Central Falls, Rhode Island School Board Fires All Of Their Teachers

U.S. News

When the Central Falls teacher’s union refused to take part in the districts “transformational model” the districts Superintendent Frances Gallo took drastic measures, firing all 88 teachers in the states struggling school district.

Among the districts proposals was a longer school day to help assist students who had fallen behind. According to reports, teachers will be able to reapply but only a maximum of 50 can be rehired.

Under federal mandates the school district needed to take drastic measures in order to break out of the countries lowest performing 5 percentile.

Teachers were arguable upset when they learned of the firing and the move deals a huge blow to one of the states poorest communities. Under current contractual agreements the teachers will continue to work until the end of the school year, including some teachers who have taught at the institution for up to 30 years.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan praised the move as courageous after the school showed only 7% of 11th graders scored at least proficient in math and only 48% of students graduate.

What do you think about the firings? Good policy or poor judgment?

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11 comments
Robert
Robert

There will always be people who will defend the incompetent school, and its staff even in the face of overwhelming evidence."Economic status and environment affect learning."It doesn't affect all students, so how do you explain those students and people who rise above this? This argument is the biggest cop out ever. I work for a school well known for serving low income students who come to class everyday and don't make any excuses for their lack of progress, and or are successful. These are students whose parents are hardly in their lives.The school has a decent graduation rate of seventy percent. By the time someone becomes a high school, the excuses are over. You either take responsibility for your actions or don't. Most schools have programs such as tutoring and counseling to help the students through his or her hardship.A school where ninety three percent of the population isn't proficient in math isn't getting the job done. Teachers aren't doing their jobs, and or the school isn't isn't aiding the students. Schools love to make excuses for their incompetence, and this has nothing to do with the economic status or environment of the student. I am not surprised that the union didn't want to participation in the transformation model. "Teachers should be praised for even working in these areas, not insulted by being fired and told to do more with less."Teachers should be only praised for getting the job done.

Robert
Robert

There will always be people who will defend the incompetent school, and its staff even in the face of overwhelming evidence. "Economic status and environment affect learning." It doesn't affect all students, so how do you explain those students and people who rise above this? This argument is the biggest cop out ever. I work for a school well known for serving low income students who come to class everyday and don't make any excuses for their lack of progress, and or are successful. These are students whose parents are hardly in their lives. The school has a decent graduation rate of seventy percent. By the time someone becomes a high school, the excuses are over. You either take responsibility for your actions or don't. Most schools have programs such as tutoring and counseling to help the students through his or her hardship. A school where ninety three percent of the population isn't proficient in math isn't getting the job done. Teachers aren't doing their jobs, and or the school isn't isn't aiding the students. Schools love to make excuses for their incompetence, and this has nothing to do with the economic status or environment of the student. I am not surprised that the union didn't want to participation in the transformation model. "Teachers should be praised for even working in these areas, not insulted by being fired and told to do more with less." Teachers should be only praised for getting the job done.

Kevin Hedstrom
Kevin Hedstrom

People will either read this and agree with you, or agree with me. I only ask that you read again what I wrote and think. We can forgo the insults.Economic status and environment affect learning. When you are in survival mode at home its hard to take AP Geometry. When you cant make rent and your husband or wife is an alcoholic its tough to be a parent and make sure your kid finished his homework. When both parents cant take care of themselves, how can they care for a child properly? When a parent can take care of themselves but make minimum wage and can barely pay for food, how can they do well in other areas of their life. Now group all of these parents with difficult situations together so they have no way out. A few may be able to succeed, but probably not over half of them.Teachers are not parents. When I was a kid, it was MY responsibility to get a good grade, not the teachers. What happened? People love to blame and point fingers, but its time we take responsibility and fix this from the bottom up. Maybe you should go volunteer your time at an underprivileged school so you can decide for yourself if the teachers are failing or if it is really just the students. You cannot legislate morality, responsibility and motivation. Teachers should be praised for even working in these areas, not insulted by being fired and told to do more with less.Why do "bad" neighborhoods have sicker people in their emergency rooms? Is the hospital to blame?Maybe I'm missing something here? I don't know this area or district but I see this mentality every day across the U.S.KH

Eric
Eric

Kevin,Clearly my good sir, you dont have a clue. Economic status and poor environments doesnt stop children from learning. OVER HALF were failing every class. There are other variables that need to be measured other than the two mentioned. Teachers have an important role in a child success. Teachers level of expectations in "rich neighborhoods" far exceed the expectations in lesser neighborhoods. I believe that everyone need to be held accountable teachers, school boards, students and parents. Unfortunately or fortunately, teachers (with the higher education) are being held accountable for 400 students failing every class. Lets hope that in a year from now these children and many other children are benefitting from this Brave and courageous move from the school board. We should never forget that this "children" are our future. They are the ones who our children's children will play with, work with etc. We as a society should care what happen to the less fortunate people in America.

Kevin Hedstrom
Kevin Hedstrom

I hope the news picks up the story in a year or so when they find students still are failing and havent improved. Its not the teachers fault, its the economic status of the parents, and poor environment the kids are from. Anyone praising this move doesnt have a clue.Teachers are underpaid, unappreciated and dealt a crap hand every year. Teachers arent given the tools to succeed. They need smaller class sizes and more freedom to teach how they want to.I am not a teacher, I am a parent and I work in healthcare. Everyone loves to blame someone, but give me a break, take responsibility for your own children. If the parents arent doing their job, what the hell are the teachers supposed to do?Ever notice that the rich neighborhoods don't have under performing schools? I suppose the teachers there are just better? They are in a union too.KH

Ernie Chaves
Ernie Chaves

As a Rhode Island graduate, I can only commend the school board in Central Falls. If they can propagate their actions nationwide, the whole country will greatly benefit from their courage to get rid of the cancer of unions in the educational institutions. In november we will have the opportunity to rid oruselves of the same unproductive and incompetent elements and synergistic ills that have existed in the national and state congresses, lo these many years... it takes revolution ... we know that as a nation... we have been there before.... let's get on with it.

Ernie Chaves
Ernie Chaves

As a Rhode Island graduate, I can only commend the school board in Central Falls. If they can propagate their actions nationwide, the whole country will greatly benefit from their courage to get rid of the cancer of unions in the educational institutions. In november we will have the opportunity to rid oruselves of the same unproductive and incompetent elements and synergistic ills that have existed in the national and state congresses, lo these many years... it takes revolution ... we know that as a nation... we have been there before.... let's get on with it.

Kevin Hedstrom
Kevin Hedstrom

I hope the news picks up the story in a year or so when they find students still are failing and havent improved. Its not the teachers fault, its the economic status of the parents, and poor environment the kids are from. Anyone praising this move doesnt have a clue. Teachers are underpaid, unappreciated and dealt a crap hand every year. Teachers arent given the tools to succeed. They need smaller class sizes and more freedom to teach how they want to. I am not a teacher, I am a parent and I work in healthcare. Everyone loves to blame someone, but give me a break, take responsibility for your own children. If the parents arent doing their job, what the hell are the teachers supposed to do? Ever notice that the rich neighborhoods don't have under performing schools? I suppose the teachers there are just better? They are in a union too. KH

Eric
Eric

Kevin, Clearly my good sir, you dont have a clue. Economic status and poor environments doesnt stop children from learning. OVER HALF were failing every class. There are other variables that need to be measured other than the two mentioned. Teachers have an important role in a child success. Teachers level of expectations in "rich neighborhoods" far exceed the expectations in lesser neighborhoods. I believe that everyone need to be held accountable teachers, school boards, students and parents. Unfortunately or fortunately, teachers (with the higher education) are being held accountable for 400 students failing every class. Lets hope that in a year from now these children and many other children are benefitting from this Brave and courageous move from the school board. We should never forget that this "children" are our future. They are the ones who our children's children will play with, work with etc. We as a society should care what happen to the less fortunate people in America.

Robert
Robert

There will always be people who will defend the incompetent school, and its staff even in the face of overwhelming evidence. "Economic status and environment affect learning." It doesn't affect all students, so how do you explain those students and people who rise above this? This argument is the biggest cop out ever. I work for a school well known for serving low income students who come to class everyday and don't make any excuses for their lack of progress, and or are successful. These are students whose parents are hardly in their lives. The school has a decent graduation rate of seventy percent. By the time someone becomes a high school, the excuses are over. You either take responsibility for your actions or don't. Most schools have programs such as tutoring and counseling to help the students through his or her hardship. A school where ninety three percent of the population isn't proficient in math isn't getting the job done. Teachers aren't doing their jobs, and or the school isn't isn't aiding the students. Schools love to make excuses for their incompetence, and this has nothing to do with the economic status or environment of the student. I am not surprised that the union didn't want to participation in the transformation model. "Teachers should be praised for even working in these areas, not insulted by being fired and told to do more with less." Teachers should be only praised for getting the job done.

Kevin Hedstrom
Kevin Hedstrom

People will either read this and agree with you, or agree with me. I only ask that you read again what I wrote and think. We can forgo the insults. Economic status and environment affect learning. When you are in survival mode at home its hard to take AP Geometry. When you cant make rent and your husband or wife is an alcoholic its tough to be a parent and make sure your kid finished his homework. When both parents cant take care of themselves, how can they care for a child properly? When a parent can take care of themselves but make minimum wage and can barely pay for food, how can they do well in other areas of their life. Now group all of these parents with difficult situations together so they have no way out. A few may be able to succeed, but probably not over half of them. Teachers are not parents. When I was a kid, it was MY responsibility to get a good grade, not the teachers. What happened? People love to blame and point fingers, but its time we take responsibility and fix this from the bottom up. Maybe you should go volunteer your time at an underprivileged school so you can decide for yourself if the teachers are failing or if it is really just the students. You cannot legislate morality, responsibility and motivation. Teachers should be praised for even working in these areas, not insulted by being fired and told to do more with less. Why do "bad" neighborhoods have sicker people in their emergency rooms? Is the hospital to blame? Maybe I'm missing something here? I don't know this area or district but I see this mentality every day across the U.S. KH

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