Disclosure: the husband of one of my good friends works in the Central Falls schools but was not someone who was fired.
I could not be more appalled by the firing of the teachers at the Central Falls HS, and I am even more appalled by the so-called reformists who think it's a good idea.
There is no question that the CF HS is having difficulties. It's a dropout factory. It's a difficult school to teach at. The kids do not achieve. But firing all the teachers is not the answer, and it's stupid for anyone to think it is. This is about UNION-BUSTING, not about improving the schools.
In order to understand this situation, you must look at the cause of the situation. The teachers were not fired because they were BAD teachers. If they were fired because they were BAD teachers, if that were superintendent Frances Gallo's reason for firing them, then we could have a discussion about whether this is really school reform.
No, they were fired because they refused to work more hours for less money. That makes this a MONEY issue. The job of the teacher's union is to ensure that the teachers are compensated appropriately for their work.
If Gallo had the money to pay the teachers to do these things, the reforms would happen. This is not an issue of the teachers refusing to try anything new. It's an issue of COMPENSATION.
This is what is at stake.