PROVIDENCE — The students have spoken. The politicians have spoken. Monday night, it was the teachers’ turn.
About 25 teachers, more than a quarter of the Hope High School faculty, turned out to protest proposed changes to the school’s 90-minute block schedule, which students and teachers alike say is crucial to the school’s success. (...)
“I’ve been at Hope for 21 years, and I’ve been through 11 principals, 7 [school] restructurings and 35 assistant principals,” teacher Deb Petrarca said. “I’ve never seen Hope as good as it is now.” (...)
Megan Thoma, an arts teacher, said she moved to Rhode Island because of Hope’s reputation as a school with a flourishing arts program. Under the new schedule, she said, the arts electives will suffer and the Rhode Island School of Design might be less willing to work with the high school.
“You are driving out your best teachers,” she said, adding that 13 teachers have been cut already.
Another teacher contested the School Department’s claims that Hope’s test scores are worse than the district average. When you remove scores from Classical High School, which draws the best students from public and private schools in Providence, Hope’s math scores, while disturbingly low, are still a couple of points higher than the district average, said Ellen House, who heads the math department at Hope.