feature State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist, State Police Superintendent Col. Steven O'Donnell and officials from the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency.

The oversight hearing follows the shooting last month at a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school that left 26 students and teachers dead.

Connecticut’s legislature is also slated to review school safety standards in the wake of the tragedy.

Education
9:10 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Afterschool program hopes students can curb dropouts

A new program at the Providence After School Alliance (PASA) pairs high school students with middle schoolers, on the theory that a mentoring relationship with an older student might discourage dropping out.

PASA organizers say they are focusing on 8th graders, who often face a tough road when they transition from middle school into high school. Just 66 percent of Providence students graduate from high school within four years.

Education
9:40 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Class notes: education and the governor’s budget

The new budget proposal from Governor Lincoln Chafee is a complex document, so here are a few highlights for schools and colleges.

There's a slight increase in this budget proposal for public colleges and universities. Oddly, officials disagree about the exact amount of the increase. The governor’s office first reported $8 million, but higher education officials say it’s closer to $6 million. The Office of Higher Education says it is grateful for any increase, after years of decreases under former Governor Don Carcieri.

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Education
9:09 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Good news, bad news for public schools

The good news this week is that American students stack up better against their international counterparts, if socio-economic background is taken into account. Edweek has a good roundup of the new study by the Stanford Graduate School of Education and the Economic Policy Institute.

Education
8:57 am
Tue January 15, 2013

RISD prof examines “privileged white people”

Photo by Christopher Ho.

A new exhibit of work by the artist Christopher Ho entitled “Privileged White People” is now on view at New York’s Forever & Today, Inc. gallery. The show features large photographs of people like President Bill Clinton and the actor James Van Der Beek, of Dawson’s Creek fame.

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Education
9:09 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Class notes: A quick look at the stories that made news this week in education

  • Sawyer probe continues

State and federal law enforcement agencies are checking the books at the Sawyer School for criminal activity following its abrupt closure just after Christmas. State education officials have recovered student records from the school and are planning to hold an event at CCRI next week to provide transcripts and counseling for students wondering how to proceed with their degrees.

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Education
1:38 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Why Sawyer School lost students, federal dollars before closure

The Sawyer School was apparently bleeding federal aid prior to its abrupt closure on New Year's Day. The Federal Department of Education says the for-profit school had gone from nearly $7.5 million in federal tuition dollars for the 2011-2012 academic year down to $2 million this year.

What happened? Well, one answer is declining enrollment. Sawyer reported 796 students in Rhode Island in the fall of 2011, but only 302 students when it shut down earlier this month.

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Education
8:47 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Finally, nominations for the board of ed

Governor Lincoln Chafee has announced his picks for the new 11-member board of education, which replaces two former boards overseeing K-12 schools and colleges and universities.

The selections are mostly alums of the two boards that lawmakers dissolved in a June vote. As of December, Chafee had named only his choice to chair the board, leaving Rhode Island with no board in charge of education on January 1st.

Here are bios for the education board picks from a statehouse communiqué:

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