Erika Sanzi writes at her blog Good School Hunting about the new Education Commissioner in her home state of Rhode Island, pivoting off a recent piece by Lauren Camera in US News and World Reports. Camera’s contention is that despite the exodus of hard charging education chiefs, their bold ideas aren’t going anywhere. On the contrary, despite more mild mannered styles, the new wave of Ed chiefs are equally committed to the hard fought laws and initiatives already in place. Ken Wagner arrived to Rhode Island three months ago to succeed Deborah Gist (who is now heading up the schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma) and he has made it clear that he’s on her page, perhaps with a bit of tweaking and refining.
Ken Wagner is Gist’s successor and he comes to us by way of New York, having worked alongside John King, our soon to be acting Secretary of Education. He is a mild mannered guy with a background in school psychology and not surprisingly, he is a skilled listener. Truth be told, he’s just what the doctor ordered as the people of Rhode Island have made it clear that they want and need to feel heard.