Monday, March 8, 2010

Firing Teachers?!?!?! It Might Just Work!

So, maybe it is a little drastic, and maybe it won’t hold up in court because of the union…..BUT… sure did get people’s attention, didn’t it?! Sure, the firing of all of the teachers at Central Falls High School in RI might seem a little like overkill, but as a constantly underperforming school, maybe a complete shake up was necessary.

If you have a school that has a majority of truly inspired, dedicated, and talented teachers, I really doubt student performance would be so bad. I think creative and dedicated administration and faculty could have pulled together and put forth the proper effort to right the ship. This, unfortunately, was clearly not the case at this particular school. I don’t think this happened because a couple of teachers were doing a poor job. It seems to me that there existed a pretty negative culture and uninspired mentality, and that in order to really get some results, drastic measures had to be taken. According to a Newsweek article, at this school, “half the students drop out of school, and proficiency in math measured by state exams stands at a pitiful 7 percent among 11th graders. Under state pressure, the local superintendent, Frances Gallo, tried to improve scores by requiring teachers to work 25 minutes longer each a day, eat lunch with students once a week, and agree to be evaluated by a third party. The teachers, who make about $75,000 a year, far more than average in this depressed town, balked. They wanted another $90 an hour. So Gallo took a brave and astonishing step: she recommended firing all 74 teachers. Her boldness was praised by Education Secretary Duncan—and supported by President Obama.” Read more at

Sometimes, reality is harsh. An extra twenty five minutes, and some lunch time....really???   Maybe those teachers will renegotiate their priorities and careers. The quality teachers will return because they believe in children and want to do the hard work, but maybe the deadwood will find something else to do.

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