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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  1. Carole

    Teachers Unions are destroying our country!! Teachers Unions!! And teachers should be in bread lines!!! Excuse me, but what are they going to start to learn then???
    Teachers drive your taxes sky high! Is that because they do not deserve a professional wage? They are professionals, remember. All have Bachelors Degrees, many have Masters Degrees, and some have Doctorates. They are professionals just like lawyers and doctors and all others who have advanced education and their pay should be commensurate with their education.. You seem to forget that.
    As a teacher myself I resent the absolute hatred which seems to drip from your mouth with each word. You are wrong.
    I am a Maine Yankee, proud of my heritage, and proud of the work I have done as a teacher and the students that I have helped educate.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JJ

    Maybe they had a good Football team. Its what important around here when the school board memberws hire a superintendent.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. A teacher

    Larry, stop generalizing. You have absolutely know idea what you are talking about. I go to workshops and do much planning during the summer. I pay, with my own money, for many of the materials I use. I teach in the South, pay is very low in comparison and health benefits are terrible for what we pay. The majority of the teachers are in it for the love of the students, your children. We do not do it for the money, many teachers work second jobs to pay bills!

    Some parents are awesome, but others could care less what their children do in school.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jack

    Unions were great when they first started but they have become just another place where the people who run them get richer and richer and the workers get nothing. You think the unions care about the students, not a chance. Thye care about the dues being paid every month so they can have their big boats, big cars and big houses. Members, what have they really done for you. My ex father-in-law was alwasy a big union man, a welder. I knew him for about 30 years and in that 30 years he was employeed less than half the time. He always paid his union dues but they couldn't keep him working. Then he finally retires with a very meager pension and becuase he did not make that much over the years his SS is very limited too. Many teachers know less than some of the students they teach but the unions don't care, just keep paying the dues and we will fight for you. When will the members see them for what they are.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MR

    I am absolutely tired of people saying that teachers get paid a lot because of the amount of holidays off as well as summer. Teachers work overtime, coming in early and leaving late, bring plenty of work home, volunteer for after school functions, pay for many supplies that your child uses in school for learning new skills or takes home from the classroom, and much more. When you also look at the amount of education needed in this field, many others professionals get paid more than teachers do with this type of continuing education. Next time you say that teachers get paid too much, just think about this.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Pamela

    I love my job and all of the "stuff" that goes with it. I love all of the good kids, bad kids, the kids that drive you crazy, and the kids that society could care less about. But, until you have taught in a public school and know exactly what I have to do everyday for my job and what I try to do for each of my children, you have no right to tell me that I am not doing my job or how to even do my job. And by the way, that goes for people who have left the classroom years ago and are now in some supervisory role but mostly anybody in politics who has probably never evern stepped foot in a public school. Come do my job for a week and then tell me how to do it. I will even give you an "easy" week!!

    May 16, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Edwin S.

    So we are placing the blame fully on the teachers? What about the parents and the students? If parents are not involved in thier childerns education, how can a teacher be effective in thier job teaching them? Are we just looking for someone to be the scapegoat for the parents shortfall? Teachers jobs are hard enough with the wages they earn and the hours they work.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. OS

    Just because all the students fail, doesn't mean it's the teacher's fault. You can't fix dumb, but you can try. And these teachers try.

    You know how to fix it? START TEACHING THEM WHAT THEY ARE GEARED TO LEARN. Not every child can learn math and science.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. D Lawrence

    It is a shame that the Union could not be broken. They used to serve a positive purpose now they have a selfish strangle hold on our children’s future. It is clear that there are some excellent educators it is also clear that the union system protects and defends education that sub standard. In a Charter School System, they would be fired. Why would Supt Gallo hire back teachers that are so bad, that her school system would be closed if she did not take the courageous actions she was forced to take because the Unions would not be part of the solution until faced with extinction.

    I agree with the comments that education is a partnership that includes parents, teachers, community and our goals as a society. Everyone points fingers but clearly we collectively caused this problem and we collectively need to fix it.

    I am disappointed that Supt Gallo is giving up her one chance to take and keep control of the future of her schools. The Unions will do anything to keep their claws in flesh of Central Falls future and then will go back to their selfish, outdated ways. Fool me one shame on you, fool me once shame on me.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. lieNoMore

    Whenever our corporate keepers and their su&*up politicians and mindless apologists need to blame someone else they start with the unions. The next steps are the pay cuts, then comes privatization (i.e. charter/profit schools), soon they'll tell(sell) us that outsourcing kid's education will be the best thing. So some Wallstreeters will get rich and we'll end up with crap.

    Why is it that Public Television is still the best thing on TV?? Why is it that NASA still has the best science and engineering?? Why is the US military still the best on the planet?? Public education deserves to be in the latter category not some profit center for the pathetic losers in moneyland. Payup and shutup.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jgtennessee

    MR, you are sadly misinformed and have swallowed the "teachers don't get paid enough" hook, line and sinker. I have been on two school boards in two different States, not in the State in question. Unfortunately, the medical health benefits and retirement benefits for most teachers, via their union, are unbelievably good–FAR greater than the average John Doe or Mr. or Dr. John Doe working in America. Their medical benefit premiums, in most school districts, is paid at !00% or nearly so, but most at 100%. The retirement for nearly 80% of their average high three years of pay is also covered by the district, where teachers pay very little IF anything. So to say, they are underpaid is a gross misstatement. When factoring in the health and retirement benefits, they are VERY WELL PAID. It is those benefit costs that are eating up school district budgets. Now, if they want to reduce those or shoulder a higher percentage of the premium, LIKE MOST employees of companies do, then we can talk about wages. Whoever, advised you teachers are underpaid did you wrong. If you don't understand the true nature of ALL their pay, don't address it. NOTE I have not even mentioned the nine or ten month year in the above discussion.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • OS

      You're completely misinformed or lying. I have never met a "well paid" teacher. They all make average or below average salary and benefits. All I can say is, your statement is that of a true clueless manager, which makes other managers look bad.

      May 17, 2010 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
  12. A teacher speaks out

    Being from another state with the same problems as many schools, there are a few things about this story that bear looking at.

    Teaching like any profession has people who are burnt out – and need replacing.

    HOWEVER...

    Look at schools who are judged across the board from dropout rates to test scores..

    A high percentage of drop outs are purely a financial decision. Look at the drop out rates in the following areas

    Texas during the $150 a barrel oil – where if you could drive and breathe – you probably had a job.

    New Orleans in post Katrina – where manual labor is high demand for everything from cleaning up to working construction sites to the fishing industry.

    Any farming state during harvest seasons.

    When the jobs dry up for drop outs, there will be a lot less drop outs. When certain cultures put a higher value on education .....there will be even less.

    Now as far as the state mandated tests.....well – a challenge to RHODE ISLAND and beyond

    TO any state that has a state mandated social studies or government test – Challenge any member of your state legislature to pass it. – MOST CAN'T

    TO any state that has a state mandated math or science test – Challenge any member of your state legislature to score above 50% on it – THEY CANT

    TO any state that has a state mandated language arts test – pick any student in your state that reads on grade level in ENGLISH ...90% of the time – they will pass it

    You want higher test scores in high school???

    Simple things to change –

    MAKE LEARNING TO READ IN ENGLISH PRIORITY #1
    QUIT ALL THE MAMBY PAMBY STUFF IN PRIMARY GRADES.

    GRADES 1-2 STUDENTS CAN SURVIVE WITHOUT MUSIC – AND ART – AND SOCIAL STUDIES AND MAYBE SCIENCE – TEACH READING – WRITING – MATH

    A STUDENT LEAVING THE SECOND GRADE ON READING LEVEL – HAS A MUCH HIGHER POSSIBILITY OF SUCCESS THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL THAN ANY OTHER THING YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH.

    WANT TO SEE A DRAMATIC JUMP IN READING? TEST READING AT 6th GRADE LEVEL – NOT PASS IT – NO ATHLETICS THE FOLLOWING YEAR – READING CLASS INSTEAD and TEST TO SEE IF ALLOWED TO PLAY IN 8TH GRADE.

    READING IS SOMETHING THAT WHEN THE STUDENTS ARE MOTIVATED ENOUGH – IT WILL IMPROVE....EVIDENCE THE SALES OF THE TWILIGHT BOOKS TO THE UNDER 15 SET

    How do I know this – 21 years as a public teacher in a high minority area – 10 spent having to read math problems to high school students who lacked the basic reading skills of what 3rd graders should have.

    Most state mandated tests are failed by people who can not read them well enough to have 100% comprehension of the question.

    KUDOS TO CNN FOR ONCE AGAIN FOCUSING ON AND REFLECTING NEGATIVELY ON THE OVERALL MOST UNDERPAID PEOPLE IN THE US....TEACHERS

    AFTER ALL – CNN DOES NOT LIKE TO REFLECT ON THE POSITIVE....

    May 16, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. MR

    I guess I won't put my hard earned money into my classroom anymore and just use what the school and county provides for me....diddly squat....and we will see where my students suffer in terms of trying to find different ways to educate a child with hands on materials. I guess I won't come in to work as early anymore and will not be as informed or prepared to teach my lessons (knowing content areas, etc.). I also guess that I will not spend the countless after school hours to update parents on their child's progress whether academic, behavioral, to make a positive phone call etc. To say a teacher is overly paid is grossly wrong. I did not say pay them more. My state does not pay out pensions as much as many of the other states. Why don't you become a public employee first and work in the classroom before you discuss about being a board member. Our school system finds that our board memebers do not truly know what is going on in the classroom and does not consider what is best for the children. I go to work because I enjoy it and feel that I am educating my students to be life-long learners. At the same time, I am tired of people saying that I get paid too much when I only have a salary of about $40,000 in an area where the cost of living is much higher. I can not afford to pay my school loans and have basic necessities such as Internet (since this is tool where I can research information (for my courses needed for recertification) and contact parents much more regularily) and visit my parents more often to use this necessity. Excuse my post if I have any typos.....I love my job and would not choose it for anything in the word. I feel gratified in life when my students have that "a-ha" moment in learning. Don't bash on teachers until you are one.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joe

    As an ex teacher, I know that teaching is not easy and students vary from place to place. I taught in a low income area around Chicago and did my very best to educate, yet so many kids came in whenever thy wanted, some were so high, I wondered if they would pass out. I wasn't the cause of this. I resigned because the principle gave no constructive feedback and the parents just didn't give a damn. You can only do so much. Firing everybody is a scapegoat for the real issues that administration should have solved, however, they probably have not lost their jobs. This is very wrong!!!!!

    May 16, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. RI teacher

    I teach in RI (at the university level) and I am familiar with the situation in Central Falls. I worked with some the of CF students last summer. It was a nightmare. I was basically being paid to babysit a group of disrespectful, unruly, ungrateful, immature children who had NO IDEA how to behave appropriately. It was disgusting. If firing the teachers gives the children of that community the idea that the children/parents are not responsible, then it is a travesty.

    I have been teaching for four years now, and I adore my students, and I think the feeling is mutual. Granted, I work with college-aged kids for the majority of the year, but I would like to think that my passion for teaching extends beyond just the confines of the university. Last summer, I came home every day shaking my head simply dumbfounded at the situation. I tried everything, but NOTHING got through to these kids.

    I can not speak for every teacher at CF. Truth be told, I can not speak for any of them. However, I now better understand their plight. SOMETHING needs to done or else this entire community is going to suffer the consequences.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
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