Tuesday, February 16, 2010

From Little Rhody: A Rare Portrait in Courage

I'm a product of Rhode Island public schools: a good elementary (then Broad Street School in Providence), a bad junior high (Roger Williams, but only for 7th and 8th grades), and an excellent college prep high school (Classical). But that was in "the day," I guess. With five of my siblings, I went on to college and also earned an advanced degree, and I do credit much of that success rate to our high school education that sent more than 90% of graduates on to college or nursing school (and, of course, also credit much encouragement from home).

Today, I am passionate about the need for better public schools, and I believe that means charter schools where parents lead and participate and/or school vouchers where parents choose public or private education for their children. This will only be accomplished, you can bet, over the cold dead bodies of teachers' unions. So cheers to School Superintendent Frances Gallo who will fire all the union teachers at Central Falls High School, which has a graduation rate of less than 50%, because they refused to work an additional 25 minutes each day or to help tutor failing students. Guess where teacher unions' priorities are!

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