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.
Freelance policy analyst and liberal blogger Tom Sgouros is one of a number of critics raising questions about Rhode Island's use of the New England Common Assessment Program, or NECAP, as a graduation requirement. Specifically, Sgouros has argued that by its very nature, NECAP was designed to magnify differences in student achievement, thereby ensuring that a certain number of students will score poorly every year.