Ian Donnis

State Senator Harold Metts (D-Providence) joins the Roundtable this week as we discuss same-sex marriage, efforts to better re-integrate offenders once they leave prison, and new appointees to the state Board of Education.

Ian Donnis

A legislative committee on Wednesday approved four nominees for a combined board overseeing K-through-12 and higher education. But critics still question whether the merged education board is a good idea.

A stream of witnesses touted the commitment to public education of the four nominees. The Senate Education Committee approved each of them by at least 8 of 10 votes.

The Senate Education Committee holds hearings today on nominees for a new State Board of Education. The picks from Governor Lincoln Chafee include teachers' union president Larry Purtill and Colleen Callahan, also a teachers’ union leader, and a member of the former Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education.

State lawmakers dissolved the Board of Regents along with the board overseeing colleges and universities to create a new combined board of education. The move was aimed at improving coordination between higher education and K-12 schools.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jan 31, 2013

Heavy winds, heavy rain, and warmer than usual temperatures.  We have an interesting start to  the day.  State education officials are defending standardized test scores as a requirement for high school diplomas. These stories and more on the RIPR Morning News Podcast.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.

State education officials are defending standardized testing as a graduation requirement starting with the class of 2014. Students opposing so-called "high stakes testing" staged a protest yesterday at the Statehouse.

State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist responded by saying her goal is to make sure students finish high school with the right skills for college or a career. If the testing rule took effect this year, 44 percent of seniors would be at risk for not graduating.

Providence Superintendent Susan Lusi
Elisabeth Harrison

Thursday we heard the story of a Providence high school teacher, who ended up teaching a physics class even though her expertise is in history. Providence school officials now say they have hired a physics teacher to takeover the class next week. I asked Providence Superintendent Susan Lusi to explain why the district allowed a history teacher to substitute in a high school physics class.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.

Come Tuesday, January 29th, students at Alvarez High School in Providence will have a new physics teacher. You may remember the students went to The Providence Journal last month to complain that instead of having a physics teacher, a history teacher had been teaching their class.

State officials to review school safety

Jan 22, 2013

(PROVIDENCE, RI) The Rhode Island State Senate is holding a hearing Tuesday afternoon on School Safety in the state.    In attendance will be state public safety and emergency preparedness officials along with Education Commissioner Deborah Gist.

This hearing follows the fatal shooting at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown Connecticut last month.  26 students and staff were killed at the school.  In addition the gunman killed his mother and himself.

(PROVIDENCE, RI) Barrington High School students and faculty are raising money to help a high school on Staten Island in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. So far, they’ve raised thousands of dollars.

A new program at the Providence After School Alliance (PASA) pairs high school students with middle schoolers, on the theory that a mentoring relationship with an older student might discourage dropping out.

PASA organizers say they are focusing on 8th graders, who often face a tough road when they transition from middle school into high school. Just 66 percent of Providence students graduate from high school within four years.

RISD library makes list of best in the world

Jan 18, 2013
Fleet Library at RISD

(PROVIDENCE, RI) The Fleet Library at the Rhode Island School of Design is listed on "The 50 Most Amazing University Libraries in the World."    The list was compiled based on unique, beautiful or intriguing architecture as judged by

students signing into fair to get their records
Flo Jonic

(PROVIDENCE, RI) Students of the defunct Sawyer School were reunited with their academic transcripts Thursday at a fair run by the state Office of Higher Education. The for-profit trade school closed abruptly just after Christmas, leaving 300 students in Rhode Island and another 1,200 in Connecticut with nowhere to go. 

After trying unsuccessfully for the last two years to get the General Assembly to go along with a series of tax proposals, Governor Lincoln Chafee goes in a very different direction with his proposal for the budget year starting July 1. The budget eschews tax hikes and proposes cutting Rhode Island's corporate tax from 9 percent to 7 percent over three years.

National education official coming to Providence

Jan 15, 2013

(PROVIDENCE, RI) National Education Secretary Arne Duncan is about to pay a visit to Rhode Island’s capital city.  Duncan will be in Providence February 12th to help launch “United Providence “ – a first-of-its-kind collaboration between a school district and a teacher’s union with the aim of improving public schools.

United Providence is currently working to improve three Providence schools – the Carl Laura Elementary School, Gilbert Stuart Middle School and Alvarez High School.

HIgh Schools becoming more ethnically diverse

Jan 14, 2013
School lockers

(PROVIDENCE, RI) The number of high school graduates is declining at a higher rate in Rhode Island than in the nation as a whole.  That’s the conclusion of a report released by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.  Rhode Island joins 4 other states and the District of Columbia in having projected losses of 15-percent or more in the number of high school graduates in the school years of 2008/2009 through 2019/2020.