An Interesting Local Story

Yesterday’s Providence Journal (Providence, Rhode Island) carried the story on the ongoing battle between Frances Gallo, the Superintendent of the Central Falls school district, and the teachers’ union over how to fix the failing Central Falls High School.

According to the article:

“Gallo said she offered the high school’s 74 teachers “100-percent job security” for the 2010-11 school year, if they’d agree to her six conditions to transform the low-performing school.

“But teachers union President Jane Sessums said that while the issue of job security certainly came up in negotiations, Gallo never promised to protect every job.”

I have no idea who is telling the truth, but shouldn’t the emphasis be on making sure that the children in that school get the best education possible?  Ms. Gallo, in response to the lack of agreement with the teachers’ union, has sent letters to every teacher at the High School terminating them at the end of the year.  The school district’s Board of Trustees will vote on Gallo’s recommendation Feb. 23.

According to the article:

“A new federal requirement mandates that states must identify their lowest-performing 5 percent of schools and fix them by using one of four methods: school closure; takeover by a charter or school-management organization; transformation; or “turnaround” which requires the entire school staff be fired and not more than half be rehired in the fall.”

It sounds to me as if Ms. Gallo’s options are somewhat limited and that she is in compliance with the law. 

I have no idea why the school is failing, but as someone who gradulated from public school in the 1960’s. I feel that a large portion of our educational system is not giving the students the basic survival skills they need to be successful when they graduate.  I know that family situations are very different today than they were in the 1960’s and that might be part of the problem, but we need to find out why some schools are successful and some are not. 

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