The Central Falls School District negotiated a deal with the local union to hire back the previously fired teachers. Secretary Duncan and President Obama praised this district when the firings occurred, but how will they discuss the rehirings?
Here is the crux of the deal:
The teachers’ union and administration last week agreed to a deal that requires teachers to work a longer day and tutor students…Karen Feldman of the youth advocacy group Young Voices said she hopes the episode has sparked a renewed commitment to students.
To me, this is frightening. These teachers had their jobs taken from them as a means of forcing them into teaching a longer day without proper compensation. I don’t care if it’s 10 minutes, 20 minutes, or an hour. Where does it stop? At what point does violating one’s principles or contract go too far?
To say that this is “a renewed commitment to students” demeans the commitment the district’s teachers already made to the students. They work in one of the poorest, most downtrodden regions of the state, and then their commitment is essentially questioned?!
It’s a false argument much like the fallacious claims that higher pay for teachers will result in teachers working more hours. When you’re maxed out, more pay doesn’t create relief.
This form of coercion is a dangerous development in the field of education. We need to remain vigilant.