Rhode Island School Fires All Its Teachers—But It Might Do Better To Fire Some Students
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The Cato Institute has a posting on a Rhode Island school that has fired all its teachers, because they wouldn't do any extra work in a school in crisis:

Rhode Island District Fires All Its HS Teachers

Performance, it seems is abysmal. The district’s high school graduation rate is said to be less than 50 percent, and things have been bad for a long time. Charged with turning things around, the superintendent asked teachers (who are making between $70,000 and $78,000 vs. the town’s median income of $22,000) to work an extra 25 minutes a day, provide tutoring on a rotating schedule, and have lunch with the kids once a week. The union said no. So superintendent  Frances Gallo went reluctantly to plan B: she fired the school’s entire staff.

Union leaders seem to think that the old rules still apply. Maybe they do, for now. The union plans to challenge the firings and it remains to be seen if they’ll find a way to reverse them.

But America is reaching a tipping point after which the old rules will go out the window. Having more than doubled public school spending per pupil in real terms over the past 40 years and not seen a smidgen of improvement in outcomes at the end of high school in return, having become frustrated that we have choice in virtually every area of life except public education, Americans are starting to chafe. When an education system fails to deliver on its promises for generation after generation, Americans will ultimately throw it on the scrap heap of history, and find something that will fulfill their educational needs and ideals. Yes. We. Can.

Fair enough about teachers unions, (see The Worm In The Apple for more) but my question is "what kind of high school has fifty percent drop out rate?" and the answer is "A school with 69 per cent Hispanic students."

Greatschools.net has this for Central Falls Senior High School

Source: NCES, 2007-2008
Ethnicity This School State Average
Hispanic 69% 18%
Black, not Hispanic 15% 9%
White, not Hispanic 15% 69%
Asian/Pacific Islander <1% 3%
American Indian/Alaskan Native <1% <1%

So while Cato is right about the high school teachers union being at fault, they're not at fault for the dropout rate—that's caused by factors beyond their control.(Cato, though sound on the teachers union question, is terrible on immigration questions.)

In the 1939 movie Ninotchka, Greta Garbo, says of the Moscow Purge Trials that "The last mass trials have been a great success. There are going to be fewer but better Russians. "

A lot of schools could do with "fewer but better" teachers. If Central Falls Senior High School/Distrito Escolar De Central Falls [PDF] has as many illegal alien students as I suspect it does, it could do with fewer and better students.

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