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

Aug 22, 2013

Some Changes for Rhode Island State Aid to Education

In December 2009, the education department head, Professor Kenneth K. Wong, another graduate student and myself were part of a three-person team consulting the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) on how to establish a new state funding formula. We worked with finance and legal staff at the department to ...

Aug 15, 2013

What can be done for Rhode Island Pensioners?

Proposing a small improvement to Rhode Island’s pension reform.

Nov 02, 2012

Paul Cuffee Middle School, Addressing Emotional Needs

I like this piece in Slate on Paul Cuffee Middle School, a charter school right here in Providence. Most of what I know about child development seems to suggest that middle schools are sort of ridiculous. At the moment children are looking for role models and close relationships with adults ...

Jul 12, 2012

Follow up to Nesi’s Notes Guest Post: Woonsocket School Funding

Some expanded thoughts beyond my Nesi’s Notes guest post on school funding in Pawtucket and Woonsocket.