Teacher Cannot Speak English And Has Mental Disorder Can Keep Her Job

If ever there was a story demonstrating why we'd be better off with a free market for education a story this week about a Lowell public school teacher is it.  You can read it in full HERE.

The state’s highest court has ruled Lowell school officials can’t fire a teacher who failed two English fluency tests.


Robishaw had four state teaching licenses but failed the English tests in part, she said, because she was suffering from post-traumatic stress.

So ask yourself this question, if you were a parent would you want your child being taught by a teacher who cannot speak English and who suffers from a metal disorder?  I know I wouldn't trust my children with her yet people living in Lowell, MA have no choice unless they can afford to pull their children out of the public school system and put them into private school.

What makes this ruling worse is that the MA state supreme court felt that Middlesex Superior Court Judge Dennis J. Curran overstepped his authority when he concluded after listening to a recording of Robishaw was sufficient proof that she was unfit to teach.

Just read the following from the Boston Globe coverage of the story and ask if you'd want your child in her first grade class, a time when many children learn the basics of education which are used to build on through the rest of their time in school.

a new principal came on board at the Greenhalge in fall 2002 and questioned Robishaw’s fluency in English, along with that of a few other teachers. In January 2003, the principal gave Robishaw a negative review. A month later, Robishaw experienced post-traumatic stress disorder linked to her life in Cambodia and took a medical leave.

All the while, the Lowell School Department began to implement the teacher-test requirement under the new law. Robishaw, who held several state teaching licenses, requested a postponement of the test because she was on medical leave, but the district forced her to take the exams that spring. Robishaw failed.


In 2007, an arbitrator ruled that the school was wrong to conduct the tests when Robishaw was being treated for a psychiatric disorder and that her life story was an inspiration to her students. The arbitrator ordered her reinstated with back pay and benefits to August 1, 2005.

A teacher with a psychiatric disorder is an inspiration to first grade children?

In a true free market it is doubtful that this woman would make any money because most parents would not want their first grade child in the room with a teacher who cannot speak the language and who suffers from mental disorders.  But since we have unions controlling everything and liberal court systems like those in MA teachers like this are able to keep their jobs and tax payers are continued to be forced to pay for the services of people they would very likely never choose on their own.