Central Falls High School

Mass Firing Won’t Attract Fresh Talent

A Rhode Island school was the recent picture of upheaval, as 74 teachers and 19 staff members were fired due to the school’s pitiful academic performance (its graduation rate is a meager 48 percent). The mass firing was a response to a failed reform attempt at Central Falls High School, ironically titled “The Turnaround Plan.”

But with a sizable chunk of students siding with the teachers, it’s doubtful any of them will react well to being taught by a whole new crop of vulnerable hires. The negative media attention can’t be sending a good rallying message to potential applicants, either: “Want job security? Keep looking.” The school’s frigid location, massive dropout rate and dwindling resources make it a less-than-stellar place to work to say the least.

Punishing and rewarding teachers on a merit basis may seem a novel idea, but when it translates into huge firings, it discourages others from entering the field of education altogether — or, at the very least, to not bother sending an application to Central Falls High School. Applicants might as well save their time and apply to a school on the other side of town, where the graduation and turnover rates aren’t so dismal and conflict is relegated to the football field.

—Neda Salamat

Staff Writer

Full Scale Firing is Counter Productive

The alarming Central High Falls School dropout statistics speak for themselves. But firing all 93 staff members isn’t the solution to rectifying this educational nightmare.

The school’s problem runs deeper than its faculty. With 63 percent of students qualifying for free lunches and 41 percent living in poverty, students are dropping out work full time.

The district is placing undue blame on the easiest scapegoat: teachers. Because when teens are dropping out of school to work full time, even the most inspiring educators can’t keep them in their seats.

New employees will likely have less experience in the classroom, and even less experience in a classroom in which one in two students don’t have hopes of crossing the stage.

Instead of skimming the surface of the issue, the district should be working toward a more comprehensive solution that takes into account the difficult lifestyle of the school’s students. The district must make greater efforts to encourage and stress the importance of an education — not remove those who may have been the only positive role models in students’ lives.

—Cheryl Hori

Associate Opinion Editor

School District Forced to Desperate Measures

The recent firing of Central Falls High School’s 74 teachers was obviously a risky move — but the school’s abysmal graduation rate proves it was also a necessary one. When less than half the class is even graduating, it’s a surefire indicator that a school must be reformed. In this case, the faculty dismissals were, in fact, the final option after multiple failed attempts at reform, including a request from the state to increase the faculty’s workload (which the teachers’ union vehemently denied). If one’s job calls for overtime but the worker fails to perform, someone else who values the position more deserves to come in — and that’s exactly the case for Central Falls High School.

In light of today’s economy, when — regardless of lousy pay or demanding hours — it’s more necessary than ever to cling to a job, there’s sure to be a gaggle of resume-bearers in the principal’s office ready to snatch up whatever position they can. The employed — and that includes the teachers at Central Falls High School — must be doing cartwheels to keep that paycheck coming back, whether they like it or not.

—Kelsey Marrujo

Senior Staff Writer

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