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Raimondo: Some Providence schools may have to merge or close

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo stands on the State House steps after taking the oath of office in Providence, R.I., Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo stands on the State House steps after taking the oath of office in Providence, R.I., Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019.AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

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Happy Monday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and Deshaun Watson saved my fantasy season this weekend. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

Governor Gina Raimondo may have been in Chicago on Friday, but that didn’t stop her from making news about Rhode Island.

During a live taping of “The Axe Files” podcast with former President Obama chief strategist David Axelrod, Raimondo said there are probably some Providence schools that “have to be merged or closed” as part of the state’s takeover of the district.


Raimondo said some of the city’s schools are “just so far gone, physically” before warning that the takeover will be a long process. She also said she expects to implement a higher-quality curriculum and offer “much more and better teacher development.”

“The scariest thing to me is how much worse the schools have become in the past five or six years,” Raimondo said. “So they’re not only bad, but they’re bad and getting worse.”

Raimondo, who chairs the Democratic Governors Association, also discussed pension reform – her advice for how Illinois should address its pension system: “Change the constitution” – before moving into a conversation about national politics.

Raimondo and Axelrod agreed that US Senator Elizabeth Warren is now the frontrunner to be the Democratic nominee for president, but she repeated her concern that some of Warren’s views may not play well in a general election nationally.

“I worry about free this, free that, Medicare for all,” Raimondo said.


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 RInews@globe.com.


• Scoop from me: Mayor Jorge Elorza is willing to support the expansion of the Achievement First charter school network in Providence, but he’s asking the state to consider placing limits on adding new, unproven charter schools in the city.

• Interesting one from Ed Fitzpatrick: During a visit to Providence last week, former UN ambassador Samantha Power said she wouldn’t rule out running for US Senator Elizabeth Warren’s seat if she becomes the president.

• Writing for the Globe Magazine, Linda K. Wertheimer takes a look at how civics education is making a comeback in public schools.

• The Patriots are off to a 5-0 start, but Chad Finn writes that the offense still has question marks.

• Winner: Rhode Map readers really love beer. We received more responses to our best brewery question than we’ve ever gotten before. There was a tie for the winner. Long Live Beerworks in Providence and The Guild in Pawtucket each received 23 votes, with Grey Sail in Westerly coming in third at 14 votes.


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

• Tonight at Providence City Hall: Amanda Milkovits, Mike Stanton and Ian Donnis will discuss the future of local journalism – and maybe a little a bit of Buddy Cianci. The event is free, but you should RSVP here.


• The Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council will hold its 76th annual meeting tonight at the convention center. All the bigwigs will be in attendance to say farewell to John Simmons, who is retiring from RIPEC later this year.

• The Newport School Committee is set to take up a proposal to ban cell phones at Pell Elementary School and require Thompson Middle School students to keep their devices in their lockers at all times. At the high school level, cell phones would be banned in class unless a teacher allows them.

• In Westerly, the town council is planning to create a new panel that will be tasked with addressing substance abuse in the community.

• In Narragansett, the town council is considering establishing a decorum ordinance that would address “personal attacks, slanderous remarks or becoming boisterous while addressing the council.”

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

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