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Thread: All Teachers Fired at a Rhode Island School

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    Unencrypted Wraith's Avatar
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    Default All Teachers Fired at a Rhode Island School


    (CNN) -- A school board in Rhode Island has voted to fire all teachers at a struggling high school, a dramatic move aimed at shoring up education in a poverty-ridden school district.

    In a 5-2 vote Tuesday night, the board approved the plan by Frances Gallo, superintendent at Central Falls School District, to discharge the teachers, administrators and other personnel at Central Falls High School.

    The firings, which will be effective at the end of this school year, came after the district said it failed to reach an agreement with the teachers' union on a plan for the teachers to spend more time with students to improve test scores.

    A union spokesman called the firings drastic and cited a 21 percent rise in reading scores and a 3 percent increase in math scores in the past two years.

    The school district said 93 people -- including the principal, three assistant principals and 77 teachers -- were fired. The teachers' union said the firings affected 74 classroom teachers plus a number of other educators such as guidance counselors and reading specialists.

    Central Falls High is one of the lowest-performing schools in Rhode Island. It is in a community where median income is $22,000, census figures show.

    Of the 800 students, 65 percent are Hispanic and for most of them, English is a second language. Half the students are failing every subject, with 55 percent skilled in reading and 7 percent proficient in math, officials said.

    In a proposal based on federal guidelines, Gallo asked teachers to work a longer school day of seven hours and tutor students weekly for one hour outside school time. She proposed teachers have lunch with students often, meet for 90 minutes every week to discuss education and set aside two weeks during summer break for paid professional development.

    A spokesman for the union said the teachers had accepted most of the changes, but wanted to work out compensation for the extra hours of work.

    The superintendent said the two sides could not agree on a pay rate.

    Under new federal requirements for school reform, low-performing schools have several options. One is called the transformation model, which includes a series of changes that teachers agree to adopt.

    When the negotiations on those changes failed at Central Falls High, the superintendent switched to another option: the turnaround model, which means firing every teacher at the troubled school.

    Kathy May, a teacher at Central Falls High, said she's disheartened. "I feel like, after 20 years, I can see some progress beginning to be made. And I'm sad that we're not going to be around to follow that through, to push that forward."

    Gallo, who said Rhode Island law says notice must be given by March 1, said the problem isn't solely the fault of teachers and it wasn't her preference to make the move. She indicated that some of the teachers might be rehired.

    "When we had to move from the transformation model, the next best move was the turnaround model. And that requires us to remove the teachers and rehire, of those who reapply, up to 50 percent," she said.
    "This is a major move, for a very significant reason, and that being that we couldn't hone in on the assurances we needed for the transformation model."

    Asked what would happen if the teachers' union accepted the original terms, Gallo said it would be very difficult to go back, but can't be discounted.

    "And if ... as we move forward, if indeed something of that effect comes around, then I still think we have a lot of doors that could be opened."

    At a community rally before the school board meeting on Tuesday, supporters of the teachers slammed the plan.

    Jane Sessums, president of the Central Falls Teachers Union, said teachers have been unfairly targeted and scapegoated and the union will fight to have them reinstated.

    "We want genuine reforms, not quick fixes that do nothing but create a wedge between teachers, our school and our community," said Sessums. She added that "teachers have agreed to numerous solutions and reforms."

    George McLaughlin, a guidance counselor who was fired along with his wife, a chemistry teacher, said the school has been inaccurately cast as a place with low graduation rates.

    "We have the most transient population in this state. Nobody comes close to us. So when they say that 50 percent of the people graduate, a very high percentage of our students leave our school. They return. They leave again. They go back to other countries," he said, noting that three times as many of the school's students are accepted to colleges now than they were five years ago.

    He also knocked the superintendent, saying she "has been with us for a little more than three years."

    If Gallo were willing to negotiate and listen to former Sen. Lincoln Chafee, who has offered to mediate, "maybe we could resolve this instead of causing more trauma to us."

    McLaughlin said the negotiations were about job security, not pay, and said the teachers are ready to resume talks.
    Source

    Lolli thinks it's outrageous that the teachers weren't given more time to improve scores on their own. Loki thinks they should have been fired sooner. What does everyone else think?

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    queen of the universe littlelolligagged's Avatar
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    Lolli thinks it is outrageous that the school board didn't think they needed to be fired until they asked for more pay, and then suddenly they needed to be fired.
    We're stuck in a bloody snowglobe.

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    I think it's reactionary governance and will end up costing them more in the long run.
    .

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    There's not enough information to decide if anyone is telling the truth.

    I am agnostic.

    Are we to assume that the article writers are absolutely correct in their facts when discussing it?

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    In a proposal based on federal guidelines, Gallo asked teachers to work a longer school day of seven hours and tutor students weekly for one hour outside school time. She proposed teachers have lunch with students often, meet for 90 minutes every week to discuss education and set aside two weeks during summer break for paid professional development.
    These are far from sweeping changes.

    By the sounds of the performance of this school, I'd have expected far more sweeping changes than those above to turn things around and improve the school.

    - Increasing the teacher's working school day to 7 hours? 7 hours is a damn short school day for teachers and yet that is an increase?
    - Tutoring students for one hour outside of schooltime is a minimum, particularly for struggling students.
    - Lunching with students occasionally? Again far from unusual
    - Meet for 90 mins a week to discuss education? Perfectly reasonable
    - Two weeks professional development during the summer break is great! As is any professional training.

    Yet the teaches couldn't even agree to these minor changes.

    Changes which I would view as not radical enough to turn around a poor-performing school in any case.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

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    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    These are far from sweeping changes.

    By the sounds of the performance of this school, I'd have expected far more sweeping changes than those above to turn things around and improve the school.

    - Increasing the teacher's working school day to 7 hours? 7 hours is a damn short school day for teachers and yet that is an increase?
    - Tutoring students for one hour outside of schooltime is a minimum, particularly for struggling students.
    - Lunching with students occasionally? Again far from unusual
    - Meet for 90 mins a week to discuss education? Perfectly reasonable
    - Two weeks professional development during the summer break is great! As is any professional training.

    Yet the teaches couldn't even agree to these minor changes.

    Changes which I would view as not radical enough to turn around a poor-performing school in any case.
    Minor? I'm pretty sure that you haven't got the faintest clue as to what a teacher's work entails.

    Example: Chemistry and Physics experiments don't magically appear from thin air. Exams don't create and correct themselves. The plans for lessons mysteriously apparate from the Teacher's Heaven.

    You seem to be under the illusion that a good teacher can simply waltz into a class and teach the kids without any preparation.
    When the stars threw down their spears
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    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    What are you talking about?

    Chemistry and Physics experiments don't magically appear from thin air? Of course not. They take considerable time and effort, not just to prepare but to set up, and then oversee.

    Exams don't create and correct themselves? Of course not, they take an awful lot of work to write and prepare, then mark and grade.

    Simply walk into a class and teach without any preparation? Are you nuts? A teacher's life is hard work, there is an awful lot of preparation that has to be done before each and every lesson.

    Which is why I'm amazed at how minor the changes suggested here are. It takes a lot more work than that suggested to teach in a regular, average school, let alone an underperforming one where extra work is required to turn it around.

    Either you misunderstood my post or I didn't explain myself very well.

    Last edited by Timbuk2; 02-25-2010 at 12:08 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    Lolli thinks it's outrageous that the teachers weren't given more time to improve scores on their own. Loki thinks they should have been fired sooner. What does everyone else think?
    Sounds like they've had about 20 years to "improve". The district is so poor, they gave it to the state and feds to run/fund in 1991.

    Quote Originally Posted by littlelolligagged View Post
    Lolli thinks it is outrageous that the school board didn't think they needed to be fired until they asked for more pay, and then suddenly they needed to be fired.
    Cleaning house is part of the Turnaround model used (their second choice after Transformation model failed). Up to 50% of the teachers will be rehired. They wanted salary increases when their wage is already over $70,000 average, in a district where the median income is $22,000 or below poverty level.

    The unions shouldn't have asked for more pay, and could have adopted the Transformation changes---they weren't monumental requests.

    Half the students are failing every subject, with 55 percent skilled in reading and 7 percent proficient in math, officials said.
    THAT is what's Unacceptable.

  9. #9
    That's no moon. EyeKhan's Avatar
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    Union busting. Hope it works. Sure must be hard to teach transient hispanics that don't speak English.
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
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    Volleyball is a cult ImAnOgre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlelolligagged View Post
    Lolli thinks it is outrageous that the school board didn't think they needed to be fired until they asked for more pay, and then suddenly they needed to be fired.
    I think it's outrageous thay they were doing a horrible job and then asked for more pay.

    Let's say you own a business, one of your employees ask for a raise, aren't you then going to evaluate whether or not they are worth said raise?

    These teachers brought it on themselves.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    It's not okay to shoot an innocent bank clerk but shooting a felon to death is commendable and do you should receive a reward rather than a punishment

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    Quote Originally Posted by ImAnOgre View Post
    I think it's outrageous thay they were doing a horrible job and then asked for more pay.
    All other things aside, to be fair, they were being asked to work more hours on a permanent basis. Its the function of the union to say "hey, if you're asking us to do more work, we ought to get more pay."

    To fire the entire staff of the school, seems to me, to be a bit drastic unless the goal is to break the union. I doubt every teacher and administrator in the school was performing to such a low level they meritted dismissal. If the school performance is that bad, across the board, there's probably a structural problem there that goes beyond individual performance and unless that over-arching problem is fixed, the new hires arn't going to do any better. And if they do fix that over-arching problem, why couldn't they do that with more or less the same staff as before; maybe with some bad apples removed? This was likely more about destroying the union than anything else. Might even be individual personalities having a pissing contest...
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

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    Fire them all then hire back the good teachers.

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    That's no moon. EyeKhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Fire them all then hire back the good teachers.
    They even mention that in the article. So what's the point of firing everyone? Bust the union. And yes, I know you think that's a worthy goal.
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

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    Alpharomeo81 reloaded ar81's Avatar
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    There are third world countries in Latin America that achieve more in international school contests than US. 2% of tax money is used for education, 40% is used for military expenses.

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    ar81 - Nope.

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    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    So what's the point of firing everyone?
    It's part of the steps in the model they're using (turnaround). Unions knew this might happen if they couldn't agree on the first model (transformation). As I understand it, the Sec of Ed laid out the four models they could use, and the Superintendent had to choose.

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    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Dr. Gallo said the district was “looking for partners” like Teach for America to provide teachers for the school, which has also been receiving “résumés from all over the nation” as news of the plan spread.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/25/ed...ntral.html?hpw
    Hope is the denial of reality

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    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    What are you talking about?

    Chemistry and Physics experiments don't magically appear from thin air? Of course not. They take considerable time and effort, not just to prepare but to set up, and then oversee.

    Exams don't create and correct themselves? Of course not, they take an awful lot of work to write and prepare, then mark and grade.

    Simply walk into a class and teach without any preparation? Are you nuts? A teacher's life is hard work, there is an awful lot of preparation that has to be done before each and every lesson.

    Which is why I'm amazed at how minor the changes suggested here are. It takes a lot more work than that suggested to teach in a regular, average school, let alone an underperforming one where extra work is required to turn it around.

    Either you misunderstood my post or I didn't explain myself very well.

    7 hours per day is NOT "damn short". I take it you never stood in front of class so you don't know the hell you're talking about. Each and every of those lessons has to be prepared. Which means that one(1) more hour of class means actually at least two(2) hours of work for a teacher.

    This goes for all of you: Just because you went to school, you don't know what teaching is like. You know what being taught is like. There's a major difference.

    And it's always the same answer: Either they want to save money and reduce education or they try to "improve" things by raising pressure on the teachers. Yeah, that sure sounds like a fine environment to work in. Education costs money, people! Did anyone actually look at the sociographic background of this area? 65% of Hispanics with English as a 2nd language? An area with a median income of $22,000? And you guys honestly think it's only the teachers fault if the children at this school fail?

    Sure thing.
    When the stars threw down their spears
    And watered heaven with their tears:
    Did he smile his work to see?
    Did he who made the lamb make thee?

  19. #19
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Because all schools in bad areas have a math pass rate of 7%, right?
    Hope is the denial of reality

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    Who said it was just the teachers "fault"?


    Also, what level do you teach, Khen--high school? I've no clue how Germany is structured, but over this side of the pond teachers working at HS level (grades 9-12) for 7 hours a day does not mean 6 one-hour-classes + lunch break.

  21. #21
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    The 2 hours of preparation for 1 hour of teaching is BS, too. It's probably true the first year someone teaches, but it decreases sharply after that. There's also the fact that a teacher teaches about 180 days a year, and perhaps has another 15 days of other work. This is in contrast to about 245 days of work at most jobs. So when teachers who are making $62k a year in an area where the average income is $22k think they're not getting paid enough, pardon me if I don't take them seriously.
    Hope is the denial of reality

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    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khendraja'aro View Post
    7 hours per day is NOT "damn short". I take it you never stood in front of class so you don't know the hell you're talking about.
    Don't make assumptions about things for which you have no idea you halfwit.

    You have no clue what I have or have not done.

    Each and every of those lessons has to be prepared. Which means that one(1) more hour of class means actually at least two(2) hours of work for a teacher.
    *sigh*

    Because your reading comprehension seems to be sorely lacking, I'll rerun the relevant part of the article for you ...

    ... Gallo asked teachers to work a longer school day of seven hours ...

    If you say that for a teacher 1 hour of class is 2 hours work, which is completely overstating it but for the sake of this argument we'll go with it, then your average teacher has a lot more work than 7 hours in a day.

    If, lets conservatively say, your average teacher has 5 hours of lessons a day, that's 10 hours of work a day.

    Which is why increasing a teacher's workload to 7 hours a day is damn short.

    By your maths, the hours an average teacher works is 3 hours more than that every day. And it's YOU who says 7 hours is NOT damn short.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  23. #23
    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    Learn to read. 1 hours of lessons + 1 hour of preparation = 2 hours of work. And, no, in case of physics and chemistry this actually does not decline too much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    Don't make assumptions about things for which you have no idea you halfwit.

    You have no clue what I have or have not done.



    *sigh*

    Because your reading comprehension seems to be sorely lacking, I'll rerun the relevant part of the article for you ...

    ... Gallo asked teachers to work a longer school day of seven hours ...

    If you say that teachers work 1 hour of class is 2 hours work for a teacher, which is completely overstating it but for the sake of this argument we'll go with it, then your average teacher has a lot more work than 7 hours in a day.

    If, lets say, your average teacher has 5 hours of lessons a day, that's 8-10 hours of work a day.

    Which is why increasing a teacher's workload to 7 hours a day is damn short.

    By your maths, the hours an average teacher works is 3 hours more than that every day.
    Yes, that's the effort you have to put in if you want a good lesson. Now, since that work load is not appreciated, teachers don't have that amount of time.

    But if you want to be a good teacher, you have two choices: Drop dead due to the work load or reduce the amount of hours you're working (and that's what quite a lot of teachers are doing over here).
    When the stars threw down their spears
    And watered heaven with their tears:
    Did he smile his work to see?
    Did he who made the lamb make thee?

  24. #24
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    I agree with Loki. I may not be a teacher but my ex is one....*cough*...and a few friends are teachers. They're not overworked and under-compensated. In our district, they even have several 'professional development days' when the schools are closed. Why they can't conduct those seminars during summer months, I don't know.

  25. #25
    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    Of course, that's your solution: Put all the blame on the teachers. Sure. Morons.
    When the stars threw down their spears
    And watered heaven with their tears:
    Did he smile his work to see?
    Did he who made the lamb make thee?

  26. #26
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    I should also add that no teacher actually works the entire 6 hours. They generally have at least one (lunch) and usually 2-3 free periods during a day, which means they have closer to 4.5 hours of teaching in a day. Then there's the fact that this is a medium-sized high school. If it has ~800 students, that means there are roughly 200 students in each grade. If we assume that there are 2 teachers for each subject per grade (not unreasonable, seeing that there are 76 teachers in this school), that means each teacher has to teach 100 students. Given average class sizes of 30-40 students, that means each teacher has 3 sections of teaching. Even if we assume that every student has math every day (unlikely), then each teacher is actually teaching about 2.5 hours a day. Only elementary school teachers come anywhere close to teaching the 6 hours a day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Khendraja'aro View Post
    Learn to read. 1 hours of lessons + 1 hour of preparation = 2 hours of work. And, no, in case of physics and chemistry this actually does not decline too much.
    Yeah, because lesson plans have to be changed drastically from year to year, right? And nice of you to ignore my comment about not all schools in similar areas having a 7% pass rate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Khendraja'aro View Post
    Of course, that's your solution: Put all the blame on the teachers. Sure. Morons.
    Are you so socially inept that you can't make 2 posts without insulting someone?
    Hope is the denial of reality

  27. #27
    Alpharomeo81 reloaded ar81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    ar81 - Nope.
    I know you may like not to believe that. But this is the way the world works.
    About performance of US students, it was told to me by a principal from a school in new York.

    Also you may like to read:

    Intel cites US education 'crisis'

    As for the other figures:

    U.S. military power: When is enough enough?

    Health care, say, or education, or the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. As it is, according to a study by a peace lobby, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, military spending and the cost of past wars have been swallowing up more than 40 percent of federal tax dollars, health care 20 percent, science, energy and environment 2.5 percent and education just over 2.
    ---------------------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by Khendraja'aro View Post
    Of course, that's your solution: Put all the blame on the teachers. Sure. Morons.
    Education is evil. It should be abolished nd all teachers should be fired!!

  28. #28
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Military spending is actually fairly low now, both in terms of GDP and the total budget.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  29. #29
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khendraja'aro View Post
    Of course, that's your solution: Put all the blame on the teachers. Sure. Morons.
    Who the heck are you talking to when you say that?


  30. #30
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Anyone who's not Khen, the only intelligent person on this planet.
    Hope is the denial of reality

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