Eva Marie Mancuso

Governor Gina Raimondo has nominated new leadership for the State Board of Education. The governor has announced several new nominees, including her pick for a new chair: Barbara Cottam.

Cottam, the Executive Vice President for Citizens Financial Group, was a founding member of Kids Count RI. She also served as press secretary under former Governor Bruce Sundlun. Cottam will replace current board chair Eva-Marie Mancuso. Her appointment must be confirmed by the State Senate.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Roughly 20 percent of this year’s high school seniors will have to take the NECAP test a third time, or find another way to meet the state’s new test-linked diploma system. That according to the latest NECAP scores out of the Rhode Island Department of Education.

Education Commissioner Deborah Gist is calling this good news because it represents a significant drop in the number of seniors at risk of not graduating. “So this means in the current senior class, 1,370 students, improved their performance in mathematics or made partial proficiency,” said Gist.

It seems curious that Gov. Lincoln’s Chafee’s Administration waited until today to announce that it intends to ask the State Ethics Commission for a waiver from the revolving-door ethics law so that lawyer Eva Marie Mancuso can legally become interim commissioner of higher education.

Michael Donnermeyer / Wiki Commons

State colleges and universities in Rhode Island can now arm campus police after a vote Thursday night at the State Board of Education.  Critics said more guns on campus will not make students safer, but supporters, including University of Rhode Island President David Dooley, said campus police should carry guns to do their jobs more effectively.

Dooley said he believes arming police is logical decision for URI.

A preliminary review of the University of Rhode Island’s response to reports of a shooter on campus finds campus police were forced to wait five minutes before they could enter the building where the shooter was reportedly located. The officers, who are unarmed, had to wait for local police to arrive before they could enter the building.

Contract Extension Likely For Ed. Commissioner Gist

Apr 22, 2013
Elisabeth Harrison/RIPR

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist is working out terms for an extension of her contract. The controversial Gist is expected to remain at the helm of the state Department of Education.

Education Commissioner Deborah Gist led the team that brought Rhode Island a $75 million federal Race to the Top grant. But she’s also been criticized for shepherding in an era of tough teacher evaluations and high stakes testing as a graduation requirement.

Most Adults Fail the Mock NECAP Test

Mar 20, 2013
School bus
courtesy First Student Company

NECAP, the standardized test that’s become a requirement for high school graduation in Rhode Island, may be harder than most people think. A majority of adults who took a portion of the math test last weekend failed to make the grade.

Board of Education Chair Eva-Marie Mancuso
Lydia Rogers / RIPR

This could be a pivotal day in the future of education in our state. A new state Board of Education holds its first meeting.

The new Rhode Island Board of Education combines the functions of two previous panels: the Board of Governors for Higher Education and the Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education.

Board chair Eva Marie Mancuso sat down with RIPR education reporter Elisabeth Harrison to talk about the priorities of the new board.

URI campus
courtesy URI

The Senate Education Committee yesterday approved the last seven nominees for a new state board overseeing K through 12 and higher education.

(PROVIDENCE, RI) Governor Lincoln Chafee has announced his nominees for a new Board of Education, replacing the boards of higher education and K-12 public schools. The nine nominations include two teachers union officials, an emergency room physician and several attorneys.

Most are former members of the recently dissolved board of elementary and secondary schools and the board that oversaw higher education.

Just before Christmas, Chafee announced his selection of attorney Eva Marie Mancuso to chair the Board of Education.

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:

Rhode Island Public Radio's Political Analyst Scott MacKay answers my questions about the political machinations that left Rhode Island with no board for either K-12 public schools or colleges and universities at the start of 2013.

(PROVIDENCE, RI) State senator Hanna Gallo says she expects her bill to push back the effective date on a new board that would govern K-12 and higher education will be approved Thursday. The board has technically been in effect since Tuesday.