Wendy Holmes, Professor Emerita, Art and Art History, URI and member Coalition to Defend Public Education, lives in Providence, RI

12 responses to “Public can’t read Deborah Gist’s dissertation on RI”

  1. leftyrite

    Enjoyed reading this, if you can use such a term in the face of clearly presented reason regarding a poor state of affairs.
    Wendy’s point is well-taken:
    If we’re talking about a reformer of schools, one who wishes to increase her authority through building up her credentials; one who wishes to model the future through policy; shouldn’t this person, as a role model, follow the basic scholastic rules that everyone else must obey?
    Why not?
    It’s hard to accept that a silent political and cultural coup has taken place on the heels of the banking crisis, but it seems true. 
    We are ruled by the big banks and by the “shadow banking industry,” whatever that may be. Their agents, like Gina and Gist, administer. Teflon madonnas.
    Why should we not face up to that possibility when we are faced with so much funny business and nonsense?
    When has denial ever strengthened anyone?

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  2. Polly Tickes

    The whole idea of a doctoral dissertation is that it must contribute to the total body of human knowledge and be original. If it is not available, it cannot contribute. Unless gist makes it available to other scholars and they have the opprtunity for peer review, then GIST HAS CONTRIBUTED NOTHING in her academic area and does not deserve to be called “DOCTOR” of anything….
    I find it so ironic that her Chiefs for Change Boss, Jeb Bush, who is pushing the Republican educational agenda playbook which includes getting rid of credentialed teachers and not paying for degrees and Masters, why is the state of RI paying the already high salary of Ms Gist and for her doctorate which is not available or is it even relevant? This lack of transparency seems to be not only for Ms Gist, but for Ms Raimondo with her draconian pension reform and with Eva Mancuso where today the Board of Education is facing secrecy scrutiny in Superior Court ….Interesting the three fraud female friends are causing havoc once again in this state!
    Board of Education faces secrecy scrunity today in court – See more at: www.rifuture.org/#sthash.dcj90kbx.dpuf

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  3. donroach

    Wendy did you ask Gist for a copy? I need to know that answer before responding further.

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  4. Johnnie

    Gist is devious and sinister and her secretiveness stems from her need to control peoples’ perceptions of events. 
    She is a social engineer with an agenda, a neo-liberal vision of society that will reduce us to serfs. She and other’s are planning is to privatize life and its concomitant social relations, and reduce people to the exigencies and dictates of the marketplace. Their idea of freedom (for them) is to employ people as necessary, use and dispose of them, subject to the efficiencies of the market.
    There will be no guaranteed pensions, unions or tenure at the secondary or post-secondary level. Teachers and professors will be rotated every few years to keep labor cheap and institutional ideas “fresh.” 
    Students will be taught and tested on the skills necessary to compete in the market place. A social darwinist’s view of the world; an exploiters vision of freedom.
    Most of the private sector has already eliminated defined-benefit pension plans, when they offer pensions at all. Unions membership in the private sector is at an all-time low. The largest employers in the country are temp agencies, and virtually all new hires since the crisis are part-time workers without job security or benefits.
    One thing that stands in the way of complete privatization of the means of production and distribution, is the public sector – with unions, job security, guaranteed pensions and a modicum of dignity and respect. This is what they are after.
    Mancuso is a cafone (Italian) and a dope. She is running interference for the Governor and the BOE in hopes of getting a judgeship. However, Gist and Raimondo are right-wing ideologues who are very conscious of the role they are playing.  A lot of what they do and say is being orchestrated by deep-pocketed individuals and public relations firms. They work hard at cultivating images to win the support of the general population. 
    The Providence Journal knows the drill and is doing all they can to support “reform.”
    I also need to say that there are certainly men behind the curtain, they are adept at covering their tracks. All the players are not clear, only those who have been groomed to spearhead and sell these reforms.
    Their treachery and plans need to be exposed.

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  5. joann fonseca

    Chiefs for Change reformist, Debbie Gist is the RI spoke to Jeb Bush’s hub main hub down in Florida called F.E.E.. The Chiefs for Change is a program operated by the Foundation for Excellence in Education, (F.E.E.) a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, focused on education reform, so it owuld make sense for Gist not to expose her dissertation on high stakes testing to the state she screwed its teachers in. Gist with her boss Jeb, are pushing the world of corporate reform. Their agenda is difficult to eliminates since  “Boss Bush” is connected to many ALEC corporations, including both K12 and Connections Academy (now a Pearson company- Pearson is making millions in profits being in the business of high stakes testing- in every area of testing), which promote virtual education; Charter Schools USA, and APEX Learning.and connected to the ALEC model legislation prioritization schemes, like charters, vouchers and online learning. There is lots of money to be made in education and Bush with the help of underlings like Gist with her RacettTop mandates is helping him become even richer than he already is…And let’s face it, Gist got RI to foot the bill of her education in obtaining this “invisible to the public” dissertation.
    I think the Gen Assembly should pass a law that if RI taxpayers are paying for higher education specialists, commissioners, superintendents, anyone in the realm of higher education,  like Gist to go to school and get her doctorate, then we should have transparency and access to whatever she writes since we are the bill payers…Since when did her doctorate become a private enterprise on public taxpayer money? Shame on RIDE to allow this to happen…..

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  6. AbigailGrey

    I am profoundly disturbed by this report. A PhD thesis that is not readable is NOT meeting the requirements of academic discourse. If she wishes to be paid or respected as  ”Doctor” then the thesis needs to be readable. Otherwise it is RI politics and not research.

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  7. leftyrite

    Standards for the masses; secrecy and opportunism, under the guise of proprietary knowledge, for the highly paid consultants, who masquerade as public servants.
    They despise public service, public servants, and poor people in general.
    No one ever did a thing to advance them.
    Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.

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  8. DogDiesel

    “So why doesn’t she want her dissertation read now?”
    Maybe she simply doesn’t want to embarrass:

    our not so bright governor
    the political hack Diane Ravitch who was for reform before the was against it
    the inept union leadership for their thug like tactics
    the union rank and file for their acceptance of incompetent brethren and thug like tactics of their leadership


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  9. donroach

    Wendy, just because you testified against her at the BOE, not sure that would have anything to do with whether or not she’d give you access to her dissertation. They seem like two separate issues.
    Does seem like the university is the real antagonist in this scenario. Doesn’t make sense to me why they won’t make it available until 2015.

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  10. leftyrite

    If we’re talking about a reformer of schools, one who wishes to increase her authority through building up her credentials; one who wishes to model the future through policy; shouldn’t this person, as a role model, follow the basic scholastic rules that everyone else must obey?
    Why not? 

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  11. The curious case of the missing U. Penn dissertation

    [...] Gist completed her doctorate in education in August of 2012, and requested a two year embargo, according to ProQuest. But they did not receive her dissertation until September 2013, according to Schreiber. Since June of 2013, Wendy Holmes, a URI professor emeritus in Art History and education activist, has been trying to read Gist’s research. In November 2013, she authored this post. [...]

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