Thursday, February 24, 2011

It Was The Hand Of Providence

Make your own bad joke; there are several available in this story:

Providence, RI Issues Dismissal Notices To Every Teacher
Eric Lach | February 24, 2011, 12:36PM

Each one of the 1,926 teachers working for the Providence School Department was sent a dismissal notice this week, in a move officials say was necessary to deal with a projected deficit of almost $40 million next year.

According to The Providence Journal, "[s]chool and city leaders said they were forced to issue the mass dismissal notices because of a state law that says teachers must be notified about possible layoffs or terminations by March 1." In a statement, Mayor Angel Taveras said that because the deadline for informing teachers about employment changes came before the budget for next year could be determined, the move was necessary.

"Providence faces significant challenges in getting its financial house in order," Taveras said in the statement. ...

 If I were one of those teachers, I'd seek a new job immediately. This is not easy for teachers; many states require teacher certification specific to that state.

As for Providence, I think they'd better get used to finding jobs for many, many uneducated kids, some of whom may otherwise find, um, things to do if left to roam the streets. You can spend your money on an adequate number of teachers or on an overwhelming number of cops; it's your choice.


  1. Good Lord!!! What's next? I won't bother to talk about how I feel about the state of education in this country because most people think I'm nuts. Let's just say that I quit my student teaching because I can't teach if I can't discipline. Nobody ever learned anything with their mouth open. I used to tell the Dynamic Duo: "God gave you two ears and mouth because you're supposed to listen twice as much as you talk. No one learned anything with their mouth open."

  2. Of *course* every one of those teachers is going to look for a new job immediately. That's what anybody does when they get a layoff notice. And the best of those teachers are going to have no problem finding better jobs either in the private sector or in better school districts, leaving this school district with, err, the dregs. Which, apparently, nobody minds, because this is apparently a majority-minority school district and everybody knows that the only schooling those brown children need is that which is provided by our prisons...

    -- Badtux the Former Teacher Penguin

  3. Kay, on the one hand, the economic problem is harder for state governments because they can't print money... if the feral guvmint won't help them out, they must raise taxes or do without, and you know which one of those Republans will choose every time. On the other hand, cutting back public schools is sheer madness. Eliminating public schools would effectively reverse Americans' gains in basic education during the entire 20th century.

    BTW, I've taught sight-singing and ear-training to college freshmen and sophomores, and I can assure you students sometimes DO learn something with their mouths open. :-)

  4. BadTux, you're right, on every point. I'm glad I'm not a parent of Providence public school students; ultimately, those students will suffer worst from this, as the good teachers move elsewhere. I just hope there are enough solvent districts; RI is not a very big state.

  5. I learned a lot from those kids. I was in a huge high school with a lot of what BadTux called brown students and those kids behaved better than the white kids. The funny part is, a couple years ago the UPS man knocked on my door and did a double take when I answered and said, "Hey! You were my teacher!" We talked a few minutes after he told me his name and teased me a little. That has happened more than a few times over the years and it's always a 'brown' student. My son says it's because they can spot a bigot in a heartbeat and I'm not one. I still say that when learning you have to listen first and then talk. It's always worked for me. Someday I'm going to do a blog about a writing assignment I gave them -- I don't know if they had fun but I sure did when I read them. Frankly, some of the teachers' attitudes annoyed me worse than the kids.

  6. I was a high school math teacher so I know my students didn't have a lot of fun, I did my best to pep up the material but there just isn't much "there" there, the students get there not knowing much mathematics and utterly confused about what mathematics is (because what's taught in K-12 is *not* mathematics, any more than a crescent wrench is a car -- it's just a random bag of tools *used* for mathematics), and while I think a few of them got it (one girl in particular did quite well at state rally -- uhm, yeah, she was both brown *and* a single mother, both of which add up to someone that the right-wing "family values" types apparently believe don't need an education), it's hard to overcome a lifetime of schooling in one year...

    So anyhow, enough of that. I'm not feeling like snarking anymore. I just feel sad.

    - Badtux the Former Teacher Penguin

  7. "I still say that when learning you have to listen first and then talk." - Kay

    In my class, because of the nature of the subject, the students had to read and then sing! Their mouths were open when they sang, although if they hadn't practiced, sometimes they didn't open very wide. :-)

  8. BadTux, you are allowed to remember just the good students and your successes with them. Every time a student succeeds because of a teacher's efforts, the world is a better place.

  9. BTW, BadTux, I had fun in math classes. It's not impossible. :-)



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