Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rhode Island teachers fired as school feels government heat

All 88 teachers at Central Falls High School are gone

If it were only that simple, Mr. No Child Left Behind. Think again.

Central Falls, Rhode Island is reeling from a firestorm of student, parent and teacher protest. Central Falls High School wasn't making the grade with its standardized test scores and graduation rates, so the school board voted to fire the entire teaching staff. The 88 teachers are some of what may be many unfortunate casualties as American public education struggles to right itself.

Do they need money now?

That's the standard bureaucratic response to these kinds of situations. If kids are failing, build better schools, develop more programs, buy more books, etc. While keeping education safe and state-of-the-art is no doubt valuable, there are others who argue that this fails to address the real problem. But before I get to that, let's consider the Rhode Island teachers who were fired.

"I'm after school every day, I'm always available. I'm heartbroken. I'd do anything for this school system, I've done everything I can," said teacher Frank Delbonis to NECN Rhode Island. This seems to represent what many of the teachers are feeling. The local media reports they've even shared tears with their frustrated students.

No Child Left Behind at work

The Central Falls district – which not coincidentally is an economically disadvantaged area of Rhode Island – has consistently ranked in the bottom five percent of academic performance in the state. Superintendent Frances Gallo was given few choices by the federal government if the school was to continue receiving funds. These choices were: ... click here to read the rest of the article titled "Rhode Island teachers fired as school feels government heat"

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