Education Board to vote on whether to renew Gist’s contract

Dee DeQuattro

The future of Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist will be decided tonight by the RI Board of Education.

The Board of Education will meet at 5:30 p.m. at CCRI in Warwick. The 11-member board will go into executive session to discuss whether to renew the commissioner's contract. She was appointed in 2009 as education commissioner.

Both Governor Lincoln Chafee and Eva Marie Mancuso, the chairwoman of the Education Board have been supportive of renewing Gist's contract in some form. Her contract is set to expire on Friday.

Gist's contract has been a subject for debate for the last several months.

A poll by the National Education Association of Rhode Island said 85% of teachers do not want to see Gist's contract renewed.

A group of students calling themselves the Providence Student Union have also been vocal in their opposition to Gist. They say that the NECAP standardized test should not be a graduation requirement as Gist has required.

(C) WLNE-TV 2013