May 16th, 2010
05:51 PM ET

Union: Rhode Island school reaches deal to rehire teachers

A Rhode Island high school that fired all its teachers in February has reached a tentative agreement with the school's teachers union to rehire them, the union announced Sunday.

The school board of the Central Falls School District, outside of Providence, had voted to fire its high school's 93 teachers and administrators over low student performance.

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soundoff (128 Responses)
  1. Ashley

    they said "low student performance" so how are teachers supposed to be proactive if the students aren't trying? teachers can only do so much-students have to meet them part way as well. but firing all the teachers is against union rules.

    they could have done something like hold teacher workshops where someone comes in to teach them new skills/give a refresher if it really is the teachers. not just fire them-not like they're going to be able to rehire new ones. who would want to work someplace living in fear that this might happen to them?

    May 16, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jon

    Lots of people criticizing the teachers. They seem to forget that teacher & school are only a part of the education equation. Student and parent fall in there too. In fact, Student/parent are the biggest part. Students are in school about 6-7 hours. That's 9-10 outside of school with the parents.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Pat in IL

    The whole idea of actually firing all of the teachers because of low student performance was ridiculous in the first place. Sure, there are some lousy teachers (also school bard members and school administrators), but that doesn't account for the whole problem. Also, that coompletely ignores the fact that there are some very, very good teachers. Considering that action, it looks to me like the school board needs culling.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Steve

    The blaming of teachers is nothing but pandering to political supporters. The blame is many fold: teachers, students, parents, the system and the district and/or school adminsitration for promoting a toxic environment for teaching and learning. Only when people are willing to sit down, identify and the discuss the real issues, will education have a chance of reforming for the better.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mom

    Maybe what is going to change is that they will make the parents a accountable for getting their children to school so the teachers can teach them.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Charles

    Nothing will change, because the teachers are not the problem. There is a high probability the problem is at home, and until that changes, the school will continue to under-perform. Society needs to wake up and realize most teachers are good, hard working people who care tremendously about their job and the kids they teach. There is little a teacher can do when kids show up to school with no homework done, no help from their parents, no food in their stomach, no discipline, and no structure in their life. Our society is a blaming one, and it's easy to blame the teachers, when the parents are to blame. How many of these kids parents ask them about their day and sit with them going over their homework; feed them healthy meals; give them chores; provide love, discipline, and structure? When this is happening, results follow.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kathy

    Nobody blames a dentist if his patients have bad teeth...why blame teachers if the students come to school unprepared and unwilling to learn?

    May 16, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jim

    Sure Brad, blame the "unions". Its a real buzz word these days. Unless, of course you are IN ONE, and then you see the value of not being singled out. Could it be the whole "no child left behind" Bush policy left some kids behind after all?

    May 16, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jmack

    My first thought was why? Then I saw the word "union". Self-explanatory.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jim

    Brad: As somebody who owned two union-made Saturns in the 90s I can assure you that unions had nothing to do with the decline of GM. It was, instead, management's decision to scrap their Saturn line and to not change the rest of GM to conform to Saturn's success. Also, management's decision to scrap the very successful EV-1–also union made–and to instead produce gas-hog SUVs didn't help. As for these teachers, I know many teachers who go above and beyond their union contract and do things like come in early, stay late, chaperone dances, coach sports, buy supplies out of their own pockets, give lunch money to their students. The fact is if teachers did only what was required of them and nothing more the schools would fall apart.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Debra

    If I was one of those teachers, I would refuse to return to the classroom. How sad, that those in power don't value the hard work of educators. Teachers are fighting an uphill battle with a dumbed-down society where more people vote for American Idol than the leaders of our country.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC


    I learned years ago, raising three kids, that consequences you cave on just teach kids, first, that consequences don't matter and, second, that there's no reason to stop doing whatever they got the consequences for.

    And, so far as I can tell, unions are about as responsible as an average twelve-year-old.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Brittany

    I teach on Pine Ridge Reservation in one of the poorest counties in the nation. Funds are limited, qualified teachers difficult to find or keep and students are plagued by poverty. Despite this, in my opinion, it is in fact a teacher's responsibility to see that their children succeed. It is my job to motivate my children to learn. It is my job to see that my children are excited enough about school to attend. It is my job to work around extreme challenges that make educating children difficult such as poverty, alcoholism, limited funds, abuse, etc. In my experience, any child can learn and most can be motivated to do so if their teacher is passionate enough to invest them.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Denali

    ". If they are rehired now, what is going to change?" Nothing will change. The teachers will be relieved that they are back on the payroll and will soon revert to their poor performance. In the end, we will continue to have poorly educated students with only greater claims that we pay bad teachers more money (as if that will make them better teachers).

    Fair pay.– Rhode Island teachers are ALREADY among the highest paid in the country.

    Administration support. – The school administration decided to support the students and not the union – but then they knuckled under. So we will pay due homage to the union while the students suffer.

    A lot of people would love to get a job that gives them all the holidays and the summer off. Unfortunately, union demanded tenure systems help to ensure that teachers who are not performing remain on the job while enthusiastic new teachers bite the dust.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |

    The teachers have been taught a valuable lesson.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
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