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  • June 24, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    The debate over the state's education funding formula, signed into law by Governor Carcieri yesterday, has focused largely on winners and losers: which communities get more state aid and which get less. By that measure, the state's large, urban districts - shortchanged in the past - do quite well. Providence gets almost $30 million more, Pawtucket gets a $7.

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  • May 06, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    Steven M. Costantino, chairman of the powerful House Finance Committee and candidate for mayor of Providence, has unveiled a bill that would push through the education funding formula proposed by the state's department of education.

    This, it seems, is the big prize observers have expected Costantino to pursue as the mayoral race comes to a head.

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  • March 31, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    Education Commisioner Deborah Gist has ushered in a brand of education reform - centered on charter schools and rigorous teacher evaluation - that comports with an intriguing development on the national front: President Obama's neoliberal embrace of the standards movement that came into full flower under President Bush.

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  • March 25, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    Education Commissioner Deborah Gist told a group of civic leaders yesterday at a meeting attended by N4N that it is "highly unlikely" that Rhode Island will win a multi-million dollar infusion from the federal government in the first round of President Obama's Race to the Top grant-making.

    The comments, made before community leadership development organization Leadership Rhode Island, marks a significant shift in tone for Gist, who has been relentlessly optimistic about the state's application for more than $100 million in federal aid to push through sweeping reform.

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  • March 18, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    A piece splashed across cnn.com's home page focuses on Central Falls Superintendent Frances Gallo and opens with her finding a Barack Obama doll hanging in effigy in the high school - a slap at the president for voicing public support for Gallo's high-profile move to fire the school's entire staff. From the story:

    Gallo knew Obama's endorsement would create further uproar.

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  • December 14, 2009
    By David Scharfenberg

    It's been a week since the Boston Globe ran a front-page story, in its Sunday edition, on the August ouster of RISD museum director Hope Alswang, and no follow-up by the ProJo.

    The breakthrough in the Globe piece: the paper obtained a copy of a letter Maeda sent to Alswang before her dismissal labeled "final warning" that focused on her "destructive behavior" and rocky relationship with the school's board of trustees.

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  • December 07, 2009
    By David Scharfenberg

    Education Commissioner Deborah A. Gist's push to ramp up teacher quality in Rhode Island has the feel of a bold and admirable gesture. And with Rhode Island teachers scoring among the worst in the country on a basic skills test at the center of her reform effort, there is something to be said for raising the bar. But test scores, as Malcolm Gladwell of The New Yorker wrote last year, are generally poor predictors of teacher performance.

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  • April 27, 2009
    By David Scharfenberg

    Tired of all that budget chatter? Well, Rhode Island's bizzarely high profile debate over illegal immigration is back again, with a curfuffle over Providence College's decision to block former Congressman, presidential aspirant and anti-illegal-immigration crusader Tom Tancredo from speaking at the school.

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  • January 20, 2009
    By Ian Donnis

    Sofia and Heiry speaking

    Raising the quality of public education in Rhode Island remains one of the top issues for the future well-being of the state, and a new effort known as Young Voices aims to make students part of the solution.

    Please join us at a huge press conference, as our youth present the results of their extensive survey of the classroom experience of Providence public school students!

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  • January 17, 2009
    By Ian Donnis

    The bombast in East Providence this week seems like a taste of things to come, and this inclusion in the budget will pour more fuel on the fire.

    From Ray Henry of the Providence AP, via the Boston Globe:

    A budget plan that Governor Don Carcieri submitted this month to close a massive deficit includes a provision making it illegal for teachers to protest during contract negotiations by performing strictly to the terms of their contracts, for example, by refusing to host after-school clubs or chaperone school dances.

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  • December 08, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    A controversy concerning a recent action by Brown University members of Students for a Democratic Society has continued to swirl on College Hill -- and it can be expected to heat up anew tomorrow.

    From the BDH:

    A University Disciplinary Council hearing will be held [tomorrow] to adjudicate charges against eight members of Students for a Democratic Society.

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  • September 26, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Maeda,inside.jpg

    A local bright spot amid all the bleak economic news is the growth of RISD and its potential as a creative and economic incubator.

    Tomorrow marks the grand opening of the art school's new $34 million Chace Center, which Greg Cook describes in this week's Phoenix. Peter Kadzis puts it in context.

    As part of the same package, I talk with John Maeda, RISD's impressive new president.

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  • August 19, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Talk radio was yesterday abuzz with this story, with hosts like John DePetro supporting the view that Governor Carcieri's approach to illegal immigration in responsible for a sharp decline in the number of students in Central Falls.

    Matt's theory, IMHO, strikes me as closer to the mark:

    One word, people: FORECLOSURES.

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  • August 07, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    KimAhern.webinside

    Since we've been heavy on Obama news today, here's one more tidbit.

    Kim Ahern, who won election as an Obama delegate to the Democratic National Convention, has been selected as editor-in-chief for the Roger Williams University Law Review for the 2008-2009 academic year. Congrats, Kim.

  • July 16, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Scott MacKay in the ProJo and Matt have the details on Christine Heenan, the longtime local PR and consulting expert who worked in the Clinton White House and who was spokeswoman for Hillary's RI campaign, taking a new gig in Cambridge. (Obligatory only-in-RI connections: Christine is the daughter of former Phoenix columnist Pam Steager.

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