education

Elisabeth Harrison

Governor Gina Raimondo’s plan for two years of free college tuition is grabbing most of the attention in the budget proposal for fiscal year 2018, but there’s also new funding for K-12 schools. Here are some highlights.

The governor has proposed at total of $2.6 billion for K-12 and higher education.

SHERYL RICH-KERN

For college students, the academic year is well underway. Students have spent the first semester making new friends and adjusting to classes and dorm life.

But unlike previous generations, these young adults are more likely to report anxiety and depression.

And that has campus mental health centers struggling to keep up with demand.

At Keene State College in New Hampshire, English major Aidan Bolduc sits near a window in the atrium, as other students banter over summer escapades and coursework.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The State Council on Elementary and Post-Secondary Education voted Tuesday to allow a major proposed expansion of the charter school system, Achievement First, in Providence. The Connecticut-based organization could potentially grow by more than 2,000 students.

Achievement First currently operates two elementary schools in the capital city, with about 700 students. The group is hoping to expand that to three elementary schools, two middle schools, and a high school, increasing enrollment to more than 3,000.

RIPR FILE

Debate is growing over the expansion of the charter school Achievement First in Providence. 

A new study from the Chronicle of Higher Education finds the highest paid private college president in Rhode Island is Richard Gouse, head of the New England Institute of Technology.

Elisabeth Harrison

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Ken Wagner is backing a plan to add 2,192 seats to the charter for Achievement First, a mayoral academy that currently operates two elementary schools in Providence. 

Hundreds of teachers and school leaders are expected in Providence Thursday for the Coalition of Essential Schools Fall Forum. The group was founded by former Brown University Education Chair Ted Sizer, who advocated for giving schools freedom to design their own programs.

RIPR FILE

Students around the College Hill neighborhood of Providence expressed dismay over the election of Donald Trump as the country’s 45th president. Brown University students held “self-care” gatherings on the campus green. Rhode Island School of Design faculty told students to take the Wednesday off if they wanted.

Brown student, Katherine Duckworth voted for Hillary Clinton, and said she can’t talk about the results and not cry.

Elisabeth Harrison

Across the country, teachers have been seizing on this election as an opportunity to bring civics to life in their classrooms. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison checked in with Rhode Island teachers to find out how they're approaching a contentious political season.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania has removed Rev. Howard White from the priesthood, citing allegations of sexual abuse documented in a report about St. George's School in Middletown. 

Sen. Edward Markey's staff estimated that as many as 14 million students in the U.S. could be attending schools contaminated with toxic PCBs. PCBs were banned in the late 70s, but were used in light fixtures and caulking in schools built or renovated between 1950 and 1979. They've been listed as a known human carcinogen and have been tied to an assortment of health problems, such as delayed development and attention problems.

How Providence is working to get more kids to school every day; and what happened to the $75 million Rhode Island spent in federal Race to theTop funding?  Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison looks for answers from Providence Superintendent of Schools Chris Maher on our weekly Bonus Q&A. Political reporter Ian Donnis returns next week.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Analysis by Rhode Island Public Radio finds urban and middle class students in Rhode Island have lower test scores than their peers in Massachusetts; and the state’s ambitious goal to improve 3rd grade reading skills in less than a decade. We discuss the top issues in public education on a special education edition of our weekly political roundtable. 

Achievement First in Providence wants to add a third K-8 school and move forward with its plan to open a high school, and the Segue Middle School in Central Falls wants to add an elementary school. Those are just two of the charter school proposals on tap at the Rhode Island Department of Education. 

Elisabeth Harrison

After just two years of PARCC, there is little longitudinal data to help us understand how students and their schools are doing. But one of the promises of PARCC was that it would allow state-by-state comparisons of achievement, so let’s see what we can learn by comparing scores from Rhode Island with our high-achieving neighbor to the north: Massachusetts.

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