In spite of Deborah Gist’s office attempt to freeze me out of a conference call with US Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and his office telling me they were unaware of the call, I was able to ask him one question.
I asked him what the low teacher morale in Rhode Island said about Gist’s management acumen. Gist said recently that teacher morale was low when she got here and she has come under intense scrutiny since it became clear just how low it is. A statewide poll of teachers showed 85 percent want her replaced.
“Every leader needs to listen and build teams,” Duncan said. I followed up by asking if this applied to Gist and Duncan said, “I don’t begin to know the details.”
While I may have missed most of the conference call, I think these two quotes speak volumes about Gist’s contract situation and whether or not she will remain in Rhode Island. Gist needs to listen better and build stronger teams and Arne Duncan doesn’t begin to know the details.