Surveillance cameras on a pole

How exactly will license-plate cameras prevent suicide on the Mount Hope Bridge?

By Justin Katz | June 29, 2022 |

Oddly, that’s a question Melanie DaSilva doesn’t manage to answer in her WPRI article about the plans of local police to put license plate recognition cameras on both sides of the bridge that connects Portsmouth and Bristol.  It’s almost as if a paragraph is missing: [Investigating criminal activity is] not what [the cameras will] be…

A toy school bus

Don’t doubt that the education establishment is moving forward with critical race theory.

By Justin Katz | November 19, 2021 |

In the course of my inquiries about the Equity Institute’s activities in the Portsmouth school system, I received this statement from Superintendent Thomas Kenworthy: The Portsmouth School Department contracted with the Equity Institute last spring to conduct a third-party analysis that we can use to inform our work around equity. We have a Strategic Plan…

Mural at Portsmouth High School

The Equity Institute Seeks to Hide Student Surveys in Portsmouth

By Justin Katz | November 2, 2021 |

The level of secrecy and implicit threat against sharing suggests that the Equity Institute and Portsmouth school department know they are skirting a line, whether legal, moral, or political. 

Mural at Portsmouth High School

Critical Race Theory Comes to Portsmouth in a Misleading Mask

By Justin Katz | September 23, 2021 |

Parents who haven’t been following the controversy around critical race theory (CRT) and “anti-racism” might think these sessions have something to do with “college and/or career” readiness for their children.  They do not.

Re: Man Bites Dog: School Committee Sues Teachers Union

By Monique Chartier | June 13, 2011 |

Responding via e-mail and under comments to my question, Tim Duffy, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Association of School Committees, kindly explains the preamble to and basis of the Portsmouth School Committee’ lawsuit against the NEA-Portsmouth. The Portsmouth school committee implemented a new personnel policy that based teacher assignments on qualifications as opposed to…

Man Bites Dog: School Committee Sues Teachers Union

By Monique Chartier | June 10, 2011 |

I don’t fully understand the basis of the lawsuit; explications welcome. But this is a refreshing turnabout in a state where public labor lawsuits against elected bodies are filed, seemingly, as easily as shop grievances. Portsmouth officials have filed suit against the town’s teacher’s union seeking to eliminate seniority as a factor in personnel decisions,…

Using Transparency to Know What Administrators Should Be Investigating

By Justin Katz | April 1, 2011 |

My Patch column, this week, notes that school administrators in Tiverton appear to analyze differences between their approach and that of one of the most successful districts in Rhode Island (neighboring town, Portsmouth) only to the degree that they can formulate excuses why their own students and community in general are to blame for the…

A Lesson for the Town’s Educators (and Parents)

By Justin Katz | March 16, 2011 |

Not surprisingly, a majority of Little Compton parents would prefer to keep the town’s students flowing through one of the state’s best high schools, in Portsmouth, rather than move them over to Tiverton’s facility right next door. I’ve explained why I would feel the same, were I among them, but the number of reasons that…

Give Them Time… and Money

By Justin Katz | January 27, 2011 |

Although writing from Michigan, Kyle Olson has it right when it comes to his perspective on education happenings in Central Falls: Central Falls students deserve a high-quality education. But instead, families are told to be patient as administrators and the teachers union hold meetings and create 45-page reform plans. And now the federal government gives…

What School Choice Is Already Telling Us

By Justin Katz | January 10, 2011 |

For several generations, Little Compton, RI, has been practicing a community school choice by sending its teenagers elsewhere for high school. The obvious choice should be Tiverton, just over an indistinguishable border, but at least since the ’70s, the kids of LC have been traveling to Aquidneck Island. My Patch column, this week, looks at…