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Not Everyone in Rhode Island is Thrilled with New State Superintendent

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Author: dianeravitch

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo is a former venture capital entrepreneur. As state treasurer, she redirected the state’s pension funds. Her husband Andy Moffitt is a co-founder of the Global Education Practice at McKinsey. He is active with the anti-union, anti-teacher Stand for Children. He was a member of Teach for America. Moffitt co-wrote (with Paul Kihn and Michael Barber) “Deliverology 101: A Field Guide for Educational Leaders.”

The blog site “RIFuture” wrote of McKinsey:

“In terms of corporate education reform, one prominent McKinsey-watcher and follow-the-money researcher puts the firm in a class by itself:

“They have been the leaders in crafting the dominant narrative of an education crisis for decades, and now deeply entrenched in education reform policies, they are reaping the financial and political benefits of marketing solutions to the problems they manufactured in the first place.”

Governor Raimondo recently selected Deputy Commissioner of Education Ken Wagner as the new State Superintendent in Rhode Island. In Néw York, he was known as a strong supporter of high-stakes testing, VAM, and corporate reforms.

Sheila Resseger, a teacher in Rhode Island for many years, was unhappy with Raimondo’s choice. She wrote, in response to a post about Néw York’s Common Core curriculum called EngageNY:

“Here was my comment to the post that Diane referenced. I am going to make it my mission to inform Rhode Islanders about the total disdain that Ken Wagner has for authentic teaching and learning. According to the RI Dept of Ed and Gov. Raimondo, he “developed” EngageNY. By his own admission he is opposed to Opt Out and for data collection. These are the trifecta of evil in my book: Common Core/Pear$on testing/data mining.

“I find this so profoundly disturbing that I can hardly see straight to type this comment. I live in RI. As you may know, our Governor, Gina Raimondo, recently nominated NY State Deputy Commissioner of Ed Dr. Ken Wagner to be our new Commissioner of Education (replacing Broad-trained Deborah Gist). This past Monday night the RI Board of Education and Council on Elementary and Secondary Education met to decide whether or not to confirm Dr. Wagner. I was the only one to speak against his confirmation. Dr. Wagner was credited with developing EngageNY, and seemed to be delighted that it has been downloaded for free 20 million times. He also declared that the Common Core does not script lessons, but actually frees up teachers to teach creatively. Another egregious comment of his was that we don’t have to be concerned with Piaget’s developmental stages–that theory is passé. Now we know that children can do so much more than we had expected of them before. Yes, every first grader is delighted to learn about the Code of Hammurabi.

“Here is my post in RIFuture.org, published before the meeting. http://www.rifuture.org/will-ken-wagners-past-in-new-york-shape-his-future-in-rhode-island.html”

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