Bumping in Education Is Obviously Wrong

Amanda Pereira, a sophomore at Classical High School, and her fellow students in Young Voices confirm that students also see what many of us believe to be obvious, that allowing teachers to be bumped from their jobs based on seniority alone is wrong:

[Bumping] has a terrible effect on students. In 2008, we conducted groundbreaking research on students’ everyday experience in Providence schools. We surveyed more than 1,600 high-school students and conducted focus groups with more than 200. Many students talked in the focus groups about losing their best teachers to bumping. This comment is just one example: “I had this social-studies teacher who really cared. He was a great teacher and I could really relate to him. Then he got pushed out one day, and I got this teacher who just sat at her desk and didn’t teach us anything.”
It’s really hard to lose a great teacher, especially since there aren’t a lot of teachers we can connect with. In our research, students said only 30 percent of their teachers motivate them.

Bumping is just an egregious example of the “union approach,” which is clearly a detriment to our schools and a harm to our children.

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12 years ago

I had a great conversation with my brother in law this weekend who is a teacher in CT and a former head of his school’s union. He explained to me that tenure is not something that guarantees a job for all teachers, and that there is a process that needs to be and should be followed to get rid of the dead weight. He agrees that there are bad teachers and they should be removed, however administrators (principals, superintendents) just either don’t want to follow the rules or are to busy/lazy to go through the process. In addition, the school committees will often negotiate the evaluation process into the contracts to be extremely prohibitive for proper evaluation of the teachers.
This doesn’t necessarily fit the “bumping” topic of Justin’s post, but more fits what the HS student was saying in how the good teacher was replaced by a bad one. It would seem that there is a better way to evaluate teachers, for either the purpose of merit pay or for the purpose of eliminating the truly dead wood.
MikeInRI, any suggestions on this?

12 years ago

It’s great these students are speaking out. Hopefully Patrick Crowley doesn’t try to terrorize them because they won’t go along with his line of BS like he does with everyone else.
These young people might be able to get legislators to pass legislation to give education back to students instead of adult entitlement foolishness.
The more people that band together and insist that our students get a quality education to be able to compete in a global market, the more likely our “leaders” on Smith Hill will start listening.
We have to apply just as much pressure and more on our elected officials to do the right thing, instead of letting the unions be the puppet masters in that building.
Great job young folks!

Mike Cappelli
Mike Cappelli
12 years ago

Gee, do you you mean to tell me that even the kids get it? “It” being the fact that the unions don’t give a crap about the kids; that they are simply a bunch of pigs.
Come on Crowley, please tell me again how this bumping is really good for the kids – they just don’t know it. Come on, lie to them some more.

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
12 years ago

>>Come on Crowley, please tell me again how this bumping is really good for the kids – they just don’t know it. Come on, lie to them some more.
He can’t.
After reading “The End of the Labor Line” appearing above he’s totally consumed – fantasizing about wearing his duck costume at the head of the strike procession going down the Champs Elysees, emailing photos back to RI Future, all while still collecting his mandatory-dues income from NEARI!

12 years ago

Do you people not see that these kids are being used by McWalters and Brady for their own political agenda? allowing students to be used this way for political posturing is bad enough, but these kids are also being schooled to sit in judgement of their teachers, and policies that they don’t fully comprehend within their historical context. A good portion of the behavioral issues in schools occur because kids think they have the right to judge adults and therefore can pick and choose when to listen to them.
The student said that she lost a teacher whom she could “relate” to. Do you realize that this may be a case where the teacher treated the kids as buddies, told them about his personal life, and let them get away with murder? No, you don’t know one way or he other. Very often kids don’t discriminate between “good” teachers and those they think are “cool.” This doesn’t mean they can’t be one and the same, but it sure doesn’t mean they must be. When you take this sort of authority/teacher bashing seriously from kids, you are made a fool in the service of a those who are exploiting them. If you could hear what your kids said to their friends about you and your “rules” you may not see it the way they do either.
Whether you like or dislike “bumping,” the kids aren’t the ones to go to for the most salient analysis.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

1. These kids’ testimony is hardly the only, or even the primary, source of analysis that bumping is detrimental.
2. Having attended some meetings at which teachers’ behavior was atrocious, I have to admit that the argument against having students question their authority has zero influence on me as a general proposition.

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