Rhode Island Disease


When discussing policy in Rhode Island, I almost always encounter two bizarre arguments.

  1. Rhode Island is completely unique. Ideas from other places don’t adequately take into account our local context. What is working there either won’t work here or isn’t really comparable to our situation here.
  2. What is happening nationally is directly applicable to Rhode Island. We can make broad sweeping statements about a set of policies, ideas, or institutions currently in play in Rhode Island without any knowledge of how things are going locally and how it’s different from other places. We can simply graft a broader national narrative onto Rhode Island regardless of whether it makes any sense with our facts on the ground.

These seemingly in conflict points of view are often employed by the same actors.

It is probably not unique to Rhode Island, but that won’t stop me from calling it Rhode Island Disease.

This entry was tagged as rhode island politics policy

Feb 10, 2014

Freedom Should Be Reserved for the Wealthy

These quotes are absolutely striking, in that they give a clear glimpse into the ideological commitments of the Republican Party. From Sen. Blunt and Rep. Cole, we get the revelation that— for conservatives— the only “work” worth acknowledging is wage labor. To myself, and many others, someone who retires early ...

Jul 12, 2012

Legal Context: Can Woonsocket Successfully Sue the State for Additional Aid?

My last post ended with an important question, “Who is responsible for ensuring students are receiving a certain minimum quality education?”

This is my attempt at answering that question.

Does the state have a legal obligation to fiscally ensure that Woonsocket students are receiving an equitable, adequate, and meaningful education ...

Jul 12, 2012

Using the Common Core Data on NCES

My analysis on Nesi’s Notes depended entirely on the National Center for Education Statistics’ Common Core Data. The per pupil amounts reported to NCES may look a bit different from state sources of this information. There are several explanations of this. First, the enrollment counts used to generate per ...

Jan 25, 2012

Providence Pensions— Let’s Call a Spade a Spade (or the COLA a Raise)

Ted Nesi has done a pretty solid job tracing the history of some awful decisions made by union-dominated boards that resulted in a significant number of retirees in the early-90s receiving 5% or 6% annually compounded interest on their retirement income. These are often called COLAs, or cost-of-living adjustments.

Today ...