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Posted at 2:52 PM ET, 05/16/2010

Tentative agreement reached on Rhode Island teachers

By Washington Post Editors

The teachers at Central Falls High School in Rhode Island who were all recently fired may get to keep their jobs after all. A tentative agreement has been reached between the teachers union and school district officials and will be voted on tomorrow.

Ninety three educators were told earlier this year that they were losing their jobs and would have to reapply as part of an effort to transform the school to improve low student performance in the state’s smallest and poorest city. The firings became national news when first Education Secretary Arne Duncan and then President Obama praised the action of the district superintendent, saying the tough action was needed.

Teachers, however, said the firings were unfair and that it would be impossible to reconstitute the entire work force of the school with qualified personnel before the fall. A union member said today that a tentative agreement has been reached that would apparently reverse the earlier firings.

“We’ve had 3 1/2 months of misery and mounting distrust,” said veteran counselor George McLaughlin, whose wife also works at the school. “We’ve only lived on hope... We may say at the end of this that there is a god after all.” Details of the agreement were not immediately known but will be reported later.

--Valerie Strauss

By Washington Post Editors  | May 16, 2010; 2:52 PM ET
Categories:  Teachers  | Tags:  central falls high school, deal in central falls, president obama and central falls, teachers and central falls  
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I hope these teachers hang on to their jobs for as long as necessary while getting their applications out to other districts and/or states. Also they need to warn their own children and students of the hazards of teaching in Central Falls. Two can play this game.

Posted by: Linda/RetiredTeacher | May 16, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Obama and Duncan know that it is much harder teaching in a poor neighborhood than in middle class or wealthy neighborhood.

Time to get rid of Duncan. Fire Obama for not meeting standards.

Posted by: jlp19 | May 16, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Words from parents and students:
Senior Valerie Florez, who is set to graduate next month, said rehiring the teachers was a good idea.

“It’s not the teachers’ fault that students don’t want to learn,” she said.

Florez said she used to be one of those students who didn’t want to learn, skipping class and failing to do assignments, but her teachers helped her turn around.
“I love the teachers at Central Falls,” he said. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them. I want to work side by side with them.”

Anthony Restrepo, who has two stepdaughters at the school, said he wanted to see improvements if all the teachers are to be rehired. But he said he wasn’t sure that the problems were entirely the staff’s fault.

“They just want to be in the streets,” he said of some students.

Obviously, this student and parent didn't get the playbook from the likes of Michelle Rhee. Andy Rotherham, and Deborah (What's an erasure) Gist.

Posted by: edlharris | May 17, 2010 12:39 AM | Report abuse

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