Here’s a rare occurence: teachers in a failing school being fired. That’s the situation in Central Falls, Rhode Island.
The Providence Journal reports the following:
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. … After learning of the union’s position, School Supt. Frances Gallo notified the state that she was … firing the entire staff at Central Falls High School. In total, about 100 teachers, administrators and assistants will lose their jobs.
According to the report, Central Falls High School:
… has some of the lowest graduation rates and test scores in the state … 3 percent of 11th graders [were] proficient in math in 2008 and 7 percent in 2009.
The extra work and requirements for the teachers were billed as ways to change that. However, as might have been expected, the teachers’ union rejected the plan. In a rare act of boldness, the school superintendent decided to fire the teachers for their failure. The union is, of course, protesting that decision.
In the private sector, individuals who are ineffective in providing a service they are selling have to face the consequences of failure, which can mean the loss of their job. Too often in the public sector (especially the unionized public sector), free from competition, this is not the case. This disparity has consequences for students.
* The Center for Union Facts created a Web site highlighting the problems with current teachers’ unions that can be viewed here.