Frances Gallo has been appointed as the interim superintendent of the beleaguered Providence (R.I.) School District.
WJAR-TV reports that the Providence school board unanimously approved the appointment of Gallo, who was superintendent of the Central Falls (R.I.) School District from 2007 to 2015.
“I’m going to turn the place upside down,” Gallo says. “That’s pretty clear.”
Gallo is expected to work with the state for the next few months to improve Providence schools in the wake of a highly critical report that prompted the state Department of Education to take control of the district.
Rhode Island Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green has said she plan to hire a superintendent by early November to take over management of the school district.
In 2010, Gallo gained notoriety for her plan to fire the entire teaching staff from Central Falls High School when contract talks stalled. Eventually, they reached an agreement.
Gallo said she believes infrastructure is the biggest problem in the Providence district.
“We let them come to a classroom where there is mold, where there are rodents,” she says. “This is unacceptable. Absolutely, completely unadulteratedly unacceptable, and it has to definitely be repaired.”
A spokesperson for Proivdence Mayor Jorge Elorza says $20 million is being spent this summer on school improvement projects. Those including fixing roofs, painting schools and cleaning classrooms.
Gallo told says she will be touring at least two schools a day to talk with teachers and students.