Behavior of Central Falls, RI teachers illustrates why they should have been fired, and stayed fired

Visit by AFT President Randi Weingarten illustrates that national union condones conduct

     The Education Action Group is calling for the re-firing of certain teachers at Central Falls High School, one of Rhode Island’s most troubled schools, because educators there continue to fail their students and snub local taxpayers with dismal attendance.  

     Recent media reports show that many teachers who earlier this year were fired en masse to revamp academics, then rehired with the help of their union – are again showing their true colors by taking an unreasonable number of days off when their students need them most.  
     Of the school’s 88 teachers, six have resigned, six have taken long-term sick leave, and up to a dozen have consistently called in sick since September. The problem is apparently so bad that more than half of the students didn’t receive a grade for the first quarter due to inadequate instruction for the first two months of school, the Providence Journal reports.
     EAG believes that teachers’ conduct in recent weeks is a clear indication that district leaders made a terrible mistake in trusting local educators to rededicate themselves to their jobs.
     We believe the best course of action now is to quickly re-fire those who have dismissed their responsibilities to Central Falls students, and send a strong message to their colleagues that they could meet the same fate. Their union will object. That should not be a consideration.
     For years, Central Falls teachers have guided their students into academic failure in virtually every measurable way. These recent reports are simply more of the same, and confirm that district leaders should have stuck to their guns and replaced the school’s educators with committed, focused teachers.
     Central Falls Teachers’ Union officials have predictably defended the skyrocketing teacher absenteeism, saying educators have been unfairly criticized and school leaders have failed to work with them. Randi Weingarten, president of CFTU’s national union – the American Federation of Teachers – stopped by Central Falls today to chip in her two cents, and to back the unprofessional conduct of her union brethren.
     Her support for Central Falls High School teachers belies the AFT’s favorite tag line – “AFT, A union of Professionals.”
     The students and taxpayers in Central Falls have been duped again by union leaders that clearly have no interest in student learning, and are far more concerned with milking the school system for their own selfish interests. The fact that Randi Weingarten has traveled to Rhode Island to provide more excuses says it all. If teachers at Central Falls High School were truly committed to a better education for the community’s students, they would show up for work as agreed. Period.
     We believe that their failure to do so shows that district leaders had it right the first time. The best solution to this ridiculous saga is to show at least some of the current educators the door, and replace them with teachers who actually want to make a difference.
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