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The World According to M.I.S.S. Rhode Island Superintendent Fires Entire Staff Due to Poor Performance

Poor test scores? Fire you're entire STAFF!

Poor test scores? Fire you're entire STAFF!

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?

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3 Responses to “The World According to M.I.S.S. Rhode Island Superintendent Fires Entire Staff Due to Poor Performance”

  1. Queen of Bows Stella says:

    I support this decision. They’ve had warnings and negotiations and the staff is fully aware of the scores and lack of graduating students. And I saw students standing behind the staff as “family” but if they aren’t cutting it, and they haven’t been, move it along. To me, it’s like taking a child out of an abusive home- sure it’s family, but is that really what’s best?

    Plus, I’m all for teachers having their own lives outside students and getting paid, but the fact that their negotiations are held up over wanting to make more than their $72K is ridiculous. Do they know how many people don’t make that much money?!?! Especially in that neighborhood- come on now.

    Bring in the teachers who are ready to turn the place around.

  2. Jolie Cane says:

    Here is what we can do. Take the teachers from high performing schools and swap them for the low performing schools and I guarantee that the teachers from the low performing schools will succeed. Then the teachers from the high performing schools will also fail. This is a society problem with the rich verses the poor. Good luck. It’s not the money! And as for Arnie Duncan next we’ll have a bunch of charter schools and more segregation that goes along with that idea. Welcome to the 60’s.

  3. artiffact artiffact says:

    This is going on in the school where I am at now, and it’s so sad to see that the most amazing staff, from long-time veteran teachers, to previously pink-slipped (and then hired again) newbie educators, to the bubbly lunch lady, to even the crossing guard are getting axed because of low TEST SCORES. This is where the real problem is at. Is it really the staff that is the cause of the low scores? Does the janitor have really anything to do with it? To me, that’s a slap in the face to everyone, especially educators, all who are very much over-worked and under-paid and under the constant stress of having that classroom that just can’t make the grade.

    All year, educators are under so much pressure to teach to the test, often forfeiting their own teaching flares and styles which often amplifies the learning experience. These fill-in-the-bubble tests are not the best ways to measure learning these standards. This whole system is setting up the most vulnerable students up for failure, so what do you expect? Like Jolle said, it’s the rich vs. the poor. And FYI, my school is low-income and mainly English as a second language. So, yes, I see segregation in the picture.

    To top it all off, with all of the educational cuts, the programs that these students need are also on the cutting board. These schools are turning into nothing but testing centers. Reading coaches? Gone…. But don’t these low-preforming students need that extra boost of help?

    I don’t know the answers to this, how to measure what students are learning, how to create a culture of success, but I do know that students need stability, and to go back to a school come Fall and have a whole new staff that doesn’t know the deal with particular students, who don’t know the community, who will have to do double the work to supposedly transform a school around, will cause even more problems for the students.

    These so-called solutions are only going to make it worse.

    California: March 4th is a strike and Day of Action to defend public education.

    As for the rest of the year, we’ll have to keep our heads up. Morale is low, but that doesn’t stop these teachers from giving it all they’ve got.


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