Deborah Gist

The Education Blog
9:44 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Students to Gist: We’re Sorry

Members of the student advocacy group Providence Student Union have issued an apology to Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist for making comments about her reputation. The students said they regretted the tone of a press release that said they planned to mourn the “expected ‘death’ of Commissioner Gist’s reputation.”

The comments came after Gist refused the group’s invitation of a public debate about the state’s use of standardized test scores. The Providence Student Union called it a mistake to make the issue personal.

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The Education Blog
8:55 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Gist Declines Debate with Students

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist has turned down a request from students for a public debate over high stakes testing. The invitation came from the Providence Student Union, a student advocacy group operating in Providence Public Schools.

The group plans to hold a protest vigil at the Department of Education with candles, dirges and other symbols of mourning. Organizers say the demonstration is meant as a “tongue in cheek display of mourning for the expected ‘death’ of Education Commissioner Gist’s reputation.”

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The Education Blog
9:26 am
Fri May 24, 2013

No Decision on Gist Contract

The State Board of Education discussed a contract extension for Education Commissioner Deborah Gist last night but took no action. The conversation took place behind closed doors, which is standard practice for personnel matters.

At least 200 people attended the public portion of the board meeting, some to testify in opposition to Gist and others to speak on a controversial measure to arm state college police. The board passed the measure on campus police, allowing each state university to make its own decision about arming campus police forces.

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The Education Blog
9:29 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Board of Ed Tackles Guns, Gist and Science

There’s a meaty agenda on tap this week at the State Board of Education. The group is scheduled to vote Thursday on a controversial proposal to allow police to carry guns on state college campuses. The board is also scheduled to vote on adopting new science standards and consider a contract extension for Education Commissioner Deborah Gist.

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RI News
9:37 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Rhode Island Teachers Will Voice Concerns Over Education Policy

Rhode Island’s two teacher unions are hosting a forum Monday to collect information to present to the state Board of Education.  Teacher evaluations and state Education Commissioner Deborah Gist are expected to be targeted for criticism.

Last week, two dozen business organizations endorsed state Education Commissioner Deborah Gist and urged the state Board of Education to renew her contract.  Some of the teachers under her command, however, do not share their enthusiasm. Frank Flynn, president of the Rhode Island Federation of

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The Education Blog
9:23 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Teachers to Sound Off on Education Policy

Rhode Island’s two teachers’ unions are holding a forum for teachers to discuss their dissatisfaction with new policies in the state’s public schools.

Teachers have complained about the pace of changes under State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist, and they are particularly concerned about new annual teacher evaluations, which include test scores as one measure of teacher effectiveness. The teachers have asked the state to slow down implementation of the evaluations, saying they are time consuming and need adjustment.

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The Education Blog
9:44 am
Fri May 17, 2013

As RI Rolls Out Common Core, Are New Science Standards Next?

Rhode Island is one of 26 states that have promised to consider new science guidelines known as the Next Generation Science Standards. The standards were developed by the same organization that created the Common Core, a group of national standards many states including Rhode Island are now adopting for Math and English.

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The Education Blog
9:50 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Business Supports Gist

Business leaders are coming out in support of Deborah Gist, the state’s controversial education commissioner. The Providence Journal reports that two dozen business organizations have asked the State Board of Education to renew Gist’s contract, which is currently under review.

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The Education Blog
11:17 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Controversy Follows Gist to the Statehouse

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist urged lawmakers to pass a series of bills aimed at improving school safety in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting during her State of Education speech on Tuesday. She also urged passage of the governor’s budget which increases funding for public schools, colleges and universities.

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Education
8:46 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Contract Extension Likely For Ed. Commissioner Gist

Education Commissioner Deborah Gist would like to stay in Rhode Island, according to her spokeperson.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison/RIPR

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist is working out terms for an extension of her contract. The controversial Gist is expected to remain at the helm of the state Department of Education.

Education Commissioner Deborah Gist led the team that brought Rhode Island a $75 million federal Race to the Top grant. But she’s also been criticized for shepherding in an era of tough teacher evaluations and high stakes testing as a graduation requirement.

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