Two-and-a-half years ago, we started RI-CAN to create a movement in our state with the political will to make real change in our public schools.
I am so proud of all that RI-CAN has accomplished in those two-plus years. Through three issue campaigns – Be a Superhero, Put Achievement First and The Rising Tide – we kept front-and-center the notion that every child in Rhode Island deserves access to a great public school.
When a new governor took office and appointed a new Board of Regents, we worked to keep the reforms begun the year before on track. When a groundbreaking charter school network applied to open a school in our state, we embarked on a nine-month battle to get their application approved and more Rhode Island kids on a path to college.
Along the way, we also started important conversations about reforming school staffing policies, removing obstacles for implementing proven strategies in all of our public schools and funding for charter school buildings so they can be on equal footing with the rest of the system.
Over the past two-and-a-half years, I’ve seen RI-CAN grow from a promising idea into a powerful movement, with more than 10,000 RI-CAN members across the state demanding change, dozens of authoritative research and policy reports and briefs that have grounded the conversation in the facts and more than 150 media stories and articles that have helped make education reform a central conversation in our state.
We have accomplished so much together. I am filled with emotions as I write to you to let you know that this will be my last email as RI-CAN's executive director. I have decided to step down from RI-CAN so that I can devote my full energies to running for Senate District 3 in Providence. This isn’t the end of my journey as an advocate for kids but just another chapter in a story that began when I was pulled into this work to advocate for my own children.
In the next few weeks RI-CAN will start the search for a great new leader to take the helm. Until then Ashley Daigneault, our public affairs and policy manager, will be stepping in to keep RI-CAN’s important work on track. Ashley has been with RI-CAN since the beginning and has been a true partner in this journey the past two-and-a-half years. RI-CAN will be in good hands under her leadership during this transition.
Thank you for partnering with me and with RI-CAN in the fight to give every Rhode Island child access to a great public school. It has been an absolute privilege advocating alongside you.
**RI-CAN does not endorse candidates for political office**