Archive for August, 2006


Wednesday, Sept. 6th, 7p.m. Lower level of Mt. Hope Community Baptist Church, corner of Hope and Rochambeau.

Help Shape the Future of East Side Public Education!

ESPEC mobilized the East Side to successfully lobby for Nathan Bishop to reopen as a public school. Now, the question is what kind of school it will be. The public was asked at the DeJong forum whether it supported K-8 or middle school models, but many of us felt we did not have enough information to make the choice. The Superintendent’s committee is currently preparing recommendations.

To help the committee members and the public understand these choices, ESPEC is sponsoring a forum of education experts who will discuss the issue and answer audience questions. Come. . Get informed. We will solicit feedback in the days following the meeting and will make sure East Siders’ voices are be heard in this process. Tell your neighbors and bring them along.


Ken Fish- Johnson and Wales faculty member. Director of Exchange City. Former Director of School Improvement for the RI Department of Education.

John Niska- Rhode Island College faculty member. Nationally recognized middle school expert. Elected as one of 12 national researchers to the Middle Level Research Council of the American Educational Research Association.

Julia Steiny- Providence Journal education columnist and former Providence School Board member.

Superintendent Donnie Evans or his designee.

If you know now what questions you might ask, post them as comments and we’ll try to work them in.


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The above is the headline of a New York Times story today. I won’t post the whole thing for space and copywrite reasons, but here are a few snippets. The whole story is here.

Fourth graders in traditional public schools did significantly better in reading and math than comparable children attending charter schools, according to a report released on Tuesday by the Federal Education Department.

The study also compared traditional public schools with charter schools in central cities serving mostly minority students and found no significant difference in reading achievement at the different schools. However, math scores at such urban charter schools still lagged those at traditional schools, except when those charters were affiliated with local districts.

How to judge the relative performance of public, charter and private schools has been a touchy issue for the department since 2004, when it initially avoided publicizing results from the 2003 assessment that were largely unfavorable to charters.

The teachers’ union ferreted those results out of the department’s Web site, showing that students in charters were largely trailing those in regular public schools. After the federation reported the scores, the department issued its own report confirming their accuracy.

But charter supporters objected to these findings, saying the raw scores did not convey the full picture of charter schools. They said children in charters were more disadvantaged than those in regular public schools and often turned to charters after having struck out in their neighborhood school.

Tuesday’s report, written by the Educational Testing Service, compared a nationally representative sample of 376,000 students at nearly 6,800 regular public schools with 6,500 students at 150 charter schools, controlling for race, socioeconomic status and other factors.

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We’re Back!

Despite the lack of activity here the last couple of months, the Blog Stats show that dozens of people continue to read.

Now that September is upon us, we’ll be ramping up the activity here again.

For now, please note that  the Ward 2 City Council candidates (Rita Williams and Cliff Wood) are debating tonight, Aug. 23  7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Community Church of Providence 372 Wayland Avenue, at the corner of Wayland and Lloyd Aves.  Education has been an issue at the forefront of this campaign, so Ward 2 readers should be interested in this.

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Meet and Greet at Vartan Gregorian

Maureen posted this under another topic, but I thought it deserved a post of its own.

I am a special education teacher at Vartan Gregorian School at Fox Point. I’d like to extend an invitation to any interested parents and community members to visit Gregorian for a Meet and Greet opportunity on Monday afternoon, August 28, 2006 from 1:00-2:00pm. The teachers and staff will break from our orientation agenda to meet and greet families and help make the first week of school a more comfortable experience for all. Enjoy the rest of your summer.
Maureen Kenner

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