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
2:10 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Report finds shortcomings for English language learners in Providence

Providence could do a much better job teaching non-native English speakers, according to a new report from the Council of Great City Schools. The report finds expectations are not high enough in many of the city’s English language learning classrooms. It also says those students are not benefiting from broader efforts to improve Providence Public Schools.

Providence School officials say they will convene a task force to respond to the recommendations in the report, which was commissioned by the district.

The Education Blog
2:21 pm
Mon May 28, 2012

How to help introverted students

Anyone who’s ever visited a classroom is familiar with the scenario: a quiet kid sits in the back of the room looking distant and not taking part in the discussion.

This presents a dilemma for teachers. Leave the student alone, or press for more classroom participation?

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The Education Blog
2:35 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Duncan weighs in on RI’s Race to the Top programs and Providence schools


U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Photo by Ralph Alswang.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says he’s happy with the way Rhode Island is using its $75 million Race to the Top Grant. The state has been working on several major initiatives including annual teacher evaluations and curriculum reviews.

Duncan says his staff will sit down with state education officials next week to review their progress.

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The Education Blog
2:32 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Simmons bids farewell to Brown


Ruth Simmons comes to the end of her tenure at Brown. Photo from Brown University.

Outgoing Brown President Ruth Simmons is preparing her final address to the campus community. She’s slated to speak tomorrow at a baccalaureate ceremony as part of Brown’s graduation weekend.

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The Education Blog
2:29 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

This week in education

  • Mitt Romney details his plan for public education, which includes vouchers for parents who want to send their children to private schools.
  • The Feds propose rules for a third round of Race to the Top grants.
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The Education Blog
2:24 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Econ trumps biology at Brown

Economics has surpassed the biological sciences as the most popular field at Brown University. Roughly 220 members of the undergraduate class of 2012 will receive economics degrees during commencement exercises this weekend.

Biological sciences are the second most popular degree with 200 concentrators, while international relations comes in a distant third.

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The Education Blog
2:39 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

ACLU sends second warning on Barrington tuition plan

The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has sent another letter to Barrington school officials, warning them that a selective admissions program may violate the law.

Barrington has announced plans to admit up to 10 students from other towns. Under the proposal, those students would pay $13,000 a year to attend the highly ranked school district.

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The Education Blog
2:41 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Report finds increase in “kinship care” over the last decade

More children are living with grandparents and other relatives, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. In Rhode Island, an estimated 6,000 children are in that situation. Rhode Island Kids Count Executive Director Elizabeth Burke Bryant says it’s not always easy for grandparents or aunts and uncles to become primary caretakers.

“It’s a hard job, it’s something that really strains resources in their own family structure,” Burke Bryant explains. “And yet they are stepping up in order to provide care during these periods of difficulty.”

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The Education Blog
2:45 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

RISD replaces board chair

The Rhode Island School of Design has a new leader for its governing board. The art school has elected Michael Spalter, a businessman with a vast personal collection of digital art, to chair its board of trustees.

Spalter replaces outgoing RISD Board Chair Merrill Sherman, who will stay on as a member of the board for three years. Sherman led the search for the school’s current president, John Maeda, who has proved unpopular with many faculty.

Spalter is married to the artist Anne Spalter, who has a studio in Pawtucket. She’s a graduate of both RISD and Brown University.

The Education Blog
2:55 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Gist heads to Central Falls

State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist holds a public meeting tonight in Central Falls. She’ll take questions from the community while seated alongside a panel of local school leaders.

Numerous concerns have emerged about the tiny school district in the wake of the Central Falls bankruptcy. The school department has agreed to merge some services with the city including finance, human resources and sports.

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