The summer vacation is coming to an end for teachers. A former colleague shared her feelings about the upcoming year in the Baltimore County Public Schools. These stories are not well-known or publicized for the simple reason that teachers are unwilling to be identified if voicing any criticism of the current climate and practices. The following account from a high school teacher is typical. It is a sad commentary.
“I am sick to my stomach thinking about this school year. Did you know that Dr. Dance either forced to resign or moved most of the specialists/coordinators? Have you investigated the New Grading policy? How about the required small group education (I have four preps of upper level students. If I were to group them as desired, I would basically have 12 preps every day). I am no stranger to change and it doesn’t scare me, but making all of these extreme changes in one year is a recipe for disaster. The new grading will not benefit the lower functioning kids. They are to be graded only on assessments. They will have no credit for classwork, homework, participation… and will be allowed to take assessments over and over until they pass them with at least a 50. There is no grade below a 50.
There were still over 100 positions left to fill as of last Friday. There will no doubt be an exodus of new teachers in a few months once they become totally confused and frustrated. I could go on and on. Something needs to be done. I wish I were retiring so that I could speak up, but I might wind up being fired in the current environment.”