RI: This Is Why Tenure Is Necessary, Part 32,871,299


William Ashton is in trouble again.

Ashton is an English teacher in Rhode Island. If you remember his name, it’s because last spring, the Jacqueline Walsh School for the Performing Arts suspended him for allegedly badmouthing the PARCC. The “badmouthing” was the process of correcting student misconceptions about how an under-95% testing rate would affect the school; to put it another way, he contradicted the standard state-generated propaganda about why students “must” take the Big Standardized Test.

The suspension spurred student protests, including old-school (picketing) and new-school (facebook page). And ultimately, Ashton was back in his classroom. That was last March.

Now, Ashton is in trouble again.

This time, he appears to have answered a question about birth control in the time of the Pilgrims. And now the student is back out on the sidewalk, picketing and protesting that her teacher is in trouble for answering her question.

Pawtucket Superintendent Patti DiCenso has seized this teachable moment by dragging the students out of class to scold them, informing them that “they were being inappropriate and shouldn’t be protesting.” DiCenso, in what I can only assume is a bid to model how grown-up professionals deal with disagreement, has blocked one of the students from the superintendent’s twitter page (@PawtuckSup, just in case you want to say hi).

DiCenso told Norton and Roberts that they were being bullies because they were demanding the return of their teacher and threatening to peacefully protest if he wasn’t reinstated, they said. Read more>>