"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Broad and Gist Rebuffed: Central Falls Teachers Keep Their Jobs

That was Eli Broad's perky plant as Rhode Island's Superintendent of Schools in February, shortly after the mass firings that oligarchs like Broad and Gates believed would usher in a new era of corporate rule in public schools. Looks like Deborah Gist (Broad Academy Class of '08) has crow to eat if the scoop by Valerie Strauss and the story at HuffPo have it right:

CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. — A school district that gained the support of President Barack Obama for promoting accountability after it fired all its teachers from a struggling school announced on Sunday it had reached an agreement with the union to return the current staffers to their jobs.

The two sides said a transformation plan for Central Falls High School for the coming school year would allow the roughly 87 teachers, guidance counselors, librarians and other staffers who were to lose their jobs at the end of this year to return without having to reapply. More than 700 people had already applied for the positions.

The agreement calls for a longer school day, more after-school tutoring and other changes.

"What this means is that they have come to an agreement about a reform effort and that will change the quality" of the education program at Central Falls, said Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist, who applauded both sides for working together.

The board of trustees overseeing the school system in Central Falls, one of the poorest communities in the state, voted in February to fire the staff of one of the state's worst-performing schools. The school was under a mandate from the state to make improvements, and it opted for the mass firings after a breakdown in talks with teachers about other reforms that would have required more work, some without extra pay. . . .

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