Rhode Island - School teachers told: You're all fired!

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by mysticrose, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. mysticrose

    mysticrose The key to change... is to let go of fear

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    Rhode Island grad: ‘It’s not the teachers’ fault’
    Impoverished district to terminate all jobs at underperforming school


    CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. - The blue-and-white banner exclaiming "anticipation" on the front of Central Falls High School seemed like a cruel joke for an institution so troubled that its leaders decided to fire every teacher by year's end.

    No more than half those instructors would be hired back under a federal option that has enraged the state's powerful teachers union, earned criticism from students, and praise from U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and some parents.

    "We all have to go," Hope Evanoff, a French teacher at the high school, told msnbc TV.

    The mass firings were approved by the school district's board of trustees Tuesday night after talks failed between Superintendent Frances Gallo and the local teachers union over implementing changes, including offering more after-school tutoring and a longer school day. The teachers say they want more pay for the additional work.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35562693/ns/us_news-education/
     
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  3. mysticrose

    mysticrose The key to change... is to let go of fear

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    Rhode Island Teachers Fired: 88 Teachers at Central Falls High
    Share: by Michael Small | February 24, 2010 at 11:49 am


    Eighty-eight Rhode Island teachers have been fired after a school board plan to tighten up education in a poor school district was approved.

    In a 5-2 vote Tuesday night, the board approved the plan by Frances Gallo, superintendent at Central Falls School District, to discharge the 88 teachers at Central Falls High School.
    Source: cnn.com


    The district says the decision was made after a proposed deal with the teacher's union to spend more time to with children to improve test scores fell apart due to wage negotiations.

    Central Falls High School is one of the lowest-performing high schools in Rhode Island, and the school had two options; either the transformation model (teachers spending more time with students, longer school days, paid professional development in summer etc.) or the turnaround model (firing of teachers).

    http://www.nowpublic.com/world/rhod...d-88-teachers-central-falls-high-2582300.html
     
  4. mysticrose

    mysticrose The key to change... is to let go of fear

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    Rhode Island Teachers Fired in Across the Board Dismissal at Central Falls High School

    Rhode Island teachers fired from Central Falls High School were failing their students, according to the school board. Rhode Island teachers fired in a sweeping move by the school district will have the chance to apply
    Rhode Island Teachers Fired in Across the Board Dismissal at Central Falls High School for their jobs back, but maybe the move to fire every single teacher at the high school was a bit rash to begin with. The superintendent to Central Falls High School in Rhode Island made the recommendation to the school board that the teachers be fired because it was a necessary move. Now 74 teachers as well as 19 staff members have been fired in a move to try and shake things up at a very underperforming high school.

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2734273/rhode_island_teachers_fired_in_across.html?cat=9
     
  5. txsvicki

    txsvicki Active Member

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    I believe it's Federal Law that tutoring has to be offered if a school underperforms on achievement tests. They usually have 8 hour or less work days, so you'd think that they could tutor one or two days a week for 30-45 minutes. Lots of other professions work 12 hour days and stay on call alot.
     
  6. yosande

    yosande ...

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    If the teachers aren't teaching to begin with, why shouldn't they get fired?

    Why do they take no pride in doing a job well done?

    Why do they even need to be told to tutor students who are failing? Why wouldn't they want to do that anyway?

    Why don't they care that their students are failing?

    Why are they complaining about having to work more hours for with no pay increases to the students, when both the students and the teachers know they aren't doing their job in the first place?

    Why do the students think they will accomplish by walking out of class in protest against their teachers not getting raises for doing what the should have been doing all along?

    New teachers are exactly what that school needs. Teachers who expect their students to study, and teachers who know how to teach.

    Hopefully the parents will hold the kids responsible as well, and not just blame the teachers.

    jmo
     
  7. LovingTheChaos

    LovingTheChaos New Member

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    They can bring in all the new teachers they want. If the children are not taught to value education by their parents, the results will be the same. Can we fire the parents of some of these kids?
     
  8. Hopeful One

    Hopeful One Blessed are the cracked for they are the ones who

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    I think this is absolutely ridiculous. It all stems from bad parenting. There is NO WAY all of those teachers were bad teachers. It is a very poor school district and I guarantee you that most of the kids and their parents just don't care and/or aren't involved.

    I would bet $1000 that when they get all new teachers in, nothing will change.
     
  9. LovingTheChaos

    LovingTheChaos New Member

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    Exactly Shamrock. These poor districts have such a hard time getting teachers who will work in them. Lets face it - you go to school for how many years to earn a masters degree & you have a real talent to teach, something that, oddly enough, cannot be "taught" :) - where do you go to get a job? DO you think - hey, I am going to the inner city where most adults never completed high school, & see if I can teach their kids? OR, do you maybe stick to the burbs, and outlying areas where most people are college educated?
    How do you get the good teachers to teach the toughest kids? IMO, 'firing' all these teachers was throwing the baby out with the bath water - there has to be a better way to deal with the problem.
     
  10. MLE

    MLE New Member

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    The states are having major financial problems and so are cities and counties. They can replace these stubborn unionized teachers with non-union teachers, save a lot of money, and the kids won't be any dumber than they already are.
     
  11. Mr. E

    Mr. E New Member

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    All I see happening is a whole new group of teachers coming in and making sure kids pass (i.e. giving passing grades to failing students) in order to keep from being fired. Then years from now RI will be full of students who graduated from that district who can't read, fill out an application, keep a budget, etc, etc.

    I agree that there is a better solution. What are the kids learning from this? Who really believes that they are going to come into school next fall ready to learn all of a sudden from a fresh new batch of teachers? Did a failing school district really just deny an entire group of its professionals paid development in order to better learn to teach these tough kids? The school district, in my opinion, too the easy road out.

    I am a teacher and have participated in our early-morning tutoring program. I was paid for it. It is not unreasonable for a professional person to be paid for extra work. Of course I will tutor students who need it when they ask to see me after school, but a tutoring program means that a group of students will be attending. To ask a teacher to do this for free is to downplay his/her professionalism. For Pete's sake, I pay my lawn guy extra for weeding or trimming bushes...why is it so unreasonable for a teacher to be paid for coming into work early or staying late? Teachers do a lot of work that is unpaid, believe me.

    What kind of community support was there? Sometimes just the presence of community members and parents in the school at different hourse makes a lot of difference. Here, youth pastors come to lunches occasionally to talk to kids as they eat. It's very friendly and informal. Parents occasionally come in to help with teachers, sometimes just by making copies. It's their presence that really matters. The kids see that people care about their success. It's a tremendous boost.
     
  12. Lyn1001

    Lyn1001 In constant need of a nap

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    I remember reading somewhere that scores had gone up slightly in the past few years, which means the teachers were doing something. I also agree that many teachers do a lot of unpaid work. Most of the teachers I know buy everything for their classrooms out of their own pocket. And those aren't in inner city schools. They also sometimes stay up until midnight grading papers or scoring tests.
     
  13. italianchica

    italianchica New Member

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    My sister teaches in RI. She moved there 4 years ago from Connecticut. RI teachers are paid poorly compared to states closer than them.
     
  14. Masterj

    Masterj Active Member

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    Not in that town. The average teacher salary was $70k while the median income for the town is $22k. My friend was one of the fired teachers.
     
  15. eve

    eve New Member

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    Wow. Where do I begin? I have been a teacher of alternative high school students for 7 years. Do you honestly believe teachers aren't teaching, don't take pride in their work and don't care that students are failing?

    By the time I get them my students are failing, skipping school, in foster care, doing drugs, getting pregnant, helping their parents cook meth, spending time in lock-up, homeless, trying to take care of younger sibs, watching their parents' gf/bf live-in revolving door...I could go on and on.

    Somehow I am expected to work miracles with these now "young adults" and get them to pass basic skills tests. Without passing they can no longer receive a diploma here. But their lack of skills has been well-documented for years. Interesting that just about the time they need to take tests which reflect badly on their schools, they get kicked to the curb. The curb is my school.

    We are judged by our statistics just like any other school. But we start out with a wholly different animal. Our typical student is already failing at most every level.

    Yesterday our staff was told of new legislation whereby teachers' names will now be linked with students who had them and didn't pass the test in their subject. This will then follow us when we apply for new jobs, etc.

    After 6 years of teaching my salary was a mere $69 too much a year for my own children to qualify for free lunches at school. I was not seeking free lunches, I discovered this by accident.

    I have always taught night school and summer school - contrary to popular belief, it is a rare teacher in my world who can take summers off - we all work. We have to. I put over $500 a year into my classroom and my paperwork pile is always huge, I am always behind and used to take a lot home. No more. Too bad.

    I work 7:30-5:30 two days a week and 7:30-3:30 the other days. I often do not get my duty-free 1/2 hour lunch because I have to help serve lunch (we don't have aides or cafeteria workers or guidance counselors). I am an advisor as well as an English teacher and track and deal with my caseload's credits, discipline issues, probation officers, parents, etc. I teach basic skills remediation and the kids are often at the 2d and 3d grade level when I get them in 10th grade. I routinely give up my prep hour to deal with a discipline issue or to cover for another teacher and feel guilty putting in for it since our school is so broke. My budget has been cut from $1000/yr to $500/yr. Our salaries and lane/step changes are now frozen and our health care costs have gone up so much we have been receiving a net cut for the last few years. Our district illegally held health care matching money back all year (to earn interest on it) and only replaced it in our accounts after being forced by threat of court.

    Kids are disrespectful, parents disinterested, ignorant and enabling.

    People say they want the best and brightest teachers. That they want the best and brightest to go into teaching.

    I say - Pffffft! And that's nice compared to what I want to say! Why would the best and the brightest want to anymore?

    I am leaving teaching after this year. I cannot do it anymore. I do not want to.

    Good thing I'm not looking at different teaching jobs, since that list of names would probably hurt my chances.

    Do you suppose anything will be done for the names on that list to help them pass the tests? Bahaha

    Nah! It is about black-marking the teachers. It isn't about the kids. And we wonder why education is in such a pathetic state.

    Eve
     
  16. Mr. E

    Mr. E New Member

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    Eve,

    Excellent post. I do think that because some teachers make their way into the news through negative means, people tend to write teachers off. Most teachers are hard-working, caring individuals. Most would not go into teaching otherwise. I know people who have stuck with it for 30 years or more. There is a teacher in a town near me who has been commended because she has gotten the local Rotary Club involved with her low-performing students. The students have mentors; they want to do well to get praises from their mentors. They behave better and get better test scores.

    But it is rare for a teacher like her to get in the news. Usually we only hear the bad stuff.

    Like you, I'm not returning to teaching. I just don't have it in me. I hope that there is a whole new generation of teachers coming up who have good ideas and who are patient and who can motivate the kids today.
     
  17. Pandora

    Pandora New Member

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    Eve & Mr. E.,
    Thank you for all you've done for your students and others. If there are any other teachers here who do everything they can every day, THANK YOU!!!

    I am in my thirteenth year of teaching after a 1 1/2 year hiatus. I had to leave due to my health. I hope to stay in teaching forever, but my health comes first. I will say that the school where I am now is a God-send; however, they are also accepting Obama's "Race to the Top" money. I may be in these RI teacher's shoes next year.

    P.
     
  18. eve

    eve New Member

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    Yes, Obama plan outlined Monday offers 900 million to districts willing to "turn themselves around." Plan has four options, one includes firing principal and half of the staff, one involves closing the school altogether and one means the school must restart under different (charter) management. The fourth option has a series of "transformational" steps focused on teacher performance, naturally.

    Theoretically there is a big teacher pool to recruit from for new teachers since 50% of teachers leave the profession within 3 years these days. Hell will probably freeze over before many of them would return to teaching though! No offense to young teachers, either, but I seriously doubt brand new teachers are going to be up to "turning around" that which has been going downhill the entire time they have been in school themselves.

    I am so glad I have a plan to get out, and another degree in a different field. I admire that you want to stick it out. I will miss my kids. But I won't miss the crummy pay, bad treatment by my administration and school board, contempt, ingratitude and lack of knowledge by much of the public and ineffective union representation.

    Eve
     
  19. Mr. E

    Mr. E New Member

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    You know what I'm not going to miss? Parents. While there are supportive parents out there, some of them are just nuts. I wrote up a boy once because he swore at me. It was witnessed by the entire class. I was shocked when the principal called me to talk about it, especially since the write up was very specific. So I went in there, restated what was already written, and left. End of story? No. Next I had to have a meeting with the parent, the kid, and an administrator. The parent sat there across from me, cussing me out, swearing that her child doesn't cuss and I was a liar! Every time the kid tried to talk, the mother told him to be quiet. It was utterly ridiculous and the beginning of the end for me. This, I will not miss.
     
  20. OrdinaryLife

    OrdinaryLife New Member

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    Central Falls is one of the poorest cities in RI. Central Falls teachers have failed their students. Putting themselves before the classroom. I live here. I know the area extremely well, the surrounding towns, and where there has been promise or failure regarding children in this states school system. Is it unfortunate that good teachers were affected by such a firing? Absolutely. But, the responsiblity of such rests on the Teacher Union, who the city tried had to work with, and the lazy teachers who grew comfortable in their position and paycheck.

    Frankly, I think this should be done in other counties here. A shake up/wake up is not bad. Especially when tax payers here (outrageous taxes) are footing the bill for income and insurance that many wish they could have themselves. I live in one county that the money made is insane, yet, there was only 48% graduating from H.S., and the loss of losing accreditation loomed for 4+ years. And, I live in a "good" town.

    I do not feel bad at all save for the teachers who cared. In this case, you did not get what you paid paid for. Not here, when it comes to our children. By the way, don't be so quick to pass judgment on the parents. They can only do/work with what they are also given by the school system. As well as their economic status.

    imvho
     
  21. eve

    eve New Member

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    Teachers averaging 70k? They must be including administrators, right? I have worked 7 years as a teacher and make just a wee bit more than half that.


    Your comment "They can only do/work with what they are also given by the school system" is precisely what most of us teachers say about parents!


    We are teachers, not parents. Parents are supposed to be raising their kids and providing instruction in basic respect, manners, honesty, work ethic, etc.


    I have parents coming to conferences drunk, stoned. They are in and out of jail, jobs, relationships, sobriety, etc. The home lives of many of my students make for them really not even having a shot at a shot.


    OL, do you have alternative schools there? With a grad rate that low, I suspect not. Our grad rates would certainly be lower here as well, if the high school weren't able to kick the students who are failing and/or unlikely to pass the skills tests, over to us. The regular high schools needn't sully their names too badly with us around. And we do have clever ways of getting some of them exempted from tests in the end, via our wonderful Federal Special Ed. laws.


    There's all this outrage when kids don't pass the tests and can't get a diploma. These kids have been passed along for 10 years and suddenly when they are finally somewhat close to graduating somebody cares that they can hardly read, write and do math? I say, "Where have ya'll been?" and that includes the parents! GMAB.

    But I work with at-risk failing students. Honestly, I just want them to be able to productively hold down a job. Without a diploma, they will just end up in the system, be it welfare or legal.

    Eve
     

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