Teachers and allies of Providence protest against ‘failed’ state takeover of Providence schools – Uprise RI


Over 300 Providence School teachers and allies marched from Rhode Island State House at Rhode Island Department of Education (DRIVE) Tuesday in a show of strength and solidarity following their March 21 vote of “no confidence” against the superintendent of public schools in Providence Harrison peters and State Commissioner for Education Angelica Infante-Vert. the Providence Teachers Union (PTU) also calls for an end to the state takeover of the Providence Schools, calling this effort a “failure.”

“We call on the General Assembly to either stop the takeover of the change in leadership,” said PTU president Maribeth Calabro to reporters outside the State House before the march. There are several issues with the state, including lack of communication, lack of collaboration with teachers, students and the community; and their reluctance to negotiate a successful contract, Calabro said.

The school buyout “doesn’t work. It’s a dismal failure, ”said Calabro, who said the vote of no confidence had been under discussion since October, but the union hoped for fair contract negotiations that did not take place.

PTU brought a list of solutions to negotiate their contract with the officials of the city of Providence. These include:

  • Community schools
  • Increase support for multilingual learners and their families
  • Support students with different abilities
  • Give more voice to parents and communities in schools
  • Civic education,
  • Safe and modern school buildings

These solutions have “been ignored, or blatantly ridiculed,” Calabro said.

UpriseRI asked Calabro if, in his opinion, the school administrators treated the PTU honestly during contract negotiations.

“No,” Calabro said. “During the negotiations, we signed a letter of ground rules – we talked about not discussing things publicly – they went around this document and they tried to negotiate – not only with our teachers, but with the community and families through letters and through the media. countryside.”

“There is no accountability for leadership at the state level,” Calabro noted. “The commissioner herself was allowed to write her own newsletter on how things were going in the district.

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Asked what grade the Providence teachers would give Commissioner Infante-Greene, Calabro replied that it depended.

“For the health and safety of buildings, a D. To offer our students virtual and distance learning opportunities, F. In terms of collaboration with teachers… F. Communication, F.”

Before the march, the president of the PTU, Calabro, gathered the demonstrators:

James parisi, Field Representative at Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Care Professionals, spoke of the need for a higher tax rate for Rhode Island’s one percent, so that Rhode Island no longer underfunds the maintenance of schools.

The walk and arrival at RIDE:

“It is in the best interests of district and state leaders to divide and win over stakeholders while blaming teachers so they can continue to shirk responsibility for broken promises.” , said Lindsey Paiva, teacher at Webster School. “Let us continue to focus on those in power and demand that they use that power to effect real change by fully supporting our schools and fully supporting the demands of the Social Justice Contract presented by our union which are supported by research,” by students and by families. “

“We call on RIDE to enter into a fair contract ensuring that educators’ voices are heard,” said Anna maria urrutia, teacher at Bailey Elementary School. “Teacher peer support staff are back… [and] that education in Providence is competitive and attractive.

“The National Association of Social Workers said… we should have one school social worker for every 250 students, ”said Nikki bond a social worker at Mount Pleasant High School. “If we have high special needs it should be one in 50. Guess what? There are almost 1,200 students at Mouth Pleasant. How many social workers are there? A.”

While at Mount Pleasant Hogh School, I noticed that there was both a nurse and a health clinic inside the school. I did some research and quickly noticed that this clinic was a privately funded, privately connected institution on the grounds of a public school, ”said a substitute teacher from Providence public schools. Enrique Sanchez. “I learned that our school nurse, Tammy, was fired and transferred to another school because she didn’t respect what the school district wanted her to do, which meant she was going to. against her contract … Many students and teachers were upset that our school nurses were transferred elsewhere. And all for what? To please these smart clinics, who were trying to complete their work for their business leaders.

“In March, I was called for a meeting with my principal at Mt Pleasant High School and immediately after, a disciplinary meeting at PPSD [Providence Public Schools Department] where I needed to chat and talk about my issues with smart clinics and why I was very engaged and up front on Twitter about these projects. Towards the end of the meeting, I was told that I was going to be fired and transferred to another school on the orders of the superintendent’s chief of staff. I asked to stay in Mount Pleasant and continue working there. This request was denied to me.

Maribeth Calabro:

Representative David Morales (Democrat, District 7, Providence):

About the Author

Steve Ahlquist is the co-founder and senior reporter of Uprise RI. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade.

[email protected]


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