Imagine you’re in high school and then all of a sudden you don’t have to attend class anymore. Not because of sickness or injury, or if you happen to be in the midwest of the United States, weather. No, it has nothing to do with any of these things; imagine you can’t go to school anymore because the Superintendent of your district FIRED the entire staff of your high school. Imagine how amazing that would be: NO MORE SCHOOL! Now take a second and envision how much that would absolutely SUCK for your favorite teacher, the school secretary that let’s you come in late, and the janitors and lunch lady who tirelessly serve you questionable food on a daily basis. Not so awesome anymore is it?
Central Falls High School in Central Falls Rhode Island is the scene of what parents, school teachers, and even students are calling an employment massacre. Chronically troubled and riddled with less than impressive test scores, the school districts board of trustees approved the mass firing of everyone on staff at the school, from the principal to even the janitorial staff, Tuesday night after talks had failed between the Superintendent and the local teachers union over changes that needed to be made to improve test scores. These changes, including offering after school tutoring and extending the school day, caused an immediate clash; teachers wanted to be paid for the additional work and longer days, while board representatives obviously weren’t enthusiastic about forking over the money.
The shake-up comes as Rhode Island’s new education commissioner, Deborah Gist, pushes the state to compete for millions of dollars in federal funding to reform the worst 5 percent of its schools, including in Central Falls. State law requires schools to warn teachers by March 1 if their jobs are in jeopardy for the following school year.
The shake down comes with Rhode Island’s new education commissioners push for the state to compete for millions in federal funding to reform 5 percent of the worst schools, this including Central Falls. Although state law requires schools to warn teachers by March 1 if they’re jobs are in jeopardy for the following school year, the mass firings are being applauded by the U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. To get the federal funding for troubled schools the administration must choose one of four paths under federal law, including mass firing.
“We can no longer stand by as our schools underperform,” Carcieri said in a written statement. “While we have some excellent individual teachers, our students continue to be held back by a lack of a quality education and by union leadership that puts their self-interests above the interests of the students.”
No word on if this decision will stick, but I’m not sure whether this is a power move by the school district, or if this move is great for its students. But in Rhode Island where less than half of the graduating seniors actually graduate, there’s really nothing to lose. Right?
- CA 7/11: The Bolinas World Cup Party
- Your education lasts a lifetime. Your discount doesn’t.
- Art HERstory: Emma Amos
- Back to School with Dooney & Bourke’s New Cabriolet Collection
- The World According to M.I.S.S. So, What’s the Deal with Arizona?