The messy reality of personalized learning
Half an hour west of downtown Providence, Rhode Island, past potholed highways lined with maple, ash and pine trees, is the town of Foster, population 4,700. Its residents live on small farms and in aging, widely spaced homes; the closest grocery store is in Johnston, 20 miles away. Down Route 6, not far from the Shady Acres Restaurant and Dairy, is Captain Isaac Paine Elementary School. Kristen Danusis, a former school psychologist who became the principal in 2013, tells me that many of her students live “off the grid,” in households that earn little regular income.