School Talk

Providence Teachers’ Contract Does Not Require Teachers to Attend Parent-Teacher Conferences

Ever have those moments when something seems so crazy and so wrong that you fall into that trap of optimism and naïveté, convinced that finally you have found something about which there will be universal agreement? I certainly have moments like that. And it happened this weekend when I discovered and subsequently shared the fact… Continue reading Providence Teachers’ Contract Does Not Require Teachers to Attend Parent-Teacher Conferences

Rhode Island · School Talk

A Visit to the TV Studio and a Radio Chat

I had the privilege of appearing on Dan Yorke State of Mind last night to talk about a few important education issues —the first is related to funding proposals designed to cripple charter schools and the second is about a recent report from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute about the proven benefits of teachers who… Continue reading A Visit to the TV Studio and a Radio Chat

Rhode Island · School Talk

Stop Forcing Students into Your Schools Over Money

Tim Duffy is the executive director of the Rhode Island Association of School Committees and he wants to see underperforming charter schools close. Seems fair, until we consider the fact that he never calls for the closure of district schools that have quite literally failed generations of students and often perform as badly or worse… Continue reading Stop Forcing Students into Your Schools Over Money

School Talk

Bloomberg’s Appeal to Black Voters May Be the Primary Version of the Gillum Effect

Michael Bloomberg is polling very well with black voters and it has caught plenty of pundits and political junkies off guard. Some have expressed surprise at his rising poll numbers and skepticism that his appeal will have staying power. It’s likely that lots of people assume that Bloomberg’s long time support for stop-and-frisk policing in… Continue reading Bloomberg’s Appeal to Black Voters May Be the Primary Version of the Gillum Effect

School Talk

Let’s Ignore the Adult Drama and Focus on Outcomes for Students

Media folks and others were quick to notice that Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza was absent from the press conference where the new superintendent of Providence Schools, Harrison Peters, was officially introduced. His office says he wasn’t invited. And predictably, his absence has now become a story —and that is part of our problem. We rail… Continue reading Let’s Ignore the Adult Drama and Focus on Outcomes for Students

Rhode Island

Providence Finally Has a New Superintendent

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green has finally announced who will take the reins of the Providence Public Schools in the wake of the Johns Hopkins report and subsequent state takeover. His name is Harrison Peters and he comes to Little Rhody by way of Florida. Infante-Green didn’t sugarcoat the challenges that await Mr. Peters… Continue reading Providence Finally Has a New Superintendent

Rhode Island · School Talk

RI Pension Fund Finally Divests from Guns and Private Prisons — What Took So Long?

Seth Magaziner, the treasurer of my state of Rhode Island, loves to make a big political splash and he did just that on Wednesday with a long overdue announcement that the Rhode Island public pension fund will finally stop investing in companies that either operate private for-profit prisons or make assault-style weapons that are sold… Continue reading RI Pension Fund Finally Divests from Guns and Private Prisons — What Took So Long?

School Talk

Legislative Leaders Signal Support for Bill to Finally Criminalize Sex Between Teachers and Students

Rhode Island is one of only a few states that allows teachers and other school staff, under the law, to engage in sexual activity with the children in their care. While we watch teachers, coaches, substitutes and bus drivers across the country carted off in handcuffs for engaging in sex acts with minors, those stories… Continue reading Legislative Leaders Signal Support for Bill to Finally Criminalize Sex Between Teachers and Students

School Talk

Representative Blake Filippi Stands Up for Parents, Calls Out Hypocrisy of RI Elected Officials

Rhode Island Governor Raimondo (D) presented her State of the State address last night, quickly followed by a rebuttal by House Minority Leader Blake Filippi. While Raimondo spoke at length about education, she admitted that the the system in Providence is “broken” and promised that the district would adopt new curriculum, increase access to Advanced… Continue reading Representative Blake Filippi Stands Up for Parents, Calls Out Hypocrisy of RI Elected Officials

Rhode Island · School Talk

Providence Teachers’ Union President Apologizes—and I appreciate that.

We should all aspire to hold ourselves to a standard of waiting until we know all the facts before launching accusations at anybody and that is especially true for public figures. Maribeth Calabro, the president of the Providence Teachers’ Union, failed that test when she used her Facebook page to accuse the Pilgrim High School… Continue reading Providence Teachers’ Union President Apologizes—and I appreciate that.