Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dismissal On a Colossal Scale

Tunell Polk
Eng. 122
Prof. B. Kern

A New York Times article written by Katie Zezima entitled
"A Jumble of Strong Feelings After Vote on a Troubled School" discusses a school board's decision to fire the entire facultly at Central Falls high School in Rhode Island. The school is one of the state's worst performing schools. It's not so ironic that Central Falls happens to be the poorest city in the state. Students and teachers alike have gathered in continuing protest against the decision. It seems the school board is focused on the numbers, and decided that radical change was needed. Zezima includes this statistic, "the school’s graduation rate is 48 percent, and only 7 percent of students are proficient in mathematics by 11th grade.."

I can understand why the school board felt it needed to make a big change, but I don't believe it's the right one. In my opinion, you don't go and dismiss an entire faculty, one that has been hands on with students in difficult situations. Something needs to change, but firing the whole staff and bringing new faces may not necessarily be the solution. There are other options like maybe creating programs that are designed to help specific needs that kids have. Mandatory after school tutoring perhaps. It will be surprising if this move suddenly makes kids better at algebra, I wouldn't bet on it.

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