Jason came home from work today telling me this story about a Rhode Island school superintendent who fired the entire staff -- teachers, administrators, secretaries, the whole bunch -- after they refused to follow the plan for improvement for their school which had "failing" scores.
This plan included, among other things, extending the school day 25 minutes, teachers rotating as tutors for the students. These teachers were being paid over $70,000 a year. They didn't like the changes, and got behind their union and refused to teach according to the new changes.
And the Superintendent fired all of them...and I think it's great!
I agree that unions do send a message of entitlement to its members, and our generation is already struggling enough with consequences of what comes from living a life as if you're entitled to anything you want whenever you want it. Have you seen statistics of what credit-card debt amounts people are currently living with, treating that amount as if that's just part normal monthly expenses.
Another aspect of this story that particularly bothers me is that we're talking about teachers here, people who hold a job that has such responsibility. How many people do you know that go into teaching because "it pays the bills"? Seriously, teachers aren't just "doing it for the paycheck!"
I believe these teachers should care enough for their students that if it takes 25 more minutes a day and some extra tutoring, then that's what it takes. I wouldn't be thrilled about the extended day, to be sure, but if teachers truly care about their students' education, performance, and improvement, then they should suck it up and put forth the extra effort.
I applaud the bold move, taking an action that most people wouldn't. It will be interesting to see what happens and who will come in to take over all of these positions that are now empty.