Education A State Capitals Roundup

Former New Hampshire Chief Leads R.I. School Overhaul

By Jeff Archer — April 19, 2005 1 min read

The state-appointed “special master” overseeing the restructuring of a troubled high school in Providence, R.I., will issue his first progress report next month.

Nicholas C. Donohue, a former state schools chief in New Hampshire, has been hired to monitor the efforts of the 28,000-student Providence district to carry out the changes at Hope High School. They were recently ordered by Rhode Island Commissioner of Education Peter J. McWalters. (“R.I. State Commissioner Imposes Plan of Action on Providence School,” Feb. 16, 2005.)

Mr. Donohue, whose contract could last up to two years, said last week that he spent his first month meeting with parents, community members, and students.

About a quarter of the school’s teachers have opted to leave, and the building has three new administrators. In May, Mr. Donohue is due to give state officials his first assessment of the overhaul. “At that time, I think it will be clear whether I should exert a more active role,” he said.