Bob Plain is the editor/publisher of Rhode Island's Future. Previously, he's worked as a reporter for several different news organizations both in Rhode Island and across the country.

11 responses to “Washington Post: Deborah Gist, Jeb Bush and ALEC”

  1. cailin rua

    So, we will be hearing from all our local Democrat politicians as to how they’re are going to prevent a corporate takeover of our schools and see to it that a new superintendent is appointed who isn’t using our state as a stepping stone for career advancement?  I am waiting with bated breath for the press releases from Whitehouse, Cicilline, Langevin, Reed and Taveras.  Oh, yeah,  there’s Chafee, too.  Who are the Democrats?  They all seem like Obama here and Noam Chomsky says: 

    ” . . . President Barack Obama was “more or less” a progressive, given the current usage of the word. But Obama would have been described as a “moderate Republican”

    I have seen a few things in my lifetime but the kind of stunts that have been pulled by RIDE over the last few years have been nothing short of outrageous.  The question is not where is our leadership but who are our leaders?  We all should know who they’ve been working for by now.

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  2. cailin rua

    the bold print should have read:

    ” . . . President Barack Obama was “more or less” a progressive, given the current usage of the word. But Obama would have been described as a “moderate Republican – several decades ago-” 

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  3. joann fonseca

    A terrific article, Bob….
    I think that people need to actually read the emails you have provided with your link. The public needs to see how Ms Gist has been busy as a beaver trying to get grants nonconducive to public education. Andf if anyone knows anything about educational idiots, Tony Bennet is one and he just lost his job because people in his state of Indiana finally saw through him and replaced him..

    People need to go to the blog of Dr. (former Asst sec of ed and distinguished historian/author and defendor of public education) and read this about Bennett:
    Tony Bennett, the defeated state superintendent from Indiana, has landed the job as state commissioner in Florida.
    Bennett is the hero to the rightwing “reform” sector, a champion of privatization, vouchers, charters, online for-profit schools, and the Common Core. His last action in Indiana was to lower standards for new trackers and principals, so that no preparation was needed to become a teacher and anyone could become a principal with only two years of experience as a teacher, even in higher education. 
    Rhode islanders need to read up on Com Gist’s doings here in the state. Between her new evaluation and high stakes testing she is causing havoc among the teachers ,not giving them enough time to implement these new tools effectively.
    People need to be aware of what’s happening in education  and this blog was perfect timing. People should know an be aware of what she is doing …transparency and exposure is very important. We do not want RI to become a state of privitization and that’s what Gist and her boss, Jeb Bush in Chiefs for Change stand for…. 

    For example, there’s an e-mail chain between Commish Gist and Patricia Levesque showing Gist tried to obtain a funding grant from the Kern Foundation, which was denied because of the “political environment” in RI. Gist and Levesque seemed disappointed by this.
    An e-mail chain between Gist, Levesque and Fonda Anderson regarding an “AP project.”
    An email exchange in which the Chiefs for Change discuss who their “customers” are and what principles they believe in that best serve students, their “customers.” A Chief, Indiana’s Tony Bennett, dismisses other education policy stakeholders as not worthy of the Chiefs’ focus and writes, “I hope we get back to the righteous indignation we all had when we put this group together because we think not about our ‘friends’ or ‘enemies’during our discussions and action”
    After reading this from Mr Bennett, it is no wonder that Indianna dumped him….

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  4. DogDiesel

    Yea, because our schools are doing such a bang-up job right now. What is the progressive answer to reforming our schools? Sorry, I forgot, less testing for the kids and less accountability for teachers.

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  5. joann fonseca

    You don’t need to do testing to show academic progress. You can assess success in other ways. You need to read up on how the best country in the world, Finland, deals with education and student achievement….They DO NO TESTING AT ALL..
    The only ones who profit with testing are the testing companies like Pearson…They are in business to make huge profits through testing and so they spout false propaganda saying schools are failing. Kids need testing and privitization is the way to go..Studies show otherwise. And if you really are serious about accountability, read  up on the training of teachers in Finland.

    This failing philosophy, so too, shall pass…This RI Commish is nothing but a member of Chiefs for Change a Jeb Bush enterprise and is being investigated down there in Florida where his so called non profit on helping schools & children is really profit making. Ms. Gist seems to be taking the “bullying approach” to school systems where she thinks her ed mandates surpass state NRLB laws…

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    1. rasputinkhlyst

      Joann I wish I could give you FIVE thumbs up for your reply

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    2. DogDiesel

      “This failing philosophy, so too, shall pass…This RI Commish is nothing but a member of Chiefs for Change a Jeb Bush enterprise and is being investigated down there in Florida where his so called non profit on helping schools & children is really profit making.”
      Your straw man arguments matter not when your progressive Commander & Chief believes in reform. As long as this country’s education rankings keep slipping, their will be reform. Eventually your unions will succumb to political pressure and/or regulation.

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  6. Jonathan Jacobs

    The consistent and unfounded demonization of collective bargaining agreements asisde, the issues relating to systemic flaws in the education system stem from a lack of funding due to regressive property tax policies and an unwillingness to compensate educators fairly for a task made incresingly more difficult as economic demise of the middle class spreads. The problem is cyclical and there can be no effective standardized testing because there are such widely differing standard of seemingly infinite variables. Barrington and East Greenwich are doing fine. Providence and Woonsocket are doing poorly. Interesting, too, how certain individuals push for deregulation of anything guaranteed to favor those of means, but emphasize regulation of organizations that fight for rights of the workers and the ressurection of the middle class.

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  7. joann fonseca

    Dog Diesel, you must be a Gist shill and a card carrying member of the Broad Foundation philosophy.
    Stop filling your brain with propaganda. Jeb Bush is a joke.
    Lee Fang has published a blockbuster investigation of Jeb Bush’s foundation. Fang is an investigative writer for the Nation Institute.
    Last year he published a stunning exposé about the online industry in which Bush and his chief lobbyist were central players. That article followed the money.
    In this new article, he digs into the financial entanglements of Bush, based on emails that were obtained by a public interest group.
    To understand the great push for online learning, charters, vouchers, and union-busting, read this.
    Follow the money.
    Here is an article about the thousands of emails that were released and what they contained about Bush’s activities through his “Foundation for Educational Excellence.” Here is another valid source for you to read. Read this article from Valerie Strauss’s Answer Sheet.
    As for your dig on the Dunceman, he is nothing but a Chicago thug like his pals Obama and Rahm Emanuel. He  became Ed Secretary because of his friendship with Obama in Chicago. The man did not even have a Master’s when he became Sec of Education. 
    And what you call “reform” is nothing but corporate greed turning education into a money making free enterprise venture like Wall Street and Enron and looked what happened to them. What you call reform is re-segregation -widening the gap between the minorities and the upper socioeconomic students– supporting free-market solutions to education problems at the expense of children and uneducated parents.
    The New York Times has a terrific article  by Michael Brick about the destructive policies that are called “reforms.” This is the first time in  that an article in the newspaper of record has acknowledged that both political parties share the same demented and punitive approach and that their ideas are hurting, not helping.

    So instead of name calling,and putting down groups like a union, which takes away credibility, try educating yourself by reading the truth and not that prpaganda your mind seems to be filled with..Stop trying to be a “Friedmanite.” where one believes that free market cures all ills. It doesn’t. People like you want to break the regulatory controls of governments, give everyone a voucher or a charter or perhaps throw in other privitization gimmicks like on line courses, and let the market try to work its magic. And maybe someone can sell you some swamp land in Charlestown!
    After all it does take a certain kind of detached and cold policy wonk to engage in this sort of exercise, so I’ve been told…..

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  8. joann fonseca

    Here is an article one needs to read concerning why test scores are not a good way to measure….
    Cody to Gates; What Should We Measure?

    Anthony Cody advises Bill gates that test scores are not the best measure of effectiveness.
    Here he tells Gates
    what really matters.

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  9. joann fonseca

    Here is the site. I don’t think it came out above:

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