Teachers rally against New Bedford High School turnaround plan
NEW BEDFORD, Mass. —
New Bedford teachers crowded the street outside city hall Friday afternoon to protest the superintendent's turnaround plan for the city's struggling high school that could mean many of them lose their jobs.
Teachers union president Lou St. John told the crowd, "There's no doubt this will have a negative impact on our school system for years to come."
The district needs a fix-it plan and to show improvement to avoid a state take-over of the under-performing school.
Superintendent Pia Durkin's proposal could mean half the teachers go out the door, though that includes some layoffs last year and retirements.
Nonetheless, teachers are outraged.
They got support at the rally from City Council President Joseph Lopes and former Mayor Scott Lang.
The teachers union argues more than 90 percent of the teachers scored proficient on evaluations, that they haven't gotten the technology and materials they need, and that the city's economics and poverty level don't help.
St. John told NBC10, "Firing the teachers of New Bedford High is absolutely wrong because it doesn't solve the problem. It uses the teachers as scapegoats and that's not right."
Durkin did not return calls from NBC10 Friday.