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Rush’s Morning Update: Accountability
February 18, 2010

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Central Falls High School in Rhode Island is a bottom-tier performer. Fifty percent of the students are failing all their classes; only 7 percent of its 11th graders are proficient in math. Less than half of them graduate.

So last month theEducation Commissionerordered the district to improve graduation rates and test scores. Plan A: Transform the school by adding 25 minutes of class time every day. Additionally, teachers would face more rigorous evaluations, attend after-skrool planning meetings, tutor the students more (in other words, teach them), and complete two weeks of training during summer months.

If Plan A wasn’t implemented, there was a Plan B: The entire school staff would be canned.

Well, enter the Central Falls Teacher’s Union. Rejecting the conditions laid out in Plan A to transform the skrool‘s performance especially since extra pay wasn’t on the table,the union told the school district to flake off. So the superintendentis going with Plan B. Soon, all 74 Central Falls High School teachers will be given termination notices.

The union is vowing to fight the terminations,but parents are unsympathetic, especially given the average teacher salary is $72-78k in a town where the median income is $22k. Parents are also blaming the kidsfor being lazy;as for the lazy kids, they are dumbfounded by all this.

See, in normal life, this happens every day. Underperformers are challenged to produceor shown the door –and they don’t demand pay raises to shape up. Something remarkable has happened in Central Falls Rhode Island:It’s called accountability,and it’s long overdue. It reminds me of Reagan and the air traffic controllers, and you people in Rhode Island had better remember what happened to them.

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