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Author Topic: RI high school fires all of its teachers  (Read 103463 times)
hipgeek
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« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2010, 7:46:06 PM »

Random thoughts:

1) Rogue's Island is still pretty much a wholly-owned subsidiary of La Cosa Nostra.

2) This woman is going for broke, but if the school does not immediately turn around, within two years, she will have to be gone.

3) Who in their right mind thinks replacing the whole kit and kaboodle of the school's faculty, aging burned-out deadwood plus everyone else, with a bunch of new grads, inexperienced, etc., plus folks who have other reasons for not having gotten better teaching jobs elsewhere, will improve conditions at this school?

4) Like it or not, 'teaching' at a school like this-- I worked at an inner-city hs in Baltimore twenty years ago-- is teaching only in the most pro forma sense.  In many senses it is more or less work as a corrections officer-cum-social worker.

5) Kudos to the poster who reminded us how little free time teachers get during the day.  And how rough, taken as a whole, their job is.

I agree with everything here except for number 1.  That is a long outdated version of how RI works. The picture is more complex and has little to do with the union or Central falls. You want to talk Providence, Johnston, N. Prov, construction maybe we can talk mafia, but not relevant here.

That point aside, Central Falls sucks.  It must be a daily struggle to teach there and yeah I'm sure some of the teachers are dead weight, but Gist comes in less than a year ago wants to make a big change and this is what she does?!

Also, I heard a lady on talk radio today saying that every teacher needs to be sensitive to students' home lives, and give them individualized attention, be there Michelle Pfeiffer great white savior, basically.  That is just not possible.

Yes, in impoverished communities like this, a culture of apathy can exist, persist, and degrade education.  But I can tell you that students in the community feel upset.  Testing and firing are not the solution.  Are we going to "fix" the school but leave the neighborhood as is--a place where poverty and crime are practically endemic?

I'm not saying there are not teachers who are "under-performing" (to use the lingo) or plain lazy, but this kind of upheaval does not seem to be the answer.
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dolljepopp
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« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2010, 7:59:12 PM »

When in doubt, grandstand.


When questioned about grandstanding, express indignation and grandstand some more. (Lather, rinse, repeat.)
« Last Edit: February 24, 2010, 7:59:39 PM by dolljepopp » Logged

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anthroid
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« Reply #32 on: February 24, 2010, 8:02:59 PM »

Our tax rates are lower than every other country in the G-8.  

I wonder how our educational scorecard stacks up against the rest of the G-8.

I'm speaking only from experience here rather than expertise, so take this for what it's worth.  I think it depends on what we mean by an "educational scorecard."  Do we mean a certain standard of basic reading literacy at a particular grade level?  If so, I'm guessing that we're close to the bottom of the G-8.  We know that our numeracy sucks and that we're also underperforming in the sciences.  What we do well, IMHO, is creative and original work, but we're doing that less and less well as time goes on.

I think it's important to note, though (and I did look this up this afternoon but don't have the link before me now), that overall the US high school graduation rate (that is, the number of freshman students who earn a H.S. diploma) is, on average, around 78%.  That's not bad; it's certainly better than the six-year graduation rate from college for most of our institutions.  And African-American and Latino/a institutional attainment rates (again, that's students who complete to diploma from freshman year) have risen in impressive ways over the last 40 years.  So this town seems to be a horrible outlier.  I completely disagree with the "solution" since it's unlikely that anything will change without the major and sensible interventions suggested by Hipgeek.  And, yes, everyone should read Kozol.  Kozlowitz (am I spelling that right?) is worth a look-see as well.

And it's hard to compare to the G-8, since our system doesn't really match at least part of the world's educational system.  Can't British students leave school at 16 still if they decide only to do O levels?  Or has that changed?
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tolerantly
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« Reply #33 on: February 24, 2010, 8:21:57 PM »

I don't understand. In Providence, anyway, that wasn't far from standard graduation rates ten years ago apart from Classical. The response then wasn't to fire teachers; it was to complain about the demise of heavy industry and have Buddy propose some new fantasy shipping operation that'd employ thousands of able-bodied young Rhode Islanders whose uncles had enough sense to grease someone's palm.

Why the sudden concern over being able to read? Can't they twist some Classical grad's tail for that?
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alleyoxenfree
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Countin' all these posts as publications


« Reply #34 on: February 24, 2010, 9:40:45 PM »

And if the public wants higher quality education, it needs to pay for it with higher taxes.

At the risk of sounding all GOP, this is such a typical Democrat response.  

Democratic.  You sound all GOP, not because of the point you're making, but because your failure to use the adjectival form of the party's name betrays an immersion into the world of conservative AM talk radio, where wingnut pundits contemptuously refer to "the Democrat Party" all the time.

Our tax rates are lower than every other country in the G-8.  

I wonder how our educational scorecard stacks up against the rest of the G-8.


Chime on Jonathan Kozol.  Savage Inequalities was literally required reading for all faculty at an inner-city charter school where I used to teach.



But then Gist doesn't seem to have taught in such a school.  Her teaching experience is listed as Austin, TX, and Hillsborough, FL. 

I wonder how many of the experienced teachers will be hired back.  I wonder how many of us will enjoy teaching the kids who finally "graduate" and move on to college where it will be clear to them that if they don't succeed, they should just get the teacher fired, because it's clearly all.our.fault.
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spyzowin
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« Reply #35 on: February 24, 2010, 9:57:53 PM »

Central Falls is a completely corrupt cesspool with a very high population of unemployed indigent immigrants.  The best solution would be for the governor to declare an emergency and send in the national guard, with the FBI following soon thereafter to serve arrest warrants on public officials.

It is the school that is failing not the students. Fire everyone. Start again. This at risk population needs assistance. Similarly, the students need to be held accountable to the same standards as any other student anywhere, regardless of their parents' employment or immigration status. This is doable, and is done in other jurisdictions. The current approach was not working in RI, and the firing of the teachers seems like a reasonable start.

Read some Jonathan Kozol and get back to us.

Why? His book came out in 1991. That's about as relevant as reading a book about the transmission of light through the aether.
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collegekidsmom
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« Reply #36 on: February 24, 2010, 10:33:08 PM »

I think someone needs to figure out exactly what is going on in a situation that is probably historic and complex. There should be discussions with students and families to see what is driving the apathy of the students. Someone should look at all of the factors, not at some test to see what the culture of the school is lacking in order to inspire students. For all of us who have worked in these places where students seem to lack an interest, there is always something that needs work and consideration-beyond the skill or motivation of the teachers. I would think taking away the teachers might demoralize the students even more-leading to more students' losing hope in the whole system. I would guess that some of the teachers might be lifelines for particular kids. It's always easier to lay blame on the teachers than on the larger issue of what is going on in that particular school community. Maybe they could all work on it together, and not focus on outcomes for just a little while. In the school where I once worked, no kid cared at all about school because they were heading for an early job in the mill. Now there is no mill. The low skill jobs are gone. I can only wonder what kind of hopelessness exists there now. Whose fault is that?
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anthroid
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« Reply #37 on: February 24, 2010, 10:43:17 PM »

Central Falls is a completely corrupt cesspool with a very high population of unemployed indigent immigrants.  The best solution would be for the governor to declare an emergency and send in the national guard, with the FBI following soon thereafter to serve arrest warrants on public officials.

It is the school that is failing not the students. Fire everyone. Start again. This at risk population needs assistance. Similarly, the students need to be held accountable to the same standards as any other student anywhere, regardless of their parents' employment or immigration status. This is doable, and is done in other jurisdictions. The current approach was not working in RI, and the firing of the teachers seems like a reasonable start.

Read some Jonathan Kozol and get back to us.

Why? His book came out in 1991. That's about as relevant as reading a book about the transmission of light through the aether.

And 2000, and 2005, and 2007, and...Jonathan Kozol has spent his entire career discussing these issues with great insight and intelligence.  He has published a great many books on this subject.  His is an important voice.  You dismiss it at your peril.  A quick Google search reveals a brief list of his work.  And, as someone who lived up the bluff for a number of years from East Saint Louis, and who worked with some of the students he discusses in Savage Inequalities, his work resonates for me.
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history_grrrl
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« Reply #38 on: February 24, 2010, 10:45:53 PM »

Central Falls is a completely corrupt cesspool with a very high population of unemployed indigent immigrants.  The best solution would be for the governor to declare an emergency and send in the national guard, with the FBI following soon thereafter to serve arrest warrants on public officials.

It is the school that is failing not the students. Fire everyone. Start again. This at risk population needs assistance. Similarly, the students need to be held accountable to the same standards as any other student anywhere, regardless of their parents' employment or immigration status. This is doable, and is done in other jurisdictions. The current approach was not working in RI, and the firing of the teachers seems like a reasonable start.

Read some Jonathan Kozol and get back to us.

Why? His book came out in 1991. That's about as relevant as reading a book about the transmission of light through the aether.

His "book"? Singular? You have no idea who he is or what he writes about. And so I suggest, once again, that you familiarize yourself with his work.

On preview: thank you, Anthroid.
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post_functional
These Villains Captured Courtesy of Your Friendly Neighborhood
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« Reply #39 on: February 24, 2010, 11:00:42 PM »

Central Falls is a completely corrupt cesspool with a very high population of unemployed indigent immigrants.  The best solution would be for the governor to declare an emergency and send in the national guard, with the FBI following soon thereafter to serve arrest warrants on public officials.

It is the school that is failing not the students. Fire everyone. Start again. This at risk population needs assistance. Similarly, the students need to be held accountable to the same standards as any other student anywhere, regardless of their parents' employment or immigration status. This is doable, and is done in other jurisdictions. The current approach was not working in RI, and the firing of the teachers seems like a reasonable start.

Read some Jonathan Kozol and get back to us.

Why? His book came out in 1991. That's about as relevant as reading a book about the transmission of light through the aether.

Right, because the impact of socioeconomic status on educational outcomes has radically changed since 1991.  [eyeroll]
« Last Edit: February 24, 2010, 11:04:43 PM by post_functional » Logged

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msparticularity
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« Reply #40 on: February 24, 2010, 11:04:16 PM »

Central Falls is a completely corrupt cesspool with a very high population of unemployed indigent immigrants.  The best solution would be for the governor to declare an emergency and send in the national guard, with the FBI following soon thereafter to serve arrest warrants on public officials.

It is the school that is failing not the students. Fire everyone. Start again. This at risk population needs assistance. Similarly, the students need to be held accountable to the same standards as any other student anywhere, regardless of their parents' employment or immigration status. This is doable, and is done in other jurisdictions. The current approach was not working in RI, and the firing of the teachers seems like a reasonable start.

Read some Jonathan Kozol and get back to us.

Why? His book came out in 1991. That's about as relevant as reading a book about the transmission of light through the aether.

And 2000, and 2005, and 2007, and...Jonathan Kozol has spent his entire career discussing these issues with great insight and intelligence.  He has published a great many books on this subject.  His is an important voice.  You dismiss it at your peril.  A quick Google search reveals a brief list of his work.  And, as someone who lived up the bluff for a number of years from East Saint Louis, and who worked with some of the students he discusses in Savage Inequalities, his work resonates for me.

Amnirov, the aspect of this that you are completely failing to understand is the nature of the mandated testing that is occurring under NCLB. It is criterion-referenced, rather than value-added. This means that a high-poverty school that is dealing with students who come in with substantial educational deficits is not rewarded for helping them to achieve very substantial progress toward proficiency. The school is measured instead in terms of its whether its students are achieving at a norm-referenced level. Yes, that's right: all of the students must be above average by 2014, and they must be well along that path by now.

I think from your posts here that you understand stats--so do you get how crazy this is?
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t_r_b
A mean, suspicious, hostile, bitchy, grumpy, nasty individual who is clearly not a mainstream American, yet somehow became a
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« Reply #41 on: February 24, 2010, 11:05:55 PM »

Central Falls is a completely corrupt cesspool with a very high population of unemployed indigent immigrants.  The best solution would be for the governor to declare an emergency and send in the national guard, with the FBI following soon thereafter to serve arrest warrants on public officials.

It is the school that is failing not the students. Fire everyone. Start again. This at risk population needs assistance. Similarly, the students need to be held accountable to the same standards as any other student anywhere, regardless of their parents' employment or immigration status. This is doable, and is done in other jurisdictions. The current approach was not working in RI, and the firing of the teachers seems like a reasonable start.

Read some Jonathan Kozol and get back to us.

Why? His book came out in 1991. That's about as relevant as reading a book about the transmission of light through the aether.

Right, because the impact of socioeconomic status and educational outcomes has radically changed since 1991.  [eyeroll]

Sure. After all, over the last twenty years the socioeconomic divisions Kozol addressed, and the structural constraints on inner city school systems he documented, have pretty much disappeared. So whatever ails school systems today must be the teachers' fault.

What a delightfully elegant analysis, if I may say so myself.
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post_functional
These Villains Captured Courtesy of Your Friendly Neighborhood
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« Reply #42 on: February 24, 2010, 11:06:15 PM »

Central Falls is a completely corrupt cesspool with a very high population of unemployed indigent immigrants.  The best solution would be for the governor to declare an emergency and send in the national guard, with the FBI following soon thereafter to serve arrest warrants on public officials.

It is the school that is failing not the students. Fire everyone. Start again. This at risk population needs assistance. Similarly, the students need to be held accountable to the same standards as any other student anywhere, regardless of their parents' employment or immigration status. This is doable, and is done in other jurisdictions. The current approach was not working in RI, and the firing of the teachers seems like a reasonable start.

Read some Jonathan Kozol and get back to us.

Why? His book came out in 1991. That's about as relevant as reading a book about the transmission of light through the aether.

And 2000, and 2005, and 2007, and...Jonathan Kozol has spent his entire career discussing these issues with great insight and intelligence.  He has published a great many books on this subject.  His is an important voice.  You dismiss it at your peril.  A quick Google search reveals a brief list of his work.  And, as someone who lived up the bluff for a number of years from East Saint Louis, and who worked with some of the students he discusses in Savage Inequalities, his work resonates for me.

Amnirov, the aspect of this that you are completely failing to understand is the nature of the mandated testing that is occurring under NCLB. It is criterion-referenced, rather than value-added. This means that a high-poverty school that is dealing with students who come in with substantial educational deficits is not rewarded for helping them to achieve very substantial progress toward proficiency. The school is measured instead in terms of its whether its students are achieving at a norm-referenced level. Yes, that's right: all of the students must be above average by 2014, and they must be well along that path by now.

I think from your posts here that you understand stats--so do you get how crazy this is?

Let me help him.

This:

Quote
all of the students must be above average by 2014

is the crazy part.
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lexan
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« Reply #43 on: February 24, 2010, 11:52:18 PM »

I taught at a school with about that percentage of proficient students, and the same kinds of problems (poverty, joblessness, violence, etc).  I recommend that anyone with opinions about the uniform incompetence of some group of teachers take a job at such a school.  If you make it past Christmas, we can talk.
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spyzowin
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« Reply #44 on: February 24, 2010, 11:56:23 PM »

This particular school spends $11,798 per student. That's more than $2k over the state average. And it exceeds the average of all but 3 states.

I'm still blaming the teachers. A 7% pass rate in math can probably be achieved purely by random chance.
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