Rhode Island · School Talk

With a Waitlist of over 3,000, Elorza Can Finally Lead By Opening Up Additional Seats at Achievement First

Jorge Elorza is probably the only Mayor in the country who has direct access to one of the best and one of the worst performing school systems in the state in their own city — and yet he has made the calculated decision not to lead on connecting and collaborating to maximize the impact of… Continue reading With a Waitlist of over 3,000, Elorza Can Finally Lead By Opening Up Additional Seats at Achievement First

School Talk

This Story from Nashville Could Have Been Written About Providence Too—Except Our Reading Scores are Even Worse

By Vesia Hawkins Vesia Hawkins is a mom and a grandma and a fierce education advocate in Nashville, TN. She is especially focused on the issue of literacy as well as helping parents to understand how their children are *really* doing in school. This piece could absolutely have been written about Providence—some of the acronyms… Continue reading This Story from Nashville Could Have Been Written About Providence Too—Except Our Reading Scores are Even Worse

School Talk

Some Questions for the Providence Teachers’ Union

It is impossible to even ponder a successful turn-around of the Providence Schools System without major changes to the current teachers’ contract. The now notorious report out of Johns Hopkins was clear in its contention that the collective bargaining agreement plays a central role in the district’s dysfunction. The Providence Teachers’ Union (PTU)— a local… Continue reading Some Questions for the Providence Teachers’ Union

Rhode Island · School Talk

11-Year-Old Providence Student: We Don’t Let Animals Live in the Conditions Present In Our Schools

Since the release of the blistering Johns Hopkins report on the Providence Public Schools, the new state education commissioner, Angélica Infante Green, and the city’s Mayor, Jorge Elorza, have hosted 9 open community forums in different schools around the city. Today marked the last two forums—one in English, one in Spanish—and one of the speakers… Continue reading 11-Year-Old Providence Student: We Don’t Let Animals Live in the Conditions Present In Our Schools

Rhode Island · School Talk

Pump the Brakes and Fix the System Before You Talk About Hiring a New Superintendent

In an unexpected bit of news yesterday, Providence schools Superintendent Chris Maher announced that he would be stepping down at the end of the year despite the recent extension to his contract. The chair of the school committee, Nick Hemond, immediately announced that they’d be forming a search committee “in the coming weeks” and that… Continue reading Pump the Brakes and Fix the System Before You Talk About Hiring a New Superintendent

Rhode Island · School Talk

TV Appearance with Dan Yorke—Tragedy in Florida, Strengthening RI’s Consent Law, and Proficiency Goals that Are Too Low

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… Continue reading TV Appearance with Dan Yorke—Tragedy in Florida, Strengthening RI’s Consent Law, and Proficiency Goals that Are Too Low

School Talk

The Good Stuff: Some Reasons to Smile

Sometimes it’s just good to find reasons to smile and schools are great places for that. So, we are staying away from the noise today and just taking a moment to enjoy the good stuff. I mean, we are about to celebrate Thanksgiving.  And I’m thankful for all of this. Ms. Lundgren is back! It’s… Continue reading The Good Stuff: Some Reasons to Smile

School Talk

Crumbling Buildings With No Escape Hatch for Parents

After news broke the other day that Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza was ready to tackle the insidious issue of crumbling school buildings, everyone on radio an in print was talking about it. And it’s a conversation that’s long overdue and certainly not unique to Providence. Neighboring East Providence as well as Detroit parents could certainly… Continue reading Crumbling Buildings With No Escape Hatch for Parents

Rhode Island · School Talk

Providence Students Plan to Walk Out of School This Morning in Protest of Trump

I’m not a fan of student walk outs. And I hope it’s not just because I’m getting old. I’m confident that there is reason and substance behind my belief that students send a much stronger message when they protest on their own time. It shows that the cause is important enough for them to give… Continue reading Providence Students Plan to Walk Out of School This Morning in Protest of Trump

Rhode Island · School Talk

NEA’s Bob Walsh: Blocking, Begging, and Belittling

Bob Walsh, Executive Director of the NEA in Rhode Island, is a smart guy. Unlike some others in his organization, he makes his case respectfully and the scope of his technical knowledge is infinite. But last week he left me truly stumped (and a bit appalled) after an appearance on A Lively Experiment on our local… Continue reading NEA’s Bob Walsh: Blocking, Begging, and Belittling