“Rally For Fairness” – Solidarity to Descend on Central Falls
[This fascinating e-mail was forwarded to me tonight. It has presumably been circulated to all members of NEARI.]
As you are aware, Commissioner of Education Gist and Superintendent Gallo of the Central Falls School District are set to fire all 74 of the district’s high school teachers tomorrow. In one of the most blatant acts of anti-unionism in decades, the leadership of the district has decided, instead of providing the resources necessary for a quality education, to point fingers and blame teachers for the administration’s lack of appropriate action. Join with teachers, parents, students, union members and concerned individuals at a rally tomorrow to support the Central Falls teachers.
The Rally for Fairness is tomorrow, Tuesday, February 23, 5 PM, at Jenks Park on Broad Street in Central Falls. It is time your voice is heard in the struggle to protect collective bargaining and ensure every student has the resources available to succeed. The district is moving forward with this inappropriate and illegal action even though, following teacher evaluations over the past two years, not one was put on corrective action. It is moving forward without following due process, engaging in nothing more than a union busting tactic.
For more information go to www.CentralFallsKidsDeserveBetter.com. There you can sign a petition in support of the teachers and learn more about the schools in our state’s smallest community. You can also stay updated by following Central Falls High on Twitter and checkingthe NEARI website, www.neari.org, tomorrow for the latest on the rally and directions. We encourage you to follow NEARI on Facebook and President Larry Purtill on Twitter for this and other valuable information.
Your local president has been invited to a meeting at NEARI this Thursday, February 25, with Commissioner Gist. It is an opportunity for him/her to ask questions and raise concerns about the events taking place in Central Falls and Rhode Island’s Race to the Top application. You can also see your local president, if you have not already done so, to lend your name to those of your colleagues who are concerned about the content and process involved in submitting the application. Concerns over the lack of collaboration in writing the grant, the use of test scores to make up 51% of a teacher’s evaluation, automatic termination after two ineffective years of evaluation, elimination of the I Plan and certification tied directly to evaluation, and the drive to make one out of every five schools in Rhode Island a charter or mayoral academy are just a few of the issues in the grant application.
It is up to you to speak out against these hasty political changes that will not improve student performance. NEARI supports highly effective teachers in every classroom, a strong evaluation system, and appropriate professional development. What we don’t want to see are teachers and staff blamed for a lack of resources and a weak political will to do what is right. Join with your colleagues so you do not become the next Central Falls, East Providence or Glocester.