Teachers union ticked
In an email exchange this morning, Cheryl Bost, president of the Teachers Association of Baltimore County, was smarting from comments that schools Superintendent Joe A. Hairston made in discussing recent test results showing that less than half of the students at some largely minority schools had passed state exams required for graduation.
In my story last week, Hairston said that some of the county's high schools are not receiving "the same level or quality of education" as others. In addition to other reasons, he said that is partly because of a lack of leadership at some schools.
Cheryl agreed to let me share some of the comments from her email this morning:
Many teachers and principals are upset about Dr. Hairston’s comments, and that includes teachers in non-challenging high schools. They feel as if he put them under the bus and anyone in his leadership has no responsibility. The schools that didn’t pass HSA’s are our most challenging schools with a high turnover of administrators and teachers. They are the schools that have the same number of staffing as other schools and research shows lower class sizes works to improve achievement. They are the same schools that BCPS pilots or implements every program that comes down the educational bandwagon without the time to find out if the programs work or not. ...
Many teachers say they want time to teach and the appropriate resources to teach instead of time being taken away for this demand or that data collection requirement or new curriculum after new curriculum. We need to stop trying to beat the test and get back to good strong teaching. ...
I don’t understand how the Superintendent can fault the teachers and principals when leadership starts at the top. I have yet to learn about him or an area assistant superintendent going into one of our challenging schools, sitting down with all of the employees, and asking," What do you need us to do to help you be more successful in getting student achievement up?" It’s not a hard question, but maybe they are afraid of what they will have to do to help or afraid to acknowledge what they are doing isn’t working.