School In Rhode Island Fires All Staff

Do you agree with the decision to fire the staff?

  • Yes

    Votes: 7 70.0%
  • No

    Votes: 3 30.0%

  • Total voters
    10

jtwhite

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More information: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/24/education/24teacher.html

Do you agree with the decision? I think that every teacher who is not willing to spend more time with students should be fired. A teacher's job is much more than a contract. Teachers help define our future and enlighten many students. Teachers also act as mentors and trusted adults.

I feel as if a teacher cannot meet those extra requirements, they should not be in the field.

Overall, I agree with the decision to fire the staff. I'm sure that there were 1 or 2 people willing to work longer with the students, but overall, that was not the result according to the news.
 

xav0989

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I meant to press yes, but I slipped and pressed on no instead. I entirely agree with you jtwhite. When you are the worst preforming school of the county and you are not willing to try things, such as staying later to help students, then there is a problem.
 

bradym

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The article only said that the union rejected a plan that called for teachers to work longer hours without being paid for it. In what other profession would that be tolerable? If there is more crime on the streets than can be effectively controlled by the current police force, do we force officers to work longer hours without pay? No, we pay them overtime. Do we ask emergency room doctors to work longer hours without pay? No, we pay them overtime. Does your employer hold your job over your head and say, work longer hours or you're fired? I'd like to see follow up on this story. Will all those teachers be replaced? Will they have to reapply? Will they completely close the school and send those 800 students to other schools?

On a different note, I take issue with this quote: "I think that every teacher who is not willing to spend more time with students should be fired. " Can you qualify that? How much more time? How sacrificial does a teacher need to be in order to keep his/her job? Should they make house calls, work weekends? How sacrificial are you in your chosen profession? What if your boss came to you and said, "you're not going above and beyond your job description, you're fired." If you are a teacher, then you must have some idea of just how much "more" time a teacher should "spend with" his/her students. Please expound on this. If you're not a teacher, than please tell us why you think teachers should be more sacrificial.
 

fractalfeline

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I think the most relevant point to this discussion is the idea that this was occurring in the most under-performing area. The end result of inadequate teaching is poor performance, yes? If ya ain't doin yer job, then out ya go! And good riddance.

Though, I do generally disagree with the whole-sale firing of every teacher. Certainly, at least one of them was doing ok, and didn't deserve to be lumped with the rest? But I don't know, maybe they were all lazy fools.

I think the union negotiations were irrelevant. If anything, it comes down to priorities. Is it more important for the children to receive an adequate education, or the teachers to be compensated for their time? I mean, the teachers weren't doing their jobs in the time alloted to begin with, and they expect to be paid more?

I mean, if I was a teacher, and I wasn't doing my job, I'd fully expect to be fired. If my employer was nice enough to give me more time to do what was necessary to get the job done, I'd be thrilled to still be employed. I certainly wouldn't have the balls to demand higher pay for doing a sub-standard job slower than the national average.
 

descalzo

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Central Falls High School has long been one of the worst-performing in Rhode Island. Just 7 percent of 11th graders tested in the fall were proficient in math. Only 33 percent were proficient in writing, and just 55 percent were proficient in reading. In 2008, just 52 percent of students graduated within four years and 30 percent dropped out.

More children live in poverty in Central Falls, a city of just 1 square mile, than anywhere else in Rhode Island. Until recently, one of the city's few growth industries was a quasi-public jail.
-- from a Washington Post article

But let's blame the teachers.
Not the students. Or their parents. Too bad they can't fire them.
 

CWeb Creative

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Yes descalzo it isnt totally the teacher's faults. Yes, the school is poorly performing but it isnt only the teacher's responsability to fix that. The parents need to get involved. If you look at the job of a teacher and then look at the pay you know that unless your a college professor you have to want to teach to stay in the field. So no the teachers shouldnt have been fired they should have been fairly treated and the parents should have gotten more involved with the students. So yes fire the parents, not the teachers.
 

jtwhite

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It's not practical to remove parental rights from all the parents of these children. Children misbehave and most parents don't care any more. That is happening all around the country. I think it's worse in this school because the prinicpals, teachers, and other staff aren't as interested or involved as in other schools.
 
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bradym

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In our quick fix society we expect results from canned solutions. But the education of developing minds does not lend itself to canned solutions. There are entirely too many variables. Our schools are merely a mirror of the community and culture as a whole, and no group of teachers on earth can change the community if the community is not on board with that program.
 

fractalfeline

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In our quick fix society we expect results from canned solutions. But the education of developing minds does not lend itself to canned solutions. There are entirely too many variables. Our schools are merely a mirror of the community and culture as a whole, and no group of teachers on earth can change the community if the community is not on board with that program.

That much is true.

But then again, a person accepts a job or rejects it before they receive their first pay-check. You agree to the pay before you are hired. If you think you aren't being paid enough, quit or don't take the job in the first place.

It's like wiivsps3 said: you have to love teaching to do it. You know you're going into a field that doesn't pay anywhere near the same as other professions with the same amount of years spent getting a degree. You know you're applying for a job in a district that's poor when you apply. You have to care about the students primarily if you choose that path for yourself. So no, I think if a teacher is complaining about not getting paid enough to do their job, then they shouldn't be teaching. A teacher can't go around whining about "I'm not paid enough to care."

Meanwhile, I'm assuming the district is poor, in a socio-economic sense. Often a poor district has other things they have to assume priority with, like taking double-shifts just to pay the rent. It's unfortunate, but poor people can't always pay for babysitters and don't always have a sprawling successful family that they can rely on to raise their children. A lot of children in poor districts become "latch-key" children, and have to take care of themselves and any younger siblings they may have. Usually there's a lot of crime too, and just trying to keep yourself safe is enough of a concern.

If anything, these communities need MORE support, rather than less, because without it, it just cycles. Poor families -> poor neighborhoods -> can't afford good teachers -> bad education -> less job opportunities and less pay -> poor families.

Just in case you didn't think economics is a problem here:
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/02/central-falls-rhode-island-fires-every.html
http://www.city-data.com/business/econ-Central-Falls-Rhode-Island.html

So yeah, if I was the superintendent, I'd be saying "Either you want to help or you don't. If you don't, there's the door. Take your union and shove it."
 

Livewire

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I'm in a split on this, although I'm leaning quite drastically towards the school on this one.

I mean, seriously, 48% graduation rate? If I got paid to answer phones and only actually solved the problems on 48% of those calls, I'd be fired. If this is what it took to get the teachers to wake up and kick some *** and start TEACHING, then so be it.



Quick edit: I do get paid to answer phones. Since I'm still working I must be doing something right.
 
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bradym

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That much is true.

But then again, a person accepts a job or rejects it before they receive their first pay-check. You agree to the pay before you are hired. If you think you aren't being paid enough, quit or don't take the job in the first place.

It's like wiivsps3 said: you have to love teaching to do it. You know you're going into a field that doesn't pay anywhere near the same as other professions with the same amount of years spent getting a degree. You know you're applying for a job in a district that's poor when you apply. You have to care about the students primarily if you choose that path for yourself. So no, I think if a teacher is complaining about not getting paid enough to do their job, then they shouldn't be teaching. A teacher can't go around whining about "I'm not paid enough to care."

"

That's easy for you to say. What most teachers didn't know before they went into the profession was that the deck was going to be stacked against them. Most teachers were probably really idealistic when they entered the field. Because like you said, they must have known the pay was medicore at best. But what slowly dawned on them was that there was way less than 48% support for what they do. Pop culture entertainment makes a killing off of bashing teachers and other authority figures. Teachers are made to look like idiots in the entertainment media, and the only teachers that make the news are the pedophiles. American culture is quickly devolving to a welfare state where the vast majority of people expect the government to solve all their problems, pay for all their ills, and provide them with jobs and job security. Can you even imagine trying to teach to a group of teenagers who are fully expecting a welfare check and food stamps when they can finally get old enough to quit school, because school is "stupid and boring"? When THE ONLY thing on their minds is the next lay, or the next high? Sure their lives are miserable. Sure their parents are poor and working two jobs. Sure their school district is poor and property values have fallen through the floor. So we fix that by firing the very people who originally signed on, knowing they were going to be poorly paid, believing they had a mission in life, and believing that all kids can learn--that all kids want to learn? And then reality set in (and so do the bills). So you're probably right. They might have all been burnt out, callous, selfish, and out of energy. But I'll bet my bottom dollare they didn't start out that way. And you can fill that school with a new staff of young, idealistic teachers if you want. But I think the district just cut its own throat by firing the closest thing they had to a solution.
 

bradym

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Just in case anyone is still interested in this thread--not likely because it requires a lot more thought than "how many times a day do you...?"--I'm posting another article about the mass firing of teachers at that Rhode Island school. Here's the link. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100314/ap_on_re_us/us_entire_school_fired, but I'll put some of the quotes here as well.

When Delgado's parents could not take her to visit Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass., her French teacher at Central Falls High School, Hope Evanoff, took her by train and helped her seek financial aid. Delgado, among the minority of students who graduate on time from troubled Central Falls, is now a sophomore at Lesley. Evanoff is among 93 high school instructors and staff who will be fired after the end of the school year in a desperate move to improve student performance at the school.

Gee, Justin and xav0989, apparantly there are teachers there who are willing to spend more time with the students. Certainly Ms. Evanoff is expecting a kickback from this student once she graduates from college?

Here's another one: More children live in poverty in Central Falls, a cramped city just one mile square, than anywhere else in Rhode Island. Just under half of residents in the city of nearly 19,000 people identify themselves as Hispanic, and the majority do not speak English at home.

But don't take my word for it. Read the article yourself, unless of course you're too busy reading the highly enlightening thread about how many times people go to the potty in a day. Ah yes, education at its finest.
 

bradym

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Just another quick note. (not like anyone is still following this, but it feels good to get it off my chest) I teach 6th graders. In the past week, I've had one girl tell me that both her parents are in jail, one boy tell me his parents are divorcing, and one boy tell me that they might be getting kicked out of their house on the 1st. In my homeroom alone, I have one boy who lives with his aunt because his mother was killed in a car accident. Also in that household are four other children from four different fathers (same mother.) There is another boy who lives with his aunt because his mother is in jail, and he has never met his father. And these are merely the cases that I know of. Oh, yes, today a mother shared with me that her father, (the grandfather of one of my male students) hung himself in the house down the street from where they live. Now the boy doesn't want to do homework anymore because he used to always do his homework with his grandfather.

I don't suppose anyone thinks that these siituations might affect their ability to learn in my classroom? And, of course, any lack of learning is merely a reflection of poor teaching, right?
 

fractalfeline

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I guess you're right. I mean, I can't be bothered to post regularly anymore in these forums now that the credits system is down. If I cared about the community and not about the credits, I would post even if the credits system is down. But I don't really... until the credits are back up, why put extra effort and time into formulating an thoughtful, discussion-stimulating response?
 

bradym

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So today one of my 6th grade girls is sitting in my homeroom while I'm trying to explain to the class about how the buddy pictures work, and how you have pre-pay for them, and how everyone in the picture has to pay 10.00, and the whole time she's sitting there holding back tears. And I'm thinking, "ok, I got to get to her, but I don't want to make a spectacle and embarrass her. Maybe it's just boy drama." So I turn to enter the attendance in the computer, thinking that as soon as I get that done, I'll pull her out in the hallway and see what I can do. When I turn to the computer, she gets up and comes over to me and tries to talk, but she can't because she's all choked up. So I get her outside, and she completely falls apart. Tears everywhere! "The kids are making fun of me cause I'm dating the boy that I'm living with, cause my mom's in jail and we went on a field trip and everyone else bought something and I didn't have any money but someone bought something for me and then everyone wanted some of it, it was a bag of cookies and my mom's in jail and can I go see Mr. D (the counselor) and my mom's in jail and I JUST CAN'T TAKE ANYMORE!" So I give her a big hug, tell her it's all going to be all right, and then write her a pass to guidance, cuz I got 26 other kids behind me in the room wondering what in the world is going on.

But when she does poorly on her standardized test, it'll be the teachers' faults for not spending enough time with her and providing her with the appropriate educational opportunities, right?
 
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