Hundreds of city teachers await word of school placements
Hundreds of Baltimore city teachers are awaiting word of whether or not they will set foot in a classroom next year.
On Monday, we ran a story that explained some of the back story of how teachers come to be displaced. The story also explored some of the concerns of the Baltimore Teachers Union regarding the current climate for veteran teachers in the district. "Age discrimination" was referenced, which the district disputed.
A veteran teacher from Patterson High School went out on a limb to share her experience, from receiving an email informing her that she (and 43 others) would not be returning to the school next year, to attending a job fair that resembled "an auction in a sweatshop," according to one school leader who attended.
Patterson is undergoing an internal turnaround after 16 years of failing to meet state standards, and the district said that teachers who were not up to the challenges of Patterson's new structure, would be of better use at another school. The school system raised the point that Patterson not only hadn't made AYP for years, but that students were graduating and couldn't pass basic tests.
While many thought that this was a story about a bunch of veteran teachers complaining about losing their jobs, it was also about how teachers who have dedicated their entire careers to a city school were/are being treated. Moreover, there is a growing concern about the rising number of veteran teachers in the surplus pool every year, which the two recent buyout offers will help trim.
Lots of people have asked about the email that was sent to Patterson teachers, so I have posted it below. It was sent on May 12 at 6:12 p.m. by a staff member in the district's Human Capital office.
"As you are aware, Patterson High School has been identified as a turnaround school, and will implement school-wide strategies to dramatically improve student achievement. As part of this process and the annual budget process, every staff member and position within the school was being carefully considered. Based off of this careful analysis, school leadership has determined that Patterson High School is not the best match for you. As a school district that values mutual consent, you will have ample opportunity, however, to find a position and a school assignment that does maximize what you can offer our students.
In order to facilitate your reassignment, the Office of Human Capital will communicate updates regarding available opportunities for the upcoming school year; therefore, please continue to check your district email account regularly. In addition, we ask that you mark your calendar now for the Voluntary Transfer Fair on Wednesday, May 25. The fair will be an opportunity for you to meet principals, learn of other career opportunities, and help ensure that your placement is successful. This letters serves as automatic registration for the voluntary transfer process; therefore, there is no need for you to register online for the event.
We appreciate everything that you are doing for our students and our communities, and we look forward to working with you over the next few months to ensure that you find an assignment that best fits your needs and skills."