Back when I had employees, I was never a good boss, because I was too easy on people. I always wanted to be a friend to everybody who worked with me, and sometimes people think that makes you soft, and then they try to take advantage of the situation. Disciplining employees was always hard for me, and firing someone was especially stressful. But sometimes you have no choice. You have an employee that just refuses to follow the rules, who creates discontent among the rest of the staff, or who is dishonest, and they must go. I’ve also had a few employees who just were not cut out for the newspaper business, or for advertising sales, and I had let them go for their own sake, as well as mine. Those were the hardest ones to handle.

I have also fired a couple of doctors, an attorney, and an insurance company who forgot that I was the customer and did not give me the service I wanted. Some people don’t think you can fire your doctor or your lawyer, but you can. It’s your money, your health, and your future you are dealing with, and if you are not happy with the relationship, it’s time to part company. Speaking of relationships, I’ve even fired a wife or two! I’m no Donald Trump, but if it had to be done, I did it.

But I think even Donald of the Bad Hairdo can’t top the school board of Central Falls, Rhode Island, which just fired the entire teaching staff at their high school because of the school’s terrible performance record. Yes, you read that right. 88 teachers and other support staff were booted to the curb because they were not doing their jobs!

News reports say that the school’s track record was indeed pretty dismal; only seven percent of 11th graders were proficient in math, just 33 percent were proficient in writing, and 55 percent met expected grade levels in reading. Only 48 percent of students graduated within four years!

The school superintendent said that she tried to work with the teaching staff to resolve the school’s problems, suggesting changes that included extending school hours, requiring teachers to offer tutoring, having them get additional training, and asking teachers to eat lunch with their students once a week to try to form relationships with them that would carry over to their classrooms. But when the teachers’ union nixed that idea, the next step was to clean house.

Now there’s an employee incentive plan for you! If you come to work and do your job, you get to come back and do it again tomorrow!

Now, I’ll admit that I have never been a school teacher. But I have known many teachers over the years, and I know that there are a lot of kids who are just too lazy and unmotivated to even get out of bed in the morning, let alone come to class and participate. And I also know that there are way too many parents who are a big part of the problem. But when more than half the kids in a high school can’t graduate in four years, it’s time for a change. Since the teachers at Central Falls High School either couldn’t or wouldn’t get the job done, hopefully the school system can hire some new folks who will.

And if they do, can we send the school board down to Washington, D.C.? There is a lot of deadwood sitting around there picking their noses, scratching their butts, and ignoring the people they are supposed to be working for. Can we give everybody inside the Capital Beltway their pink slips? Because I think a lot of them got their education and their work ethic at Central Falls High School!

Actually, if we traded all of the congressmen, senators, and bureaucrats in Washington for the student population at Central Falls, we’d probably still be better off!

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21 Comments on You’re Fired!

  1. SAL Bellomo says:

    I think you said it right on the head about the Deadwood Congressmen ,Senators and bureaucrats in Capital Beltway should
    go and put someone in there for the every day people that would
    like to live in the good old U.S.A.like our Mother and Father
    did and stop pressing 1 for English and giving all our money all over the world .The old way could be best way again if we all
    were to try again

  2. Brad Barnes says:

    You can fire all that deadwood, don’t vote them back in.

  3. Darrell says:

    Couldn’t agree more!!! It’s way past time to clean house in Washington, D.C.. Further, we need term limits for Senators and Congressmen/women. Also need an overhaul of the salary and benefit packages they recieve. Our representatives need to live closer to where the “average” American lives and truly serve the people. I wonder what would happen if everyone who was unhappy with their representatives sent them a note on pink paper that just simply said, “You’re fired!” Probably not much, they are a hard headed bunch and just don’t get it!

  4. Jeff Boldt says:

    As a recently retired high school principal and lifelong educator, I can’t pass up the opportunity of commenting on this issue. Bad Nick, you stated “The school superintendent said that she tried to work with the teaching staff to resolve the school’s problems, suggesting changes that included …” etc What ??? The Superintendent “tried” and “suggested”-who was in charge there? The Superintendent should have told the Principal and staff what to do-not suggest it. Hold her responsible as well-blame her as well-fire her. You really nailed it when you said—“Now, I’ll admit that I have never been a school teacher. But I have known many teachers over the years, and I know that there are a lot of kids who are just too lazy and unmotivated to even get out of bed in the morning, let alone come to class and participate. And I also know that there are way too many parents who are a big part of the problem.” There IS the crux of the problem in today’s educational systems–the dysfunctional family unit (or lack thereof). In my 36 plus years as a teacher, coach, assistant principal and high school principal, I have seen educators go from respected and trusted partners with parents in educating young people to the reason for their lack of success and all their shortcomings, from their behaviors to their academic performances. Teachers are better trained, educated,and receive more and better inservice than ever before these days. Yet, with all the distractions for todays youth, their excuses, and their seeming apathetic attitudes that are reinforced by parents ready to point the blame away from themselves, teachers are losing the respect and support they so richly deserve. Now, I’m all about accountability but firing the ENTIRE school staff —c’mon, let’s get real! That’s all I’m saying-see ya down the road!

  5. TOM says:

    Requiring teachers to do their jobs for their wages? I fear that will never float in todays America. Like so many of todays problems the guilty can make excuses/use spin/just plain lie etc. Until our elected government and we the people of this land go back to the foundation laid out by our founding fathers it will only get worse. I say BRAVO! to anyone today that has the naddies, man or woman, to demand that we be held accountable for our actions. I’m sure we all have heard the old saying “money is the root of all eveil”, add the desire for power to that saying.
    We have gone from “We… the People” to Me…the person.”

  6. harry bellerby says:

    Too bad we can’t fire some of the parents.
    cu on the road

  7. Terry Pace says:

    My question is: Did this “adminstrator” also terminate the elementary teachers & principals who “socially promoted” the students who were below the required standard? Once the student reaches high school without the basic skills to succeed, most are doomed to failure.

  8. Bill says:

    Your right nick i fire all the sentors and congress men after one turn at stuffing their pockets.

  9. Laura says:

    What Jeff said.

    Teachers are required to do more with less every day — including less motivation on the part of students and support by families. Until someone acknowledges that NOTHING will change until we start dealing with the death of the family kids will continue to fail. Plus, since when has job performance been tied into something so variable as depending on another human being (over whom we have NO control) to improve their performance? I can see teenagers doing poorly just because they don’t like a teacher and know it’s a way to get back at them. And, by the time they’ve reached high school those teachers can’t possibly correct the 9+ years of poor education. The problem starts very, very young and compounds itself every year.

    This whole thing makes me sad.

  10. Ken says:

    Yep, I read about the school board yesterday and was amazed that a board actually did their job. Way to Go! Now we need more boards to do the same. In my business I have been amazed at the lack of common skills, such as readin, ritin, and rithmatic. Clearly, something has been missing in education. When a trainer (me) has to explain a particular industry is very simple terms, there may have teaching, but there was certainly no learning. And that was training adults responsible to keep things from going BOOM.
    Now, come on elections. We, the people, have an opportunity before us. If we let the same old thing happen again, we deserve what we get. Look past the rhetoric, examine the substance, and vote for people that will say what they will do, and do what they say.
    That exercise at Blair House yesterday was another example of saying a lot, but not saying anything. POTUS ran his mouth for almost two hours, and did not offer anything concrete. Just fluff, no substance. How so many people were fooled is beyond belief.

  11. There’s truth on both sides of this issue. But our family structure certainly plays a big part of it. Also. VOTER APATHY! Too many people either don’t vote or automatically vote down any tax increase whether it be for the needs of the schools or to keep Arizona State Parks open and available, or to get more police and firefighters on the streets of Tucson. And kids? We, we’re back at the family again, aren’t we?

  12. Dave B says:

    It’s sad to hear the teachers didn’t want to tutor the kids for extra help on lunch hours etc. with out getting paid for it. At that particular school they were getting paid $78,000 for 9 months work! Not bad, I bet there are a lot of people out there right now that would love to work for those hours and wages.

  13. Jim says:

    Couldn’t agree more with what Jeff and Laura wrote. There are two sides to every story. Lets hear more about the children, their home lives and their actions in school. The general public thinks teachers are overpaid, under worked and under teaching. To this I say “take a walk in those moccosins.”

    I’m still trying to decode Ken’s message. Typing too fast Ken?

  14. carroll says:

    WOW… “GIGO–garbage in/garbage out”. Taught 4th grade 2 yrs in NM. Failed Tim–he wasn’t performing minimal classwork. Oooops, can’t fail Tim says principal, “He’s been failed before and our district can only fail a student ONE time in elem schools”. okay

    Taught 11-12 graders in voc/wk prgm in TX for 7 years. First 6 wks I failed about 1/2: didn’t come to class, didn’t do daily lessons/tests (no homework in my classes, all students took other classes and WORKED part or fulltime). One student had 17 absences in 30 days (e.g.-6wks). In TX 10 absences in a semester means “failure”. Uhhhh….chairperson, then principal, then counselor: teacher (me) can’t you change “8, or more absences to tardies”??? [I taught this class at 1st period, so this student missed classes ALL day. But “tardies” would indicate that he CAME to school (& had less than 10 absences). Duhh?] My district-principal/TX (and chairperson and counselor)
    said, “Our district does not fail over 20% of our students!!!” Hey TX students don’t come to school, don’t do classwork, don’t do homework….heh, heh, heh 80% of you are still going to PASS.
    You won’t get these odds in any other game of chance in the world.

    Then they [District, state/TX] started talking about teacher accountability. Okay, me says to me-self, I’ll give them a test the first week of school re-job interviewing, W-2s, IRS-1040s, W-4s, SS/medicare withholding; why insurance, safety, promotions, banks-credit unions, interest/borrowing money, taxes …..etc] If they get a grade of 12 (no prior exposure to work/careers, taxes, payrolls, time cards, production quotas, showing up on time, …….]–Well, okay. Then when I test them at the end of a semester and they (doing minimal/no class work AND/OR skipping school] and get a grade of 35—-by DINGOS I’ve almost tripled their knowledge of the “WORKING WORLD”.

    But, then would the TX school district say, “Sorry teacher (me) you’re not meeting the school’s performance objectives?” DUHH… I almost tripled their knowledge in 18 wks. {Granted they didn’t score 70, or better—e.g. pass; except they did by ME and other teachers changing our grades by a little or a lot of ARM TWISTING} Hmmm….GIGO.

    Yeah, DUH, I taught 11 years public school (the end of my working career at 57) and said, “See ya’.”

    Old statistics said 1/3 of all “education majors” never teach (grad school: masters, doctorate; ROTC commission; marriage; buyer at Wal Mart, family business,….etc]; and 1/3 of all teachers QUIT w/in 5 years.

    Think about it………

  15. Claire says:

    Check out goooh.com. There is a way to kick ’em all out of Washington!

  16. Pat & Tom Whitaker says:

    We are two retired teachers and senior citizens that have never missed an opportunity to vote. That’s our way of firing those who forget who “hired” them. We already have the right to fire them, however, we must exercise that right. They need to abide by the common man’s lifestyle: salary should be an average of the constituents they represent, retirement should be social security, and they should pay for their own health plan. The reason we retired from teaching is because of what was happening in the classroom. Parents need to be responsible for the behavior of their children. Parents need to send their children to school to learn, not just to socialize and show off bad behavior. School principals can fire bad teachers but must take the time to document exactly what the bad teacher is or isn’t doing. Many principals are too busy or unwilling to put forth that effort. Those legislators who think they know it all need to let educators educate – it’s like the mechanic telling the doctor how to perform surgery.
    After being able to vent on this subject, we should have a better day..

  17. Paul Stough says:

    Nick,

    Another thought provoking post. If all the fired teachers were bad teachers, then shouldnt those who hired 80 bad teachers be fired as well? This would be the school board and the superintendent. Then shouldnt the people who elected the school board who hired the superintendent be fired as well? Oh wait, that would be the people of the school district! And since virtually every school district has similar problems, though maybe not to that extent, isnt it “us” who is the ultimate problem?

    The same is true on the political front. If all elected politicians are “bums”, shouldnt those that elected them be held accountable? Oops, there again, as Pogo would say, “we have met the enemy,and he is us”!

    More later,

    Paul

  18. Suzanne Dahiem says:

    Good points, all. But where do we start? The governmental and educational systems are both brokeen. We all know that. The question is, what can we really do to fix them?

  19. Mark T. says:

    Bullshit! Why fire the teachers because the kids are too lazy to study or too dumb to learn? I think the parents are the ones who need fired. Why do you have to take a test to prove you are capable of driving a car, but any two idiots can climb in the back seat of that car and make a baby, with no clue as to how to raise it?

  20. kari says:

    I deal with employees and I’m similar to you I think. I’m easy going but I set the standards high. I want people to be themselves and enjoy their work. Happy employees are employees that don’t call off. I rarely turn down vacation requests and I don’t like to discipline folks. When a person pushes the envelope, I will. I have fired a few folks – regardless of how much a person ‘deserves’ to be fired, it’s always hard to do. I’m truly and utterly baffled by the lack of respect people have for authority. I’m shocked at the attitudes of some people during probation period (4 months). I remember doing anything and everything that was asked of me whenever I started a new job. It’s hard to find good, honest, reliable hard workers these days. It’s sometimes discouraging.

    As for teachers – I worked with emotionally disturbed population and 9 out of 10 – problems were from home rather than having true chemical imbalances. Teachers have it hard.

    Kari

  21. Paul Stough says:

    Suzanne,
    Here are a couple of things that I believe would help start us back on the right path.

    Get the illegal aliens out of the country.

    Go back to the original intent of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, eliminating “birthright citizenship”, and eliminating “person-hood” for all entities except individual human beings.

    Paul

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