United Providence! education initiative to launch on Tuesday

United Providence! will host its kick-off breakfast Tuesday at the R.I. Convention Center with keynote speaker U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
Posted 2/11/13

(Updated, 6 p.m.)

PROVIDENCE – Nonprofit education management organization United Providence!, which is designed to manage the turn around process in Providence’s lowest-performing schools, will officially launch Tuesday with an event at the R.I. Convention Center.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was scheduled to serve as the keynote speaker to launch the “first of its kind in the nation” initiative, said a release from the city of Providence, but he will not be able to attend. The organization is looking to have him appear by audio feed, but as of 6 p.m. Monday, it is not clear if that will happen.

UP! is a labor-management collaboration between the Providence Public School District and the Providence Teachers Union and will focus on Carl G. Lauro Elementary School, Gilbert Stuart Middle School and Dr. Jorge Alvarez High School.

A release from the city said Duncan offered national support for the program by assigning Jo Anderson, senior policy adviser for the U.S. Department of Education, as chief liaison.

“At the Feb. 12 breakfast, Secretary Duncan will reinforce the United Providence! model as a bold, courageous and innovative approach that will no doubt improve the academic lives of the students in Providence,” said the city’s release.

Members of UP!’s national advisory board include national researchers and practitioners from across the country, who specialize in “various aspects of school transformation.”

Registration for the event, which also incudes speeches from Mayor Angel Taveras, Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee and Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, will being at 7:15 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12.

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