We learned in recent weeks that our state’s “paper of record”, the Providence Journal, let its editorial page director go after twenty one years because they no longer think having an editorial page is a good idea. Putting aside the reasons they gave for the decision versus what all thinking people know to be the… Continue reading Ed Achorn Spoke Up for Kids Stuck in a System That Has Never Served Them Well
Dear Teachers of Rhode Island, Many of you probably don’t realize that the hard work you’ve been doing for the past two months is not the norm throughout the country. You have led the way while other cities and states have been painfully slow in keeping students connected to school and to learning. Perhaps you… Continue reading A Letter of Thanks to the Teachers of Rhode Island
I noticed (and was enjoying) on Facebook that David Upegui, a high school science teacher in Central Falls, Rhode Island, had developed an interesting ritual as a teacher now instructing from his home. So I asked him about it. Why the hats? When we asked students amass to switch their schooling experience and rely exclusively on… Continue reading A Teacher and His Hats
The teachers’ unions in Rhode Island are masters of manipulation and sometimes their default is to cite student safety as their top priority. The school committee in East Greenwich is contemplating a policy that would “enable parents to enter the classroom to make formal observations of their child in the learning environment.” Union reps are… Continue reading Don’t Believe Union Leaders When They Say Student Safety is Their Priority—It Isn’t.
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
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
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
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?
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.
The Rhode Island Foundation hosted a huge education event today at the Convention Center called Make It Happen RI—Rhode Island’s Path to a World Class Public Education System, a brainstorming session to improve public education. Approximately three hundred people attended and they ranged from educators, students, parents, community and business leaders, union leaders, elected officials… Continue reading RI Commish Won’t Engage in Conversations That Don’t Center on Students