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The Education Blog
9:22 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Divided Board Votes Against Reconsidering Graduation Rules

The Rhode Island Board of Education has voted not to take up a state policy tying test scores to a high school diploma. In a 6-5 vote, the board ruled against a petition critical of the rule, which takes effect for the current senior class. The policy requires students to achieve a score of at least partially proficient on standardized state testing or improve on a retake to earn a diploma.

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The Education Blog
9:32 am
Fri August 30, 2013

More on the Story of Openly Transgender Student Hannah Rini

Hannah Rini has been living openly transgender for a year now, she began Junior High this year.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Transgender issues have been the the news quite a bit lately, following the announcement from Bradley Manning, the army private who leaked documents to WikiLeaks, that she is transgender and will now be living as Chelsea Manning.

Rhode Island Public Radio's education reporter Elisabeth Harrison speaks with All Things Considered Host Dave Fallon about a Pawtucket student she profiled, who has been openly transgender for a year now.  

Hanna Rini, who is 12, started junior high school this week. 

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Higher Education
8:54 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Rams Look to End Losing Streak

Meade Stadium, the Rams' home field at URI's Kingston campus.
Credit URI

The University of Rhode Island kicks off football season Thursday night with an away-game against Fordham University. The game marks the start of the 115th season for the Rhode Island Rams, founded in 1895.

But the team has not been faring well recently. The Rams have not won a game since 2011 and start this season hoping to snap a 13-game losing streak.

Critics question whether the state’s flagship university should spend the money on a football program at all. URI President David Dooley has said he supports believes it is important to keep the program alive.

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Education
8:38 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Starting Junior High as a Transgender Student

Hannah Rini and her mother Michelle of Pawtucket prepare for the first day of middle school. Hannah began living as a girl last year.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

It’s back to school season in Rhode Island. There’s an ever so subtle hint of fall in the air and schools around the state are opening their doors again for students after the long summer break.

With the first day of school comes that familiar mix of nerves and excitement. Will my friends be the same?  What new people will I meet? Will I like my teachers? And perhaps no start of school is quite as nerve-wracking as the first day of junior high.

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Education
9:17 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Closing the Achievement Gap Between Hispanic Students and Their Peers

Ana Cano-Morales, the director of the Latino Policy Institute, says the state education system needs to capitalize on the assets of Hispanic students; quickly becoming the majority population in urban districts.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

Students across Rhode Island are returning to school this week, but a new report suggests that some of them are not well served. The Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University finds Latino students in the state’s urban schools are as much as three grades behind their white peers. The institute is releasing its findings today, and Director Ana Cano-Morales is here to talk more about them.

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The Education Blog
8:52 am
Tue August 27, 2013

New Study Highlights Latino Achievement Gap

High School students in a summer math class at the Community College of Rhode Island's Providence Campus.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison

As thousands of students return to school this week, the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University is raising concerns about how Rhode Island serves Latino students.

The institute has put out a new study that finds the state’s Latino students are two to three grades behind their white peers in Mathematics. The report also says Rhode Island is in the bottom 10 states around the country when it comes to the overall gap between Latino and white student performance. 

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Education
8:45 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Union Applauds Freeze on Using Test Scores in Teacher Evaluations

Gist will consult with federal officials about whether the postponement will require a waiver to avoid jeopardizing the 75 million dollar Race to the Top grant.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Island teachers are breathing a sigh of relief now that state Education Commissioner Deborah Gist has postponed the inclusion of test scores on teacher evaluations for a year.  

Student results on the New England Common Assessment Program were supposed to be folded in to teacher evaluations starting this school year. Gist said the policy is widely misunderstood. A year, she said, should give them ample time to clarify the policy.

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The Education Blog
9:24 am
Mon August 26, 2013

At Start of New School Year, A Reprieve for Teachers

Rhode Island teachers can breathe a sigh of relief as they go about the usual business of preparing for a new school year. State officials have announced a delay in the use of student test scores in the teachers’ annual performance ratings.

State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist says public school teachers need more time to understand how scores from the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) will factor into the ratings. A bad performance review could result in termination or loss of certification for a teacher receiving a poor evaluation for several years in a row.

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