Green Room

R.I. Teachers Union Rep Compares Firing of Underperforming Teachers to Pearl Harbor

posted at 12:03 pm on February 23, 2011 by

You may recall our recent coverage of the ongoing dispute between administrators and the teachers union in what may well be the most dysfunctional school district in the country, found at Central Falls High School in Rhode Island. Well, the situation continues to spiral out of control there faster than LiLo’s career. This week, the district plans to send out pink slips to all of the nearly 2,000 teachers in their organization.

PROVIDENCE — The school district plans to send out dismissal notices to every one of its 1,926 teachers, an unprecedented move that has union leaders up in arms.

In a letter sent to all teachers Tuesday, Supt. Tom Brady wrote that the Providence School Board on Thursday will vote on a resolution to dismiss every teacher, effective the last day of school.

To be clear, the Superintendent has stated that this doesn’t mean that every one of the teachers will be terminated, but that the schools are reserving the right to do so for each and every one of them in accordance with standing labor rules. And even I’ll admit that they could probably find a couple of them worth keeping at the high end of an otherwise failing bell curve.

More interesting was the union response, which was measured and rational as you might expect to emerge from such an important decision point.

“This is beyond insane,” Providence Teachers Union President Steve Smith said Tuesday night. “Let’s create the most chaos and the highest level of anxiety in a district where teachers are already under unbelievable stress. Now I know how the United States State Department felt on Dec. 7 , 1941.” That was the day the Japanese government bombed Pearl Harbor.

I really wanted to insert something snarky here as is my usual habit, but I just can’t come up with anything that could do justice to that artistic piece of hyperbole.

The school continues to fail. The community, already facing disastrous budget problems, continues to pay through the nose for absolutely dismal results in the public schools. It’s a situation which certainly seems to call for drastic measures, yet the union leaders continue to circle the wagons around their rice bowls rather than coming up with alternatives or compromise which might rescue their students from this long standing failure.


Now you can yell at Jazz for being a stupid, wrong-headed RINO even faster than by leaving a comment. Follow him on Twitter! @JazzShaw

Recently in the Green Room:



Trackback URL


thanks for keeping us in the loop….

good for the school district!

cmsinaz on February 23, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Okay. Fair enough. But looked what happened in Central Falls. Not only did they all get their jobs back, they got a 3K stipend. Someone down there will cross someone elses palm with silver or favors and it will be business as usual. Don’t know if it’s for show or genuine. My instinct is not to trust them.

jeanie on February 23, 2011 at 12:15 PM

I’m surprised at the restraint. I’d expect him to compare it to the Holocaust.

rbj on February 23, 2011 at 12:21 PM

I suspect we’ll start seeing more of this kind of thing…. it will be interesting. At least one Dallas area school district has already announced a 200 teacher reduction of staff for next school year.

I’d like to see more of this. We learned last week that the high school my kids attend have 19 teachers who are teaching “1 or fewer” classes, while 97 classes are at levels of 35 plus students. These 19 teachers earned over $1 million combined + the most generous benefits package in our area. They also received stipends between $1,000 and $3000 for being department heads, etc. We’re not even “union” and all of our teachers already have 2 – 2 hour planning periods every two days.

2nd Ammendment Mother on February 23, 2011 at 12:24 PM

And…many actually get 3!!! raises each year. They get a COLA, a step increase and a negotiated pay increase. Every time the municipality makes a demand such as requiring more hours or more education they also get a raise for these. These teachers have become a burden and the students they are turning out are falling way short of acceptable in many, mnay instances. Failure is failure and you can call it by any name you want and blame it on everyone but yourselves, but it’s still failure.

jeanie on February 23, 2011 at 12:39 PM

That was the day the Japanese government Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.

Corrected for public school teachers (and Animal House fans).

malclave on February 23, 2011 at 4:42 PM

he sounds like a new era history teacher.

oldernslower on February 23, 2011 at 6:58 PM

I still don’t understand Mr. Smith’s analogy. Are the teachers the Japanese pilots or the Japanese torpedoes?

Either way, the American taxpayer is a sitting duck and we’re sunk.

BigAlSouth on February 24, 2011 at 6:45 AM