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Here’s what Providence’s schools chief thinks of the district. It’s a big day for census watchers in Rhode Island.

<b>Superintendent Christopher Maher</b>, whose decision to resign is part of the reason the state chose to take a deeper look at the city’s schools, offered a disturbing glimpse of what it’s like to lead such a troubled school system.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

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Happy Thursday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and I think Tim White should moderate presidential debates. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to

If you only want to read one section of the devastating report on Providence schools that came out this week, skip down to page 74 and take a look at what outgoing Superintendent Christopher Maher had to say about the district.


Maher, whose decision to resign is part of the reason the state chose to take a deeper look at the city’s schools, offered a disturbing glimpse of what it’s like to lead such a troubled school system.

Among the most concerning points:

• When it comes to school governance, Maher said the endless layers of bureaucracy are because “no one wanted to lose control.” He specifically referred to Mayor Jorge Elorza’s tendency to micro-manage the district.

• On low expectations for students, he said there is an inadequate teacher pipeline in the state, noting that Rhode Island College produced only six certified science teachers last year.

• In a state where English learners are the fastest-growing population, he said it took someone’s personal relationship with House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello to win just a few million dollars in extra funding for those students. That was a reference to an appeal from lobbyists close to the speaker who helped secure the money.

Keep in mind, Maher knows dysfunction when he sees it. His previous job was to assist struggling school districts all over the country. He also worked as a principal in Baltimore.


Don’t think this was a hit-and-run move by Maher, either. He may be leaving the district, but he’s staying in Providence. And he plans to keep his own children in the public schools.


Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you’ve got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at

• It looked like legislation that would extend the statute of limitations on lawsuits by victims of child sexual abuse might die on Smith Hill, but Amanda Milkovits digs into how a compromise was reached.

• CNN chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour pays tribute to investigative reporter Jim Tarican i , whose funeral is this morning.

• Did you watch the first presidential debate last night? The Globe’s James Pindell offers a great scorecard for each candidate. (Spoiler: Lots of love for Julián Castro.)

• Providence Councilman David Salvatore is again calling for his colleagues to change an ordinance that requires most city purchases above $5,000 to be approved by the council. The policy was criticized in the Providence schools report and Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green has called it “unheard of.”

• On the environmental front, Rhode Island’s Office of Energy Resources reports that the state now has 16,021 people working in the clean energy sector, up 74 percent since 2014.


Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at


• The Rhode Island Senate is planning to vote on the state’s $9.9 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. No major changes are expected.

• With the US Supreme Court set to rule on whether a citizenship question can be added to the census, Rhode Island’s Complete Count Committee will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. at the Federal Hill House in Providence. Remember, the census will decide whether the state loses a member of Congress.

• There are only four days left in the fiscal year, so the Providence City Council is under the gun to pass a budget. The Finance Committee has scheduled meetings for tonight, tomorrow, and Saturday with the hope of wrapping things up quickly, but the full council hasn’t set a vote yet.

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Thanks for reading. Send comments and suggestions to, or follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan. See you tomorrow.

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