No students to teach this week
From our first guest poster, a Baltimore City high school teacher:
Why are we here right now?
My co-workers and I have been asking ourselves that question all week.
The last day of school for Baltimore City students and teachers is today. However, many, if not all, high schools administered final exams last week, on Monday 6/1, Tuesday 6/2 and Wednesday 6/3. That leaves seven days – count 'em: Thursday 6/4, Friday 6/5, Monday 6/8, Tuesday 6/9, Wednesday 6/10, Thursday 6/11 and Friday 6/12 – of school without any significant purpose. My students know that they took their exams and that grades were turned in. They’re also smart enough to figure out that once grades are turned in, none of the work they do will count for anything. So why keep school open for seven more days?
We have been told that these are "regular” school days – which is not true since virtually no students are present. I am not exaggerating when I say that I saw about 10-15 students in our school Thursday. I stood at one entrance to our building Thursday morning and exactly six students arrived. Six. This is a total waste of everyone's time (not to mention money – think about all those bus tickets!), and it sends a terrible message to our kids.
Why wasn’t the exam schedule pushed back to coincide with the end of school? From what I understand, that is what will be done next year, but in the meantime, this week has been an absolute joke. Furthermore, my understanding is that schools have been receiving complaints from parents and Dr. Alonso, who all are concerned that instruction is not taking place. I think the parents have every right to be outraged that their students are not getting an education this week, but I find it laughable that Dr. Alonso is also demanding that these be treated as regular school days. Did he really think that keeping exams at the beginning of June was a good idea, and that instruction would actually happen after final exams? Did he think that attendance would be normal? Did he think that this was the best utilization of time, money and resources?
I am curious to know the thoughts and opinions of other teachers, parents and students in Baltimore City. Have you had the same experience this week? Additionally, does anyone know what the end-of-year calendars look like in other districts?