Teachers are not to blame for EHS underperforming

March 16, 2007
By

I commend you for your recent series of articles about issues at English High School (EHS). I don’t know how well-read the JP Gazette is outside of JP, but, as someone who worked there for 14 years, I can tell you the coverage is making a splash in the larger English High community. Implications coming from the central school administration and at times from the Boston Globe that inadequate teachers are to blame for the school’s underperforming status are very misguided.

For example, the Globe published an editorial on Dec. 22 which said that relaxing the union work and hiring rules would bring an improvement in the school.

This will be happening to some extent next year as the school becomes a pilot. However, this view totally ignores the fact that many EHS teachers have always been hard-working and dedicated, spending long hours working after school. This can be verified by looking at the full parking lot late on weekday afternoons. In addition, dozens of teachers have left the school in the last few years, among them some of the best—very experienced and award-winning.

Until those with power are willing to look at and permanently solve the real problems—such as chaotic conditions, overcrowding (which will be alleviated next year with the reduction in the number of students), lack of resources and lack of effective leadership—there can be no consistent improvement. Thank you for reporting some of the other sides to this story.

Fran Perkins
Jamaica Plain