A vote Monday at the State Board of Education may create a leadership void at a key moment for opponents of a new test-based high school graduation requirement.
Those opponents have lined up some 20 people from the state’s higher education community to testify at Monday’s meeting, but they may be overshadowed by a vote to turn State Education Board Chair Eva-Marie Mancuso into the state’s Interim Commissioner of Higher Education. Governor Lincoln Chafee announced Mancuso as his choice for the post on Friday.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee is recommending that the chair of the state Board of Education give up that position to become the state Commissioner of Higher Education. The appointment would be full time, but only temporary while the board conducts a search for a permanent commissioner.
The governor said he chose board chair Eva-Marie Mancuso because he believes higher education needs full time leadership at this time.
Mancuso says she is thrilled at the chance to lead the state office of higher education, a post with a $200,000 salary.
The State Board of Education met Thursday to discuss the future of the Office of Higher Education, which is slated to stop receiving state funding in July of 2014. Lawmakers dealt the department an early blow in the new budget, cutting funding by roughly 40 percent. Education Board Chair Eva-Marie Mancuso says she was disappointed by the decision.
“I was surprised,” Mancuso said. “I was not happy because it’s premature in my mind. They gave us until next July to in fact meet that goal, and so it’s going to be challenging.”
Recent college graduates face a still-sluggish job market and student loan burdens that are higher than ever, but none of that fazed new Roger Williams University graduate Abby Moreau. When she didn’t get much response to the resumes she sent out, Moreau decided to skip the job hunt altogether and start her own business, a social media company called Social Gal Abby. http://www.socialgalabbyonline.com
Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist said parents in schools receiving a low rating should seek answers into how those schools are going to improve.
Twenty-eight schools received the lowest ratings, many of them were in Providence. The education department said the rating system is designed to identify warning signs and to help schools improve. Gist said while it takes years to turn a school around, parents should be concerned about a low-performing school.