education

Elisabeth Harrison

A pair of Providence schools are testing out standing desks, a growing trend in workplaces across the country.

West Broadway Middle School has about 30 of the desks, which were donated by the manufacturer, Ergotron. Math teacher Emily Mowry says she likes the way they move easily and quietly around the classroom, and students have quickly gotten used to them. 

"I would say it has a positive impact on most kids, and you’ll see some kids who may have been fidgety before, get that nervous energy out just with the standing," Mowry said.

The Rhode Island Foreign Language Association is calling for a new post at the State Department of Education to oversee foreign language education in public schools.

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Three Rhode Island school districts have been chosen for a new state initiative aimed at preparing students for jobs in high tech industries. Newport, Providence and Westerly will be part of the program known as P-TECH; short for Pathways in Technology Early College High School program.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse took an active role in the overhaul of the “No Child Left Behind Act”. That’s the federal education law that ushered in a new emphasis on standardized testing in public schools. The new law, known as the “Every Student Succeeds Act” is supposed to reduce the focus on testing. It got a signature last week from President Barack Obama. Senator Whitehouse joins Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison now to discuss the new law.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Language immersion programs known as “dual language” programs are a growing trend in public elementary schools. They allow students to become bilingual in English and another language, like Spanish. 

Providence school officials have just announced a plan to offer new dual language programs in Spanish and possibly Mandarin at Carl Lauro Elementary School.

The programs would begin with two Kindergarten classrooms in each language, then add a grade every year until fifth grade.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Islanders are reacting to the passage of new federal legislation for public schools. The "Every Student Succeeds Act" is expected to get a signature Thursday from President Barack Obama. Rhode Island Association of School Committees Executive Director Tim Duffy said a new law will help state and local officials move forward with their efforts to improve public schools.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

A new analysis of executive compensation at private universities shows Bryant University’s Ronald Machtley is the highest paid in Rhode Island. 

When you add up base pay, bonuses and other compensation, Machtley earned more than $795,000, according to tax filings from 2013 analyzed by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

At nearly $740,000, Brown University President Christina Paxson also earns more than the median for a private university president, but her salary remains lower than the presidents of most other Ivy League institutions.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

A group of parents wants Rhode Island to require recess as part of the school day. The parents are organizing to make their case at a public hearing scheduled for Monday.

Katherine Doherty / RIPR

A large group of Brown University students and faculty rallied Thursday to show their solidarity with college students in Missouri. Students at the University of Missouri forced the resignation this week of the university president, amid allegations that a ignored racially charged atmosphere on campus.

At Brown University, students stepped forward to express their opinions on race, including Brown senior Justice Gaines.

JWU Media Relations

Starting this month, Johnson & Wales students will have access to a full crime lab at the university’s criminal justice department. Work in the lab will be required for all students who major in criminal justice.

JWU spent some $650,000 outfitting a lab with the latest forensic microscopes and other technology so students can analyze fingerprints, blood spatter and other evidence. There’s also a re-enactment room, which Criminal Justice Department Chair Alison Goodrich likes to call “the murder room.”

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

In 1987, researchers in Finland began following tens of thousands of babies who were about to be born. In fact, they followed every child born in Finland that year, and they continue to follow them today. The study is known as the 1987 Finnish Birth Cohort Study. One of the key findings is that poverty for very young children can have lasting consequences.  Rhode Island College Graduate Tina Ristikari is one of the researchers who have been studying this data. She told Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison what the Ocean State can learn from it.

The group tasked with reevaluating the way the state spends money on K-12 education meets for the first time Tuesday. The state’s current plan for education spending is now five years old.

The Funding Formula Working Group will examine what changes might be made to the system, which comprises the second largest slice of the state’s budget.

Among the issues the group will tackle are the funding of charter schools, special-needs education, and programs for English language learners.

Elisabeth Harrison

School resource officers, police officers who are embedded in public schools, have become commonplace in Rhode Island. But the practice is under new scrutiny after a controversial incident in South Carolina, where an officer dragged a high school student from her chair, flipping the student and her desk onto the floor in the process.

In Burrillville, Officer David Beauchemin takes what I would describe as a community policing approach to the district's five public schools.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

There’s an epidemic of opioid addiction and overdose unfolding across Rhode Island right now, and Burrillville, a small town in the northwestern corner of the state has been particularly hard hit.

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