Commissioner's Office

The Commissioner’s Office coordinates the policy, legal, communications, community relations, and legislative activities of RIDE. The Commissioner’s staff manages all relations with the Board of Regents. The staff is also responsible for RIDE’s activities regarding human resources and civil rights, and staff members work with members of other RIDE offices on strategic planning and budget preparation. 

Core functions of the Commissioner's Office include:

Policy Formation

The Commissioner’s staff coordinates and develops education policy for the state in consultation and collaboration with the Board of Education, the Governor’s Office, and the General Assembly.  The Commissioner’s Office is RIDE’s primary point of contact for the general public, the Governor, the Board, and the General Assembly. The staff is responsible for creating and disseminating education policy that fulfills the mission of the Board of Education and the RIDE goal statement: “Working together with educators, families, and communities, we will increase successful completion rates, raise learning proficiency, and close learning gaps so that all learners meet state standards.”

Communications, Support to the Board of Education, and Community Relations

In order to communicate RIDE’s Comprehensive Education Strategy to the general public as well as to policy partners in government, business, labor, and the education community and in order to meet all federal public-reporting requirements, the Commissioner’s staff implements RIDE’s communications plan. The staff is responsible for all RIDE contacts with the news media, and staff members also manage all regular communications with other branches of government and respond to inquiries from other agencies, organizations, and foundations in the field of education as well as from parents and from the public at large.

To implement the RIDE communications plan, the Commissioner’s Office oversees the publication of state, district, and school report cards and manages the contents of the RIDE website.

The Commissioner’s staff coordinates and supports the Board of Education to ensure that the Regents’ policy directives are implemented. The Board of Education also has the responsibility to hear appeals of the Commissioner’s decisions.

The Commissioner’s staff works to create and sustain connections among the many public-interest groups and parent associations in the state in order to build broad-based community support for the public-education system.

Intergovernmental Relations

The Commissioner’s Office works with the Governor’s office, state and local elected and appointed officials, the Rhode Island Congressional delegation, and the General Assembly to ensure the continued implementation of and support for the Comprehensive Education Strategy.

To accomplish this task, members of the staff must track and respond to the high volume of legislative activity regarding education policy, both at the state and federal level.


Legal

Civil Rights

In collaboration with other agencies of government (e.g., the Governor’s Commission on Disabilities, the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, the R.I. Human Rights Commission), the Commissioner’s staff coordinates the civil-rights oversight and compliance activities for RIDE. Staff members monitor civil-rights activities in order to ensure compliance with all laws and regulations, both within the agency and in the education field as a whole.


Coordination of Strategic Planning and Budgeting

RIDE’s Office of Human Resources and the Office of Finance work directly with the Commissioner’s Office on strategic planning and budgeting. The Commissioner’s Office works to ensure that RIDE has the best possible staff and an appropriate budget allocation for administration of the Comprehensive Education Strategy. The staff works to align RIDE’s policy direction, human and fiscal resources, and school-improvement activities so as to ensure that all efforts focus on the fulfillment of the Board of Education's mission.


Office of the Commissioner Staff