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Posts Tagged ‘Central Falls High’

Teacher’s union stubs toe in Rhode Island

In Recent Headlines on February 26, 2010 at 6:43 am

Lifted on Eagle’s Wings is honored to feature a guest blogger today. Our friend Jim Teeter has worked in the entertainment industry with teen performers on professional stages for many years in the capacity of a performer, a director, and a producer. He is writing a book on those experiences and also writes his own blog upon occasion.

He  has also worked in the construction industry for 35 years and owned a business for 25. We welcome Jim to our forum and thank him for sharing his views.
Traditionally, I believe, those of liberal persuasion overwhelmingly support  labor unions in America while those of conservative bent find it easy to oppose them on many levels. I take my seat with the latter even though I have been a Teamster and a member of the Laborers. My opinions and my choices guided thereby have come from many years of working in and around labor unions.
Whereas the genesis of the unions, I believe, was of necessity and certainly benefit to the working force, their transformation into their present state fails the workers they are chartered to serve, the companies who are forced to “unionize”, the communities in which they find strength, and the nation at large. My perception has been that this failure has not come directly from the membership but from the leadership. They, almost unanimously, have failed to lead their membership in a responsible, fair, and profitable way, choosing instead a path of greed, power, and corruption destined ultimately to destroy American business, commerce, and by association, their own membership. 
Focus upon Central Falls High School in Rhode Island. The teaching staff and administrators of the entire school, about 88 in all (accounts vary) have been fired by the school board with a 5 – 2 vote. Interestingly, the most scathing denigration of the fired staff came from one board member who voted AGAINST the terminations. The reason?
It seems that despite teacher’s salaries averaging between $72K and $78K per year, half of the students were failing. One solution offered by the school board pursuant to Federal Law, was to increase teaching time, add tutoring, and develop more and better teacher training. The teachers union naturally stepped in to “protect” the jobs and demanded upwards of $90 per hour for “extra” work. Their stand, as usual, was more pay for the teachers. 

Here is where I am rubbed the wrong way. First and foremost, THE STUDENTS ARE FAILING!  Please do not come back on here and claim “it’s not the teacher’s fault”. Education is the only product teachers have. The teachers and administrative staff are the only ones there aside from the students.

Getting paid over $70K for nine months work and NOT producing is simply unconscionable. There is no room here for excuses. Either do the job you are being paid to do or get someone in there who can. Believe me! There is someone who can do it successfully. It is being done in private schools and in public schools in many cities.

Has it ever occurred to the teacher’s and their myopic union that THEY are failing as educators and perhaps a field trip to some successful schools is in order?  Whose interests are truly of importance to the teacher’s union, the members or the students, whose parents pay their substantial salaries? How can any union justify this quality of product from its membership?  Sadly, in my experience, ’tis all too common. 

I respectfully seek your opinions and constructive suggestions to benefit the students.