Rhode Island

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. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Rhode Island’s tool for managing and planning activities in state waters has become a case study for the European Union. A couple of EU delegates have concluded a two-week visit to Rhode Island, meeting with the Coastal Resources Management Council, the University of Rhode Island, and other stakeholders in the community and in private sectors.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The White House is honoring a Rhode Island fisherman Friday for his work promoting sustainable fishing in the industry.

Chris Brown has been fishing for more than 35 years. He’s receiving the “Champion of Change for Sustainable Seafood” award. 

John Bender / RIPR

The federal government is offering official approval for Rhode Island’s plan to toll commercial trucks on state bridges. The toll has generated opposition from the trucking industry and some businesses concerned about how the new tolls might impact the economy.

State Department of Transportation Director Peter Alviti says the go-ahead from the federal government is the final step needed to move forward with the project.  The tolls will be installed in 13 locations, and 34 bridges so far are slated for repairs from the toll revenue.

National Weather Service

Rhode Island may feel only limited effects from Hurricane Matthew. The Category 3 storm left a trail of damage in Haiti and was moving toward the Bahamas on Wednesday.

Environmental Working Group

The carcinogen often referred to as the "Erin Brockovich chemical" is present in about two-thirds of the drinking water across the country, according to water testing data from the Environmental Protection Agency.

RIPR file photo

A Brown University scientist is one of three individuals awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics. Physicist J. Michael Kosterlitz won for his research on states of matter, which could have applications in electronics.


The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island is opposing a move to increase ethics oversight at the state legislature. A ballot measure would restore some powers to the state Ethics Commission.

The Ethics Commission is a body tasked with investigating complaints of corruption, abuse of power, or potential conflicts of interest in state and municipal government.

Parker Harrington / Creative Commons License

The Red Sox and their fans will celebrate the legacy of David Ortiz during the team's final regular season series, which begins Friday night at Fenway Park. The day the baseball player known as Big Papi became a Boston legend is easy to pinpoint: Oct. 18, 2004.

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.


State officials say a new initiative to increase the use of digital textbooks will cut costs for many students and make higher education more accessible for everyone, including English language learners.

The open-license, digital textbooks are generally free and can be downloaded on a student’s computer. They can also be updated or changed the professor giving the course.

Sixty Rhode Island teachers are heading back to college to learn how to teach English as a second language. The program, a collaboration between urban school districts, the state and the Rhode Island Foundation, will cover the cost of tuition so that more teachers can gain certifications to teach English Language Learners or teach in bi-lingual programs known as dual language classrooms.

On Rhode Island Public Radio's Artscape this month we look at podcasting, with a profile of Nate Dimeo, a podcaster based in Los Angeles, but with deep Rhode Island roots.

David González Romero / Creative Common License via Flickr

For the ninth year in a row, Rhode Island ranks among the top 10 states, taking fourth place this year, for energy efficiency programs and policies.  That’s according to a new report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.