Coercion Is the Culprit

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.


5 thoughts on “Coercion Is the Culprit

  1. aphillieteacher

    I couldn’t agree more. Here in Philadelphia the district designated 14 schools as needing an overhaul. 6 will become “Promise Academies” under the direct supervision of our superintendent; the rest have been given over to outside agencies to become charter schools.

    Essentially the teachers “selected” to teach in the Promise Academies face the same situation as the teachers in Central Falls: work days that could go 2 hours longer plus the requirement to work 2 Saturdays a month. Yes more money, but at what point do people just burn out and go away? At what point do teachers throw their hands in the air and say “I give up.”

    Of course – at the 8 new charter school, unions will be forbidden.

  2. Flo

    Sounds like things are bad for teachers all over. Here in Hawaii we had “furlough Fridays” this year in order to cut the budget. We ended up with the least number of instructional days in the country. At one point they wanted teachers to work one day a month for free in order to stop the furlough Fridays!! When the teachers wouldn’t agree people got up in arms. What other ‘profession’ would you ask to work for free?? It is insane. Our view of the teaching profession in this country is really screwed up.

  3. Pingback: Education as a Business? « The Doc Is In

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