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Failing Georgia school firing entire staff to qualify for aid

Ohanian Comment: Even George Orwell would have had some difficulty satirizing our current run for the money. Some school districts will do anything for federal money. Their tribe is bound to increase.

This reader comment is typical, showing total misunderstanding of the problem:

If an entire school system is failing, then why keep the teachers that are part of that pattern of failing. Let them go , start with a new group with the knowledge that if they don't teach, they may not have a job. I agree with the President and the school board. The buck stops at the teachers desk.


Another Reader Comment gets at the real problem:

People are cattle. There are thousands of others to take their place.

Watch how many posters will blame everything under the sun, except for the economic greed that forces both parents to work. Spending more money on education has proven ineffective. New legislation such as no child left behind has proven unsuccessful. How about reducing corporate greed, so parents have more time to spend with children?

To all those "it's the parents responsibility" fans, when mom and dad get home each day after working 8 to 12 hours a day, there is little left. I have gotten off work many days and felt completely worn out: mentally. Then there is the cleaning, laundry, cooking, yard work, etc. . . .

When is the last time someone pointed out how wealthy parents who put their kids in well funded schools have great success with meeting the standards?

Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) ΓΆ€” A failing Savannah high school is
firing its entire staff in an effort to avoid further
sanctions from the state and to make the school
eligible for up to $6 million in federal money,
officials said Thursday.

The 200 employees at Beach High School ΓΆ€”
including the principal ΓΆ€” will work there through
the end of the year but will not be rehired for that
school, said Karla Redditte, spokeswoman for the
Savannah-Chatham County school district.

The teachers can reapply for their jobs but only half
can be rehired under federal education law, she
said. Staff can also apply for other jobs in the
school district.

"It is a sad day for us," Redditte said by phone as
she stood outside the 950-student school in south

The move is the most dramatic of four tactics
allowed by the federal No Child Left Behind law for
schools like Beach that consistently fail to meet
benchmarks. The Obama administration is offering
$3 billion in grants this year to coax struggling
schools to undertake one of the four tactics, which
also include firing only the principal, converting to
a charter school or closing altogether.

Experts estimate the mass-firing tactic is used to
turn around 20 to 30 schools in the U.S. annually.

If a failing school in Georgia refuses to make any of
those changes, the state places a special
administrator in the school to focus on annual
progress measures such as test scores and
graduation rates. In Georgia this year, 45 schools
have state administrators in them, including Beach
High School, state Department of Education
spokesman Matt Cardoza said.

Beach has been on the state's lowest performing list
for seven years, he said.

Jeff Hubbard, president of the Georgia Association
of Educators, said firing an entire school staff is
"exceptionally rare" in most states. He said the
teacher organization is concerned that starting from
scratch will hurt the school more than it will help,
particularly because many educators don't want to
take jobs at failing schools.

"We're very concerned about how they will be able to
get a full staff there," Hubbard said. "They're
basically starting that school over."

A similar action at a high school in Rhode Island
earlier this month prompted outrage from the
teachers' union and anger at President Barack
Obama when he said he supported the move.
District administrators chose the mass firing after
negotiations with the union at Central Falls High
School broke down.

Georgia's teachers do not have collective bargaining
rights, Hubbard said.

— Associated Press
USA Today


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