Teacher in Central Falls, R.I., ratify agreement that saves jobs at high school

May 18, 2010
Without concessions, school system had intended to replace all 93 staff members at Central Falls High
FromThe Boston Globe: Teachers in the Central Falls (R.I.) school system have made numerous concessions to save the jobs of 93 faculty, management, and staff at beleaguered Central Falls High School. Faced with the prospect that all their high school colleagues would be out of work next month, the teachers union’s 336 members have ratified an agreement that calls for teachers to work an additional 30 minutes a day, devote 90 minutes after school every week to planning, and submit to rigorous evaluation to retain their jobs after the 2010-11 school year. The teachers also will eat lunch with students one day per week, attend five to 10 days of professional development every summer, and accept a staffing policy that eliminates strict seniority. The high school principal will be replaced. Teachers will be paid for the extra work. EARLIER...from The Providence Journal: After four months of wrangling, Central Falls (R.I.) Schools Supt. Frances Gallo and the city’s teachers union have reached a tentative agreement that would save the jobs of all the 93 teachers, staff and administrators at Central Falls High School. The entire teaching staff of the high school was terminated in February, effective at the end of the current school year, after Gallo and Central Falls Teachers Union president Jane Sessums failed to reach agreement on what would be required to dramatically improve the school. MARCH 2010...from The Providence Journal: A week after the mass firings at Central Falls (R.I.) High School, Supt. Frances Gallo has accepted an olive branch extended by the teachers union and is willing to restart talks with the union. This turn of events could save the jobs of 93 teachers, support staff and administrators at the city’s only high school. FEBRUARY 2010...from The Providence Journal: The Central Falls (R.I.) school board has voted 5-2 to fire the entire staff at Central Falls High School. In all, 93 staff members were dismissed — 74 classroom teachers, plus reading specialists, guidance counselors, physical education teachers, the school psychologist, the principal and three assistant principals. The state’s tiniest, poorest city has become the center of a national battle over dramatic school reform. On the one side, federal and state education officials say they must take steps to transform the nation’s lowest-performing schools. On the other side, teachers unions say such efforts undermine hard-won protections in their contracts. JANUARY 2010...from The Providence Journal: Plagued by years of neglect, school buildings in Central Falls, R.I., are in appalling condition, school officials say. About 20 classrooms at the high school have little or no heat. At one elementary school, a third-grade teacher has to move her students whenever it rains hard. Roofs leak. Masonry crumbles. Classrooms are crowded. Yet school officials say that Mayor Charles D. Moreau has been slow to expend a $5 million, interest-free bond approved by the General Assembly on July 8.

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