State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist is reported to be a finalist in Tulsa’s search for a new superintendent of schools.
Tulsa World says multiple sources confirm that Gist is one of two finalists scheduled for interviews later this week. Tulsa’s current superintendent is stepping down at the end of June.
There has been much speculation about Gist's future after the election of Governor Gina Raimondo, who has not said whether she would like Gist to remain at the helm of the State Department of Education.
In December, the State Board of Education allowed a deadline to pass for notifying Gist if they planned to renew her contract. State officials said that would not present an obstacle to negotiating a new contract with Gist, but it fueled a new round of questions about whether Raimondo would urge new leadership on education.
Gist has been a polarizing figure because of her support of test scores for high school graduation and teacher ratings. She successfully urged lawmakers to pass a new formula for distributing state aid to school districts, and she led the team that won a $75 million Race to the Top grant from the federal governement.