Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Being Laid-Off and Being Terminated

One thing that will flag you as a PPSD noob is freaking out over getting a layoff notice in February. Get over it dude. Even when enrollment was growing you might get one every year for your first five or ten years of teaching. It is mostly a formality. So to the long-time PPSD observer, sending "layoff notices" to everyone this year at sounds like some kind of extravagant posturing by administration.

I tried to stick to this calmly jaded perspective until I actually read the letter sent out by the district, which says (in part):

...on Thursday, February 24, 2011, the School Board will consider a recommendation for a resolution terminating your employment in the Providence school District...

You are hereby notified that, if this resolution passes, you will be dismissed effective as the last day of the 2010-2011 school year unless the district rescinds your dismissal notice or you secure a position via the district's Criterion Based Hiring process. (emphasis added)

If there is a posting for a vacant position or positions in the Providence School District for the 2011-2012 school year for which you are properly certified, we hope that you will apply pursuant to the Providence Public School Department's 2011-2012 Criterion Based Hiring process.

Let's put it this way... there is nothing inconsistent here with "you're fired, you're all fired, and you may reapply for your jobs, or, perhaps, any job in the district." I do not actually have a copy of a previous layoff letter handy for comparison, but clearly I'm not the only one thinking something is up here because the PTU sent out an email this evening telling teachers that they


I still find myself shocked by this, but on the other hand, we've been anticipating a mass reshuffling of all PPSD high schools, since it is likely that all of them but Classical will be either formally on the "lowest performing" list, at best a year from being added to it, or have some other significant and obvious flaw or liability. Thanks in part to the current administration's mismanagement, of course.

There is a union meeting at 1:00 tomorrow and the board meeting at 6:00. It should be the craziest day in the district since the strikes of the 70's. It is going to be another insane year.

Personally, since my wife doesn't have a permanent position in the district right now, this probably helps us, since there'll probably be a lot more jobs to apply for.

I'm concerned that the worst thing that could happen for the district is to get everything they want. They don't have the capacity to pull off a mass-scale reshuffle. I'm not sure if anyone ever has, but this crew certainly doesn't. Especially at the high school level, they may not realize that Things. Could. Get. Much. Worse.


PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Mayor Angel Taveras says an undetermined number of city schools will be closed next year in an effort to help the school department close a $40 million budget deficit for the coming fiscal year.

"Are there going to be less teachers? Yes," Taveras said Wednesday. "Will there be less schools open next year? Yes. Do I know which teachers and which schools? No."


Chris Lehmann said...

What is scary is how this is playing out in urban districts everywhere.

Has anyone traced Broad influence yet? I'm not above believing there's a playbook at work here.

Tom Hoffman said...

This is a little puzzling because we don't really know entirely where the new mayor is coming from. That is, he seemed to be a "reformer," but he also seemed to not like the current administration. So it seemed likely that he'd play out the string on Brady and do something new once he could put his own supe in next year.

Joel said...

Suddenly, our situation in Wisconsin doesn't look so weird.

Nah... it is just a different weird.