Deborah Gist

On Politics
4:15 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

TGIF: 14 Things to Know About RI Politics + Media

The start of June has done nothing, naturally, to stop the breakneck flow of news in the Land of The Gift That Keeps on Giving. So welcome back to my weekly column. You can reach me at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) com, and (please) follow me on Twitter. Let's head in.

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RI News
1:45 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Chafee Pleased by Gist's Contract Extension; Critics Vow Resistance

Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee is applauding the contract extension granted to state Education Commissioner Deborah Gist on Thursday. But the state’s largest teachers’ union remains upset about the decision to keep Gist as commissioner.

The state Board of Education voted, 7 to 3, to continue Gist’s contract for another two years. In a statement, Governor Chafee says he’s pleased by the agreement. The governor says he looks forward to continuing what he calls a productive and positive relationship with Gist.

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Education
8:08 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Two Year Contract Renewal for Gist

RI Board of Education Chair Eva Marie Mancuso and Commissioner Debora Gist listen to public testimony before the vote on her contract.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

After hours of deliberation … and discussion with Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist … the state's education board approved a new 2-year contract for Gist. The vote was 7 -3 with one abstention. Rhode Island Public Radio's Catherine Welch was there and has this report.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Bonus Q+A: Walsh Offers a Labor Perspective on the Democratic Gubernatorial Field for 2014

Robert Walsh, executive director of the National Education Association Rhode Island, joins Bonus Q+A for a discussion of pensions, President Obama, public education, and the Democratic field in next year's race for governor.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Political Roundtable: Walsh on Gist, 38 Studios, Economic Development + more

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Robert A. Walsh Jr., executive director of the National Education Association Rhode Island, joins the Roundtable this week to discuss state Education Commissioner Deborah Gist; conflicting views on economic development; the debate over defaulting on bonds for 38 Studios; and Council 94's hiring of a prominent critic of state Treasurer Gina Raimondo.

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Education
9:03 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Gist on the Bumpy Road to NECAP: This Will Get Better

State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist's contract is up on Friday.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The Rhode Island Board of Education is expected to vote tonight on a contract extension for State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist. She’s been weathering heavy criticism over the last few months from some parents, students and teachers, who complain that she ignores their concerns about all of the changes happening in Rhode Island public schools. One of the most controversial issues has been a new policy of standardized testing as a requirement for a high school diploma.

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Education
4:01 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

RI ACLU: Higher Suspension Rate for Black & Hispanic Students

The Rhode Island ACLU announcing a study that found minority students were more likely to be suspended than white students.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

One day after releasing a report showing that African Americans in the state are disproportionately arrested for marijuana possession, the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is out with a report showing a racial disparity in school suspensions. 

The civil rights group stopped short of calling it racial profiling, but says the issue is something education leaders need to study and correct.

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Education
3:46 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

U.S. Education Secretary Defends RI Commissioner Gist

Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Rhode Islanders should look at progress made in its schools while weighing the fate of state education commissioner Deborah Gist. Duncan made the comment on a conference call with Rhode Island reporters.

In a call of support for Gist, Duncan touted rising test scores and graduation rates as signs that the state is making progress. Teachers and parents have been outspoken in their opposition to Gist. But Duncan defends her, calling her collaborative.

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Education
7:58 am
Tue June 4, 2013

EDU Commissioner Gist: Contract Less Than Two Years Difficult to Accept

Education commissioner Deborah Gist will likely find out if her contract has been renewed this week.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist is likely to learn Thursday whether her contract is being renewed and for how long.

Deborah Gist has been a target of criticism lately from some teachers and students who say they don’t like her leadership style and they disagree with her focus on test scores. Now that her contract is expiring, there’s speculation the State Board of Education will offer a one-year extension, instead of a three-year contract. Gist says that would be difficult to accept.

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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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