State Snapshot

rhode-island
Governor

Lincoln D. Chafee (D)

2014 Legislative Session

Jan. 7 – early June

Chief Selection

Appointed by the State Board of Education

State Board of Education

11 members appointed by the Governor, confirmed by the Senate

Students
142,481
Schools
304
Districts
36

Deborah A. Gist

Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education & Vice Chair of Chiefs for Change

A Message from The Chief

As leaders committed to transforming education, the members of Chiefs for Change believe that we must act urgently and in the best interest of students. All of us – elected leaders, teachers and school leaders, leaders of teachers’ unions, parents, students, members of the business community, and community members – share the responsibility for transforming America’s schools. As an education leader in Rhode Island, I have worked with partners across the state to develop an education system that focuses on the needs of students and that provides teachers with the support and resources they need to do their job well. Along with my fellow members of Chiefs for Change, I will continue to advocate for policies that will dramatically improve education for students across the country and make America competitive in the 21st-century global economy.

State Snapshot

rhode-island
Governor

Lincoln D. Chafee (D)

2014 Legislative Session

Jan. 7 – early June

Chief Selection

Appointed by the State Board of Education

State Board of Education

11 members appointed by the Governor, confirmed by the Senate

Students
142,481
Schools
304
Districts
36

Deborah A. Gist

Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education & Vice Chair of Chiefs for Change

Deborah A. Gist is the Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education for Rhode Island.  Previously, she served as State Superintendent of Education in the District of Columbia and taught school for more than a decade.  Since coming to Rhode Island, Gist has visited every school district, charter school, and state-operated school. She has developed and published Transforming Education in Rhode Island, a strategic plan for public education in her state.  Gist has raised the bar for entry into teacher-preparation programs, ordered that teacher assignments be based on student need, and announced partnerships with Providence and Central Falls to turn around the state’s persistently lowest-achieving schools.

Profile in Reform