Same Old Story For Rhode Island School
Bent on change, last year the troubled Central Falls High School decided to fire all of its teachers who, backed by the union, were resisting implementing the reforms so desperately needed at the low-performing high school. It was a brazen, ballsy move that I admired. However, once the firing was no longer a threat but was indeed a reality, the teachers said they were willing to accept the concessions that had previously been refused under union protection. As a result, there was a kumbaya granting of jobs back and an idealistic vision that everyone would move forward, working together in peace. Sounded good, but…
The administration should have stuck with the mass firings. Why? Because just because people say they will do something doesn’t mean they actually will. The same resistance, laziness, and resentment toward the administration is still there tainting yet another class of high school students.
An Associated Press article reports: “Many teachers aren’t showing up for work, often calling out sick. Several abruptly quit within the first few weeks of the school year. Administrators have had to scramble to find qualified substitutes and have withheld hundreds of student grades because of the teacher absences.
“The progress that the city’s school board — and the Obama administration — had hoped for seems increasingly, and alarmingly, elusive.”
I’m sure the administration is to blame as well, but a school can only be as good as its teachers and when they maximize their sick days and quit weeks into the school year they are putting their own self interests above the interests of their students.
Sounds like it’s time to wipe the slate clean. There was a good lesson to be learned here for reformers in my opinion, which is to follow through with the severe actions that are sometimes called for in order to give children, not adults, a second chance.