Baron re Chafee and Gist

Yesterday, Jim Hummel, filling in for WPRO’s Dan Yorke, played excerpts from his interview, to be released in Tuesday’s Hummel Report, with Governor-Elect Chafee. In it, the gov-elect confirms that he remains steadfastly non-committal about the continued tenure of Ed Commissioner, Deborah Gist.
In his “Politics As Usual” column a couple of days earlier, the Pawtucket Times’ Jim Baron, one of Rhode Island’s gem reporters but by no means right leaning or pro management, had an interesting suggestion for the gov-elect.

Governor-elect Lincoln Chafee could kill a lot of birds with one stone if, sometime before he officially takes office, he threw his arm around Deborah Gist and said, “she’s my commissioner!”
One, he would be making a positive step toward retaining the services of someone who – by almost everybody’s reckoning – is a terrific commissioner: bright, energetic, full of ideas and absolutely unafraid to charge ahead with any plan she thinks is in the best interest of school kids.
Two, it would shut up all those people who insist that Chafee is hopelessly in the pockets of the teachers unions. O.K., it wouldn’t shut them up, nothing probably will. But it would make it harder for them to make their case to anyone except each other.
Three, once Gist and the unions get a few more confrontations under their belts, they will probably come to understand one another and be able to work with one another. I have see this in many cases of what seemed to be intractable disputes between labor and management, eventually, the two sides learn to live with each other, even if they never become bosom buddies. Gist staying doesn’t mean the unions are going to lose every battle, they will win their share, they’ll just have to fight a bit more vigorously on some.
Four, even if the unions, don’t like the move, they will have four years to get over it.

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13 years ago

I’ll say a with a fair amount of certainty that Gist is as good as gone. Chafee personally thanked the CF teacher’s union president for being instrumental in getting the unions to back him and ultimately get elected. He promised the unions that he’d reconstitute the board of regents as well. What does that tell you?
I’m certain teachers will enjoy the next four years and not tolerate it as you suggest.
Gist being axed, driven out…who cares. So she hates the unions. Other than that she has nothing else to offer. She’s as left wing liberal as one can get. Conservatives’ fascination with her makes no sense.

Max Diesel
Max Diesel
13 years ago

“She’s as left wing liberal as one can get. Conservatives’ fascination with her makes no sense”
Your comment makes no sense.

13 years ago

I watched the Commissioner on Channel 6 this morning. At the very end of the show, she was saying something about what she does for recreation. Her response included her use of the phrase, “…my friends told me it would be funner…” She then repeated the term “funner” in the next sentence!
This is the quality of the person in charge of elementary and secondary education for the entire state of Rhode Island???
We can do gooder than that?

13 years ago

“Your comment makes no sense.” What do you know about this woman other than what you’ve read in the projo? You must at least know of her involvement with the Anneberg Institute right? This is the biggest, most powerful liberal “think tank” in education. Name a nutty liberal teaching practice and Annenberg most certainly endorses it…and makes sure every Teach for America participant is well versed in it. They endorse every lefty classroom/school practice that us conservatives have ripped into for years. Sign on bonuses for minority teachers, no interest in promoting vouchers because god forbid a child go to a parochial school, and quite frankly a complete and total lack of interest in any school that isn’t urban. Gist believes in eliminating punitive actions against students who can’t follow the rules. Instead she endorses “restorative circle practice.” This is where students sit in a circle and discuss how they are going to make good for what they’ve done wrong. Another Annenberg “idea.” These sound like conservative ideas? What about that stunt she pulled at the ACI last year. “You’re all here because the education system failed you.” Really? One more for the road. She has NEVER addressed the issue of social promotion though she’s been asked in several public forums. This is probably the single most destructive thing in education today. Joe Trillo will again submit legislation to prohibit social promotion in the primary grades. Will she support it? Good luck! So your child ends up sitting next to a student who is four grade levels behind. Forget regionalization Let’s create schools based on grade level ability. Think Gist would go for that? Sorry this is the last one for sure. Since I brought up regionalization let’s take a look at the funding formula she supported. It removed some… Read more »

Max Diesel
Max Diesel
13 years ago

Oh, so that explains the total hate from the left. Thanks for clearing that up.

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