With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

R.I. board declares war on teachers

Central Falls, R.I. has become the latest battlefield in the war on teachers. After failing to get teachers to trash the district's own collective-bargaining agreement and work longer hours for no pay, Supt. Frances Gallo pushed a board vote yesterday to arbitrarily fire the entire Central High School faculty and staff.

According to yesterday's NYT story: "As soon as the meeting ended, the board went into a closed session and members were not available for comment." Like thieves in the night.
On Tuesday night, several hundred teachers and students, many wearing Central Falls High’s colors of red and blue, packed into the meeting, shouting at Dr. Gallo and school board members. As a board member read the names of people slated for termination, many people were crying.
OINKS: Former Gates screw-up VanderArk, who has re-invented himself as an "edu-entrepreneur" couldn't resist chiming in. Calling the Times story, "hysteria," VDA insisted the teachers weren't fired. They were only "restarted," "made to reapply for their jobs," "non-renewed."

Supt. Gallo is the new Michelle Rhee. She has become the hero of the T-bag set including the Keyboard Militia.

CHILLS: Veteran Central Falls teacher George McLaughlin knew Gallo was bad news shortly after she was brought in to run the district.

McLaughlin says that in an early meeting with Gallo, he referred to the history of events in Central Falls, and Gallo cut him off to say, “History is dead.”

“I got a chill up my spine. It was just a few months after she’d been appointed superintendent.”


  1. VanderArk is worse than the T-baggers. At least they recognize that the Central Falls teachers were fired.

  2. If this was a district with more than one high school, it would be a relatively routine event, and the teachers would end up in another school in the district. It is dramatic because this is the only one square mile urban school district in the country, if not the world.

    I wish people would take the basic step of asking "WTF does Rhode Island have a one square mile 'city' bordering on two towns with over twice its median household income?"

  3. Tom,

    It may be "routine" but still an outrage. One thing is the same. Big or small district--mass, punitive firings of the entire teaching staff will never reform a school and will leave a great divide in their wake.

    In Central Falls, the negative impact of this will be felt for years to come.

  4. If you search the blogs you find that Frances Gallo has many defenders--blogs with names such as "CaptainCapitalism," "BigGovernment," "Keyboard Militia" and other tea party-goers are making her a hero saving the nation from unions.

    Oddly, the Nashua (NH) newspaper refers to Arne Duncan in his endorsement of the firings as "top U.S.educator." http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/646368-196/every-teacher-shown-the-door-at-failing.html


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.