fired them all

Discussion in 'General Education' started by stephenpe, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Feb 17, 2010

    It sounds like both sides tried to play chicken and failed miserably. What a mess!
     
  4. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Wow, you have to step back and say, "How in the world did this happen?"

    I'm afraid this may be the start of a new trend.
     
  5. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Wow! I can't believe the union would balk at something like that. The conditions don't seem that unreasonable.

    I know that the state is planning on taking over our high school next year because of the dropout rate at that level. They say that every teacher, administrator, and assistant will be fired and will have to reapply for their positions. I'm not sure what will happen exactly though.


    On another note, if there is a union in your state, do you HAVE to join or be a part of one?
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'm with stg on this one....Those terms don't seem unreasonable. There's got to be more to this story.

    Is there another, less biased/charged article describing the events?
     
  7. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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  8. jday129

    jday129 Comrade

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    Feb 18, 2010

    Thanks for the better article Amanda.

    While I do understand the desire to negotiate terms of contract, with scores that low- I don't think the measures are unreasonable.

    Is this considered part of Race to the Top? I know the biggest district in my area is going for this grant, but they are lucky to have union support. My district (2nd biggest) didn't apply for Race to the Top to the best of my knowledge.
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Feb 18, 2010

    Sheila Lawless-Burke, an English-as-a-Second Language teacher, said teachers are not opposed to working harder — or longer; they simply want the opportunity to negotiate the details of their contract, not have it imposed from above.

    “It’s all about the politics,”
    she said, “about making Fran Gallo look good. The issue is having the right to negotiate. Once we allow the superintendent to get her foot in the door, where will it stop?”


    How utterly ridiculous.

    So they're playing games with the education of hundreds of kids over a power struggle???

    Do the union leaders remember when President Reagan fired the Air Traffic Controllers? Life went on then too.

    The district isn't being unreasonable, and even one of the teachers admits that. They're being asked to do their job, and to do it better than they already are.

    I'm guessing that within a week, that district will have resumes from unemployed teachers all over the country, all ready and willing to do whatever is necessary to teach those kids.
     
  10. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Feb 18, 2010

    We had a high school be "reconstituted" too. What happened was that the people who wanted to be there re-applied and 99% of them were rehired. Those who really didn't want to be there didn't reapply, and that left spots for others to come in that wanted to be there. And they made it harder, too, by making this school the only year-round school in the distrcit, so those teachers who chose to reapply really HAD to be dedicated to that school and those kids to sign up for that (it's not the kids that go year-round, just the teachers, and they have massive staff development all summer)
     
  11. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Yes, but according to the law in this case only 50% can be rehired...and that is the entire district employees (if I am reading this right)...what if 75% are doing their job...or 62% are going above...this is a sad comment on what others think of teachers. And everyday I get on here and read teachers judging and tearing each other apart. Until we start looking for the good in each other, the community will not. I work with several teachers that I don't like...and they don't like me...but I don't know if they are doing their job, and frankly, it is none of my business. That is why the school board hired the prinicipal and supt.
     
  12. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Wait a minute, I never said that anyone wasn't doing their job or was a bad teacher at the reconstituted school! I just said that the teachers who really wanted to be there re-applied, and the others didn't. There were actually a large number who were relieved to not be placed at the school the following year - so they just didn't reapply. They may have been fabulous teachers with a lot invested in the school, but it's a tough school, with tough kids and burnout happens. I know several of them took a break, taught somewhere else, and are now back there - they just needed a quick "refresh" time. That doesn't make them bad teachers! I sometimes need a quick refresh time from my own children...and I love them to pieces!
     
  13. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I wasn't focusing on them being bad teachers...I was focusing on the fact that the articles I read and the law I read said only 50% could be rehired. There is a big difference from 50% to 99%. Also what I read doesn't say teaching staff..it says staff. So not only teachers, but support personal will be counted in the 50%. Most of us realize that the Supt. and his/her office staff will return, most principals will return, and most support department chairs will return...so where does that leave the 50%?
    Kimrandy1...I was not attacking you. I was just pointing out the difference between what you said and what the article said. The situation was different.
     
  14. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Feb 18, 2010

    The best I could tell from the article, the superintendent and central office aren't included in the firing. In fact, the superintendent is the one doing the firing and the only ones affected are the staff at the high school in question.

    I admit it's unfortunate things came to this. It sounds like the teachers there are dedicated to (and loved by) the students. But this is a case where having a union went against them instead of for them, because the union was the one that refused to accept the increased working conditions.

    Let me correct that - the union was willing to accept the new condtions as long as the teachers got a big pay raise to go with these new conditions. When the teachers are already making an average salary that is 3.5 times the median salary of other members in the community, that is a case of cutting your nose off to spite your face.

    I know the advantages of a union can be very good when the school or admin is being unreasonable, but this time it was the union that was being unreasonable, IMHO.
     
  15. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Feb 18, 2010

    I found that on another forum. I thought they should have agreed to the new requirements. It did not sound horrible.
    That said, someone said they should have compared the salaries to other professionals in the area not just to the average over all. I would love to make 70+K and would gladly do what they asked me.
     
  16. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    I was reading this on another forum as well. Someone calculated out all the additional hours they were being asked to work and it amounted to almost another month of work with all the extra hours and duties. The amount of compensation was not equal to a month of pay. I don't think it is fair to ask someone to give that much time and not be compensated. What other industry would ask that?
     
  17. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    They were already making 3.5 times the amount others in the same area make. Their compensation was well above the norm for the town and the results of their work were incredibly below par for the state.

    In other industries, if you are being paid extremely well for your job but not producing results equivalent to your pay, you either lose your job or you improve the work you're doing. You do NOT get another pay raise to compensate you for improving your work. Keeping your job is the compensation, instead of being fired or given a pay cut for not producing the required results.

    It sounds like the teachers were willing to do the extra work needed to help students. It also sounds like many of them were already doing this on their own. Yes, it would have been nice to be paid for that extra effort, but they were already making more than 3 moms or dads in their town (on average). They have to be aware of the reality in their area and the reality is they were being paid very well already.
     
  18. HMM

    HMM Cohort

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    So? Your really can't compare to the overall median income in the area. I'm curious what the median professional income for the area is.


    Given that the teachers are working in an obviously depressed area (median income of 22,000 is very low) they probably have very weak students with little parental involvement in their education. (that tends to be the norm in low income areas)

    Clearly that is not true. Apparently in industry if you do a really bad job then you get a huge bonus and the government hands you an astronomical amount of money to try and fix the mess you and coworkers created.
     
  19. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    I just want to respond to the comments about the teachers making 3.5 times the local median income. Central Falls is far from your typical middle-class area. The median income is $22k and only 6% of people 25 or older have a bachelors degree. The teachers SHOULD be making significantly more than what most people are making in that city.
     
  20. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Feb 18, 2010

    Almost any other industry would ask that.
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 18, 2010

    Sad situation all the way around....
     
  22. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Feb 18, 2010

    Unfortunately, it is situations such as this that continues to give teachers and their unions a bad reputation among the general public.

    This is clearly not your typical situation, what with the discrepancies in pay, depressed area, etc. I find fault on both sides. Teachers are not robots-our job is to recognize when methods are failing and change. What was it, 4% of students are proficient in math? Really? This is a problem.

    On the other hand, so should administration recognize when changes should be made. This problem did not surface on January 10, 2010. It has been brewing for a long time, and should have been addressed long ago. BEFORE such a drastic change was needed.

    What a depressing thought for the students who have been or are currently being educated by this school. The system has failed them, and that fact cannot be changed.
     
  23. TechGuy

    TechGuy Rookie

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    first of all the avg teacher there is not making 70k, that was a false rumor. you can look into their contracts (can be found online) and the avg salary is about 55k. 2nd, just because the private industry is ABUSING their employees by outsourcing, firing and demanding more, etc then people shouldn't put their anger against other professionals, instead they should get angry at the private industry. My dad was a computer programmer and make a good salary, got 13% pension, and worked very hard. Now the same position has a lowered salary, HUGE reduction in pension, and requires employees to work as hard as 3 employees. its easy to get the middle class to fight each other, instead the focus should be on the abusers in society. There is FAIR capitalism, and then there is abusive capitalism.

    and for the record, i'm not some communist ;), I consider myself a right wing in political ideology..but I'm supportive of the teacher's union here in the northeast
     
  24. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Tech Guy, I agree with you!!

    You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

    If you've never taught at a ghetto school consider yourself privileged. I was in one before I changed districts and it was difficult. Kids don't care, parents don't care, the kids even told me that they didn't have to do their work because they were going to be on welfare when they grew up! The district was in academic distress when I left, the State Dept of Ed was taking it over and it was inundated with "specialists" who dumped unrealistic amounts of BUSY work on the teachers. The teachers there worked hard, they cared, they were dedicated, and it was frustrating. I thank God I got out of the situation.

    We almost moved last summer to another city, and I had a job in a district where I knew the kids were going to be hard-core. It's the main reason we didn't move. With teachers being fired for not wanting to work for free and having unrealistic demands put on them will make working in those hard-core districts even worse. I'd rather be unemployed than go back to a work situation like that.
     
  25. TechGuy

    TechGuy Rookie

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    most of these "specialist" never even been in the classroom. All they talk about is theory. That's the problem, you can't have a teacher change much when the family structure doesn't care for education. What needs to be changed is the way the system works. Welfare should not just be given just like that. People should have to work for it. Why not have them clean the streets? All these things would make the community look better and feel stronger. People don't appreciate things when given for free. Like i said before, the MIDDLE CLASS should STOP fighting itself!!! A lot of the rich and poor know how to abuse and play the system!
     
  26. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Feb 18, 2010

    If only 7% are proficient in math how is that the high school teachers faults. I think they need to take a look at the whole district. Where can the elementary and middle school teachers improve? Why are the students passing if they aren't learning? They need a foundation to build on. I have never taught in an area like this so I really have no idea. But it seems like they all need make some changes. I did work in a school that was 70% low income. The students when I arrived were at least three grade levels below. I worked with them and got them up to a grade level below so yes they were still not where they should have been. This makes me wonder if there as been improvement just not up to grade level yet. We really can't judge the teachers on the info. given. Longer school days are only going to help the students that want to be helped, the same for tutoring. What is the attendance in at the school? All these changes aren't going to work if the students/parents don't care.

    It seems ridiculous on from both sides.
     
  27. greengables

    greengables Rookie

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    My question is who is teaching these students now? Is this an immediate firing or is it for next year?
     
  28. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    I agree Alice.
     
  29. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Feb 18, 2010

    I do not think this will be an isolated situation. Our district is negotiating an across-the-board pay cut and has hinted they would be willing to fire everyone and start again if the unions don't agree. Personally, I don't think it is fair in our situation because the adult school teachers and classified staff have already taken pay cuts and furlough days so I don't think they should be cut again when the other teachers haven't cut at all yet. I predict ugliness.
     
  30. wrice

    wrice Habitué

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    Feb 18, 2010

    Unions and administration do what they may, my heart goes out to those kids. I can't imagine what that would be like for them to have everything turned upside down so dramatically. I truly hope whatever comes of this, the students get the education they need and deserve.
     
  31. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Well put wrice - you got to the heart of the matter.
     
  32. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Regardless of whether the union thought it had more power than it did, I agree that there seems to be a need to restructure the entire system, not just the high school. How are the kids doing on state tests in the elementary and middle schools of the area? You can work with kids who have no support at home, although it is very difficult. But it starts with their first years in school, not their last.
     
  33. purplecrazy21

    purplecrazy21 Comrade

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    Wow, for a salary of between 55 and 78,000 I would do whatever the school wanted.
    How in the world are the teachers making that much more than the rest of their community?
    They should have just worked the extra 25 minutes a day.
     
  34. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    If you worked at Best Buy and your boss came to you and said, 'Hey, we want you to stay until 10:30 from now on, even though we're only going to pay you to stay until 10,' what would you say? You'd say that that was ridiculous, because it is.

    I work in an extremely low SES school. I imagine that I make at least twice what the families in the neighborhood immediately around the school make. Does that mean that I'm overpaid? In fact it does not.

    I believe that there must be a lot more to this than a group of whiny teachers. And why were teachers in other grade levels not fired? Honestly, while I work as hard as I can at the high school level, it's really frustrating to get kids who walk in the door on their first day not knowing what a noun is or how to write a topic sentence. I'll do my best to fix that problem, but I'm not the cause of it.
     
  35. magister

    magister Rookie

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    The superintendent has a lot of power, apparently. She definitely got ahead of herself, and her explanation of being forced into a certain "transformation model" reveals that she did not think but acted too quickly, indicating that emotions and not reason led the way. Did she ever explain to the union that if it didn't come around that they'd be fired? It sounds like the teachers got caught off guard. The super had to either fire them or look weak, both of which hurt everyone.

    I wonder how they will find thirty replacements mid-season? I'd be surprised if her decision held up.
     
  36. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    You must've missed my previous post, so I'll post again. Central Falls is an extremely low SES area. Most people do not attend college and I would assume that there is a large percentage of people who live there who do not have high school diplomas either. The average income is $22k in the city, so of course the teachers are going to be making significantly more than the people who live there! To argue that they shouldn't be is absurd.
     
  37. JackTrader

    JackTrader Comrade

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    Feb 21, 2010

    Exactly! I've never quite understood the logic of the "race to the bottom" arguments...so teachers who serve a very low-income area also have to earn an income commiserate with the area?
     
  38. HMM

    HMM Cohort

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    In reality they should earn more because they probably have a harder job than the people that teach in the rich neighborhoods.
     
  39. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    My thought exactly. We had a similar situation involving a baseball stadium of all things. Obviously the importance to the two situations is not equal, but it is the same sad song. For a few years the city council has been fighting with the local AAA team. The team wanted the city to pay for new ball park, the city council said build it yourself. The park we have (had) is a pretty nice one because we host the CWS every year. Then a few years back (yes, this all started about 6 or 7 years ago) the mayor decides to build a new, SMALLER, park north of downtown. No one wants this thing-not the public, not the council, not the AAA team. It was a mess. NCAA stayed out of the mess altogether. Mayor convinces council that without the new stadium the NCAA will yank the series, yadda yadda yadda, we are getting a new ball park that is smaller than the last one (which was packed to the gills during the CWS) and the AAA team is leaving town (sort of) and building another ball park south of town. Tax payers get the privlidge of paying for both of them. UGH!

    The schools thing is NOT the same thing, but there are uncanny resemblences. Government wants one thing, union wants another, neither side is willing to compromise, public is the one who loses out.

    I don't think it is fair to villify the teachers though. The union is being a poop, I'll give you that. The new practices are not unreasonable, and their pay is already almost 3X mine. And it sounds like many are already going above and beyond. If that's the case, nothing should really change for them other than the wording (volunteer vs. mandatroy). I think much of the blame for the underachieving students really ought to rest with the students and the parents and the district. Why on earth were these kids allowed to get to high school without the proper learning? How did this happen? What was going on in the elementary and middle schools that made it possible for these kids to get to high school without basic math skills? Why didn't the district step in and take over those schools and fire those teachers? You have to nip these problems in the bud or they will only get worse.

    Frankly, I don't see how 25 minutes of school a day and tutoring is really going to change the graduation rate or abysmal test scores. It's too little too late. Do something for the kids in HS now, but the teachers in the lower grades, the parents, and the kids should all be help accountable LONG BEFORE THE KIDS GET TO HIGH SCHOOL.
     
  40. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    The teachers will work to the end of this school year and not get a contract for next year.
     
  41. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    Feb 21, 2010

    Nope, not true. I'm one of these "specialists" and have worked with people all over the country and have yet to meet a single one who wasn't a classroom teacher at some point. Do you think these people graduate and then immediately move into supervisor positions? Believe it or not, I had to have classroom experience, extensive training, graduate degree, endorsements, and several years of leadership positions before I became a "specialist." Regardless of whether or not one agrees with the position, you can't say that most of them are inexperienced.
     

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