February 11, 2010

Contrasting Candlelight Vigils

Monique Chartier

On Tuesday, a candlelight vigil was held for the five people killed in a fire over the weekend.

Also on Tuesday, the Central Falls teachers union held a candlelight vigil because they had received layoff notices.

Projo.com actually had a picture and story about each vigil on the front page last night which accented the comparison.

Let's assume for a moment the worst motives on the part of the superintendent: she laid all teachers off on a whim, not because the district has been chronically low performing. (John Depetro just pointed out that 50% of students in the Central Falls system are failing.)

Even under the hypothesized circumstance of a completely baseless layoff, isn't a candlelight vigil overly dramatic and inappropriate? Don't such vigils usually pertain to more profound matters of death, war or a violent crime spree?

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I was ready to write some inane commentary about union bashing then comprehended the meaning of your post.

Good point, the candlelight vigil has been cheapened by overuse, the one in Central Falls a perfect example.

I don't listen to Jon Dopitro but think he should spend a day in a Central Falls High School. That only 50 % are failing is a miracle. How do you teach kids that don't speak English?

Posted by: michael at February 11, 2010 8:35 AM

I guess that when one's religion is The State, and fantasy notions of taxpayers providing a heaven on earth for union members are collapsed by reality, a vigil might be one's first reaction.

Posted by: BobN at February 11, 2010 8:37 AM

But Monique, layoffs violate their fundamental right to public employment.

Posted by: Dan at February 11, 2010 8:45 AM

Short Order Cook - 1/2 cooked food: fired.

Bank Teller - Cash drawer off by 1/2: fired.

Data Entry Clerk - 50% accuracy: fired

Electrician - Load 50% of requirement: fired.

Assembly Line worker - 50% of quota: fired.

Assembly line worker - 50% quality of output: fired

Baggage handler - 50% of luggage delivered to the wrong destination: fired.

In many cases and real world professions, less than 99.9% is unacceptable (take airline safety, and most automotive safety equipment for instance).

Are the unions telling us we should be happy to expect LESS from those we charge with providing our children with knowledge and skills?

They really are despicable!

Posted by: George at February 11, 2010 9:06 AM

michael asked: "How do you teach kids that don't speak English?"

How's this for an answer: "Teach them English"

Why do students need to be in a grade based on age? Why not by body of knowledge? If a school gets a 10 year old child who has the knowledge level of a first grader, why can't he be placed in the first grade? Or some equivalent? If a school like Central Falls has 50% of their student body in this sort of situation, then why not special classes to teach them what they need. Why put a 10 year old with first-grade competency in the 5th grade and then wonder why he's failing? Put him where he belongs. If he doesn't speak English, spend all his time teaching him English. He can't learn anything else until he does, so start there.

This is an oversimplified version, but it seems to make more sense than "The teachers are idiots! The parents are lazy! The kids are lazy!"

Posted by: Patrick at February 11, 2010 9:26 AM

Aother example of the weak mental capacity of the teachers' leadership.

Another example...from the Projo

"Central Falls Teachers' Union President Jane Sessums said teachers are unclear about what Gallo wants to achieve by requiring teachers to work longer hours, provide students tutoring before and after school, and attend 90-minute common planning time sessions after school hours."

THere is nothing else to say!

Posted by: John at February 11, 2010 9:26 AM

Thanks for posting this Monique. I had the same reaction when I saw those pathetic teachers and their evil union hacks trying (and failing miserably) to make themselves out to be victims. The contrast of their "plight" vis-a-vis the fire victims being remembered at a genuine vigil has quite stark.

Posted by: Tim at February 11, 2010 10:52 PM

Shades of the Duck Suit!!

Posted by: joe bernstein at February 12, 2010 4:17 AM