Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist has gotten the votes to become Tulsa's superintendent of schools.
In a statement, Gist said it was a difficult decision, but she welcomed the opportunity to lead an urban school district.Hear education reporter Elisabeth Harrison talk with afternoon host Dave Fallon about Gist's legacy and future in Tulsa.
She also noted that Tulsa is where her family lives.
"I know that Rhode Islanders can certainly recognize the attraction we have to our hometowns, and it would be a special honor for me to lead the district where I attended public school throughout my childhood," Gist wrote.
Tulsa World reports that teachers walked out of the school board meeting in protest when it became clear Gist would be chosen. Gist was the only candidate for the post, after another finalist dropped out.
Gist is expected to travel to Tulsa on Tuesday and remain there for several days, visiting schools and attending meetings. She plans to remain Rhode Island's education commissioner while the state works out a transition plan.
First hired in 2009, Gist has been a controversial leader since her arrival in the Ocean State. She presided over the mass firing of teachers at Central Falls High School, promoted charter schools and fought to use standardized test scores for diplomas and teacher evaluations.
Gist also won a $75 million federal Race to the Top grant, which has been used to train teachers in the Common Core State Standards, develop curricula and build an online data system. She brought more federal funding to the state to speed up a planned increase in preschool classrooms.