Teach­ers not to blame for grad­ing pol­icy prob­lems

Baltimore Sun - - BUSINESS - Abby Beytin, Tow­son The writer is pres­i­dent or the Teach­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Bal­ti­more County (TABCO).

Too of­ten, when new school poli­cies or pro­grams fal­ter, teach­ers are re­flex­ively blamed. I’m sure that thought crossed many teach­ers’ minds when they read parts of The Sun’s ar­ti­cle on changes to the new BCPS grad­ing pol­icy (“Bal­ti­more County School Sys­tem Mod­i­fies New Grad­ing Pol­icy,” Nov. 3)

In an email to teach­ers the day af­ter The Sun ar­ti­cle was pub­lished, Bal­ti­more County Pub­lic Schools Chief Aca­demic Of­fi­cer Ver­letta White made it clear that she does not be­lieve that teach­ers mis­in­ter­preted the pol­icy. She also made it clear that the sys­tem must do a bet­ter job of clar­i­fy­ing the pro­ce­dures and of­fer­ing more op­por­tu­ni­ties to the teach­ers. We have worked with Su­per­in­ten­dent Dal­las Dance, Ms. White and many oth­ers on the BCPS staff to im­ple­ment the new pro­ce­dures man­ual. This is a “pi­lot” year and there are many is­sues that arise in such a huge un­der­tak­ing. As with any new ini­tia­tive, we will have to ad­dress the un­in­tended con­se­quences.

There is much more to the story. Teach­ers have been ask­ing for a draft of the grad­ing and re­port­ing hand­book since last year. Teach­ers have been ask­ing for suf­fi­cient train­ing and time to make sure the new pol­icy is im­ple­mented with fidelity, with ef­fi­ciency and with the kinks and un­in­tended con­se­quences worked out in ad­vance.

Teach­ers are now try­ing to nav­i­gate the con­fu­sion and in­creased work­load caused by this roll­out and keep our fo­cus where we want it to be: on our stu­dents and their suc­cess.

Our teach­ers are the true ed­u­ca­tion ex­perts. We have many ideas about how to im­prove this pol­icy. I’ve heard dozens upon dozens of them when I visit schools and talk with teach­ers ev­ery day, and I hope we have the op­por­tu­nity to make the ideas of our teach­ers a real­ity.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.