Thursday, February 25, 2010

Behind the war on teachers in R.I.

Did Duncan give the nod to Central Falls mass teacher firings? You bet he did.

Meanwhile, state and local education officials received some high-powered support of their own, when U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan weighed in, saying he “applauded” them for “showing courage and doing the right thing for kids.”
Meet Deborah Gist, the ultimate bureaucrat who stands behind the firings. She's the R.I. State Supt. of Schools who used to hold that same post in D.C. Is there really a State. Supt. of D.C. schools you ask? Yep.

Gist, like her D.C. pal, Michelle Rhee, comes fresh out of Eli Broad's Supt. Academy--of course. It's easy to see why the war in Central Falls was inevitable after her hiring nearly a year ago.

Watch her PR interview video here. Try not to puke. h/t John Young.

Gist currently holds the world record in a skill area every bureaucrat must master on their way to the top of the heap:
“I just thought I’d like to break a world record,” she said. Leafing through the Guinness Book of World Records, Gist dismissed several feats as “a little bit much.” But one caught her eye. There were 62 kisses recorded in a minute and I thought, ‘That’s not too hard,’ ” she said. (Journal)


  1. As an employee of the US Department of Education, I am deeply ashamed of Secretary Duncan's behavior. His participation in the public humiliation of the Central Falls teachers--and his applauding their imminent unemployment--is an outrage. Had Rod Paige or Margaret Spellings done something like this, there would have been loud and immediate demands from all quarters that they resign. Why is there such silence now?

    If this is Democratic education policy, I think I might be a Republican.

  2. Bruce Baker offers some nice comments about the Central Falls situation on his blog, SchoolFinance101

    Baker concludes, in part, with this: "The figures above suggest that Central Falls is doing as well with what it has as any other Rhode Island High School, after accounting for student needs."


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.