Rhode Island may have a new education commissioner as of Monday Evening. The Board of Education convenes for a vote on nominee Dr. Ken Wagner.
Wagner is governor Gina Raimondo’s pick to lead the state’s K through 12 education system, following the departure of Deborah Gist. He comes to Rhode Island from New York State where he was deputy education commissioner. His background also includes time as a middle school principal and a school psychologist.
Some teachers have criticized Wagner, who lacks classroom experience, but others have sounded more optimistic. Both teachers’ union leaders and charter school officials say they hope he will be able to repair ties between the state education department and teachers.
Wagner’s nomination needs approval from the Board of Education and the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education. The leaders of both groups have already voiced strong support.
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