Here is an interesting email from "Jason" regarding high schools in Central Falls Rhode Island. Jason writes:
As I'm sure you're aware, Rhode Island has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation.
Central Falls is one of the poorest towns in the state. It looks like the pictures everyone's seen of Detroit or Flint.
There are lots of boarded up windows, abandoned buildings, decrepit factories with broken windows, etc. It's an absolutely depressed community. According to Wikipedia, the median income in the town is $22k.
Teacher salaries at the high school average $72-78k.
Apparently 50% of the students at the school are failing all of their classes, and the graduation rate is also under 50%.
In an effort to turn the school around, the superintendent requested some changes be made whereby the school day would be slightly extended, teachers would perform some extra tutoring, etc.
The union balked and refused the terms, so now she is firing the entire teaching staff of the high school and replacing them. This is yet another example of unions digging their own graves by refusing to negotiate or accept reasonable terms. Sentiment is on the side of the superintendent, at least among the folks I have discussed the issue with.
The teachers didn’t blink.
Under threat of losing their jobs if they didn’t go along with extra work for not a lot of extra pay, the Central Falls Teachers’ Union refused Friday morning to accept a reform plan for one of the worst-performing high schools in the state.
The superintendent didn’t blink either.
After learning of the union’s position, School Supt. Frances Gallo notified the state that she was switching to an alternative she was hoping to avoid:
firing the entire staff at Central Falls High School. In total, about 100 teachers, administrators and assistants will lose their jobs.
Gallo blamed the union’s “callous disregard” for the situation, saying union leaders “knew full well what would happen” if they rejected the six conditions Gallo said were crucial to improving the school.
The conditions are adding 25 minutes to the school day, providing tutoring on a rotating schedule before and after school, eating lunch with students once a week, submitting to more rigorous evaluations, attending weekly after-school planning sessions with other teachers and participating in two weeks of training in the summer.