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Metro Roundup, April 8

New England Board of Higher Education elects McNamara chair

Last month, Rhode Island Representative Joseph McNamara was elected chairman of the New England Board of Higher Education, according to a NEBHE press release.

McNamara currently serves as the chair of the Rhode Island House Health, Education and Welfare Committee. He was appointed to the board of the NEBHE in 2006 and chaired the Legislative Advisory Committee from 2014 to 2018, according to the press release. He previously directed the Alternative Learning Program at the Pawtucket School Department.

McNamara will prioritize four areas of development, according to the Warwick Post. He hopes to identify “opportunities for adult learners, cost-savings opportunities, advancing PreK-16 alignment and articulating the public value of post-secondary education,” he said.

Conference showcases Rhode Island education methods

Last week, the Highlander Institute and The Learning Accelerator sponsored a Blended and Personalized Learning Conference attended by about 1,000 educators about the Ocean State’s vision for implementing individualized learning experiences for students, the Providence Journal reported.

Blended learning combines traditional education models with technology applications adaptable to individual students’ needs in classrooms, which can differentiate the pace of learning among students.

Rhode Island has spearheaded personalized learning programming, according to the Atlantic. The Rhode Island Personalized Learning Initiative launched under Governor Gina Raimondo in 2016.

While Providence School Superintendent Chris Maher did not embrace blended learning when he took on his current role, he has seen that personalized learning can positively influence his son’s learning, the Journal reported.

Rhode Island Commissioner of Education Ken Wagner has described personalized learning as necessary progressive innovation, according to EdTech Times, which can better engage every student and optimally center each student’s learning.

Times 2 Academy Funding at Risk

After the Providence School Board ordered charter school Times2 Academy to remove executive director Dr. Rudolph Moseley from his position, the Rhode Island Council on Elementary and Secondary Education may revoke the charter of the Times2 Academy. If the charter is revoked, it would be the first such revocation in state history, according to the Providence Journal.

When the Council reviewed the school’s charter in January, it found that Times2 did not obtain the school board’s approval for Moseley’s original appointment in 2016, according to NBC news. Testimony to the Providence School Board that criticized the charter school’s administrative environment brought the school under scrutiny. Last month, Moseley dismissed almost half of the staff, citing insufficient special education and English as a Second Language training, according to the Journal.

If Times2 does not terminate the employment of Dr. Moseley, PSD will end their Charter School Management Agreement with Times 2 on June 19, according to a letter dated March 29 from President of the Providence School Board Nicholas J. Hemond.

Times2 thus far has refused to replace Moseley.


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