It is always a pleasure to visit the set of Dan Yorke State of Mind and have a conversation about education issues. I wasn’t planning to talk about a devastating school shooting when I was booked to do the show but obviously that was the first thing to come up. After talking about the complexity that envelops these tragedies (how have these become the norm?!), we moved on to efforts to strengthen RI’s consent law. If the bill discussed were to pass, it would no longer be legal for teachers to have sex with their students who are over 16. Yup, you read that right. At the moment, there is no law protecting students of consent age from inappropriate relationships with teachers, coaches, or other school staff. And lastly, we talk about Providence’s recently announced strategic plan that sets the goals for reading and math proficiency at 25% and 33% while, at the same time, setting a goal of an 80% graduation rate. Clearly, there is a disconnect that we need to address.
So thank you to the show’s host, Dan, as well as the show’s producer, Lexi Kriss, who does a really fantastic job and doesn’t even get mad at me when I try to walk away from the set with the microphone still clipped to my jacket.