A school superintendent in Rhode Island is trying to fix an abysmally bad school system.
Her plan calls for teachers at a local high school to work 25 minutes longer per day, each lunch with students once in a while, and help with tutoring. The teachers’ union has refused to accept these apparently onerous demands.
The teachers at the high school make $70,000-$78,000, as compared to a median income in the town of $22,000.
Barely a half-hour to tutor kids, eat a couple lunches with them is an outrageous demand? This fits into my theory that public education stopped being about excellent academics when the system (cough, NEA, cough) began treating children as commodities instead of individuals of unique merit.
A teacher’s job performance shouldn’t only be judged by their ability to show up and drone on in a classroom from a book of published, pre-selected lesson plans; their performance should also be judged by their students’ academic performance – the impact these teachers have in the classroom. Teachers in this district were failing miserably it seems, and refused to put in any more effort to correct the fact or submit themselves to further professional evaluations.
I don’t think an extra 25 minutes would have done a lick of good; the problem isn’t QUANTITY, the problem is QUALITY. What, an extra 25 minutes to continue sub-par teaching? Or will they use the students as scapegoats (as is often done) and have us believe that poor kids (the town is one of the poorest in the state) are just stupid and that where you come from dictates where you go?
Still, the teachers work for the district, not the other way around. They were making hand-over-fist above the town’s average income and by all accounts, were not treated poorly. They cost themselves their jobs by refusing to answer to evaluations that may have uncovered a reason as to why they were having no effect in the classroom – or meet the superintendent’s other reasonable requests.