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Teachers’ union leader stepping down

September 24, 2010

Marcia Reback, the influential, longtime president of the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals, says she will retire at the end of October after nearly two decades at the helm of one of the state’s two teachers’ unions.

Reback served as an elementary school teacher in Providence for 24 years, becoming head of the Providence Teachers’ Union in 1973. In 1992 she was elected president of the RIFT, which represents most of the urban teachers and school employees in Rhode Island in addition to some higher education and health professionals.

Reback is about to be named one of the most influential people in Rhode Island in the October issue of Rhode Island Monthly Magazine. She helped broker a deal earlier this year that allowed Central Falls High School teachers to keep their jobs. Her union has also been leading an effort to develop new teacher evaluations that rely on a combination of test scores, classroom observations and student work to measure teacher performance.

Frank Flynn, the current president of the Cranston Teachers’ Alliance has been mentioned by union leaders as a possible successor.

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