News in Brief
R.I. Board Backs Off Firings; Teachers Keep Their Jobs
The Central Falls, R.I., school board approved an agreement last week to let teachers at the city’s troubled high school keep their jobs after all were fired, closing a turbulent chapter that attracted national attention to the impoverished city.
The 5-1 decision by the school district’s board of trustees formally rescinds the February decision to fire every teacher and staff member as part of a plan to turn around the school, where only 7 percent of 11th graders tested proficient in math in the fall. The firings drew praise from President Barack Obama, who cited them as an example of holding schools accountable.
“It closes chapter one, and now we’re on to chapter two, which starts the process of real reform,” Superintendent Frances Gallo said after the vote.
Under a deal approved by the teachers’ union last week, the school day will be lengthened by half an hour, and teachers will be required to spend an hour tutoring students each week and to eat lunch with students once a week. They will also be subject to a more rigorous evaluation system, among other requirements.
All the teachers must still go through a brief screening process by June 14.
Vol. 29, Issue 33, Page 4