Chair of the state’s board of education said Tulsa is lucky to land Deborah Gist as its next superintendent of schools. Board chair Eva-Marie Mancuso calls Gist a forward thinker and someone easy to work with.
Gist has family in Tulsa and Mancuso said that’s another reason why this is a smart move. “This is really an opportunity to touch hands on a district. As the state commissioner she sets policy, but she doesn’t really have the final say and follow at least not in our set up,” said Mancuso. “So it’s really an opportunity for her to effectuate her policies on a community level.”
Gist’s policies for expanding charter schools and linking test scores to diplomas and teacher evaluations have made her a controversial figure.
Mancuso said the board will reach out to stakeholders ahead of searching for a new education commissioner. “I embarked on our strategic plan and took that exact same approach, where we took people from all over the state so they could help us with our strategic plan. I anticipate that we’ll do that same approach,” said Mancuso.
Gist said she will stay in Rhode Island until a transition is worked out.