Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Day 11

All of the students were immediately sent to large assemblies this morning. Because of staff shortages and unexpected departures and assorted resource troubles the City Schools headquarters decided to enact bewilderingly complex schedule changes two weeks into the school year.

8th graders gathered in the cafeteria. Lukie and I watched in horror as all of our class role models and student of the week nominees were moved into the first-floor eighth-grade sections. In exchange we got loaded down with poor performers, severely emotionally disturbed youths, and Code 504 behavioral problems. Our average class size went from 18 to 34. We have 24 desks and chairs and 25 books and workbooks. From 9am until 10am we had students sitting on the radiator and on the floor. All of the work the students have done so far is now counting as extra credit, because we have to start the year over with a blank slate. We have students from different sections now mixed in with current students--there's no other way to fairly get them on the same page.

What the fuck is wrong with the City Schools? We've got a huge achievement gap with suburban and county schools already and they make bone-head moves like this? A lot of careful cultivation of student/teacher relationships has been totally wrecked, the students are thrown into an entire new schedule just as they started to adjust, and there are now different and more threatening bullies all over the place. We have to start over again. New folders, new contact information, new classroom and homeroom arrangements. New gradebooks and rosters. And the first No Child Left Behind mandated assessments are scheduled for Friday. We're never going to get the required content back on pace.

6 comments:

alicia said...

how can they do that? That's insane, no wonder the schools in the city are testing so poorly. You should definitely complain to whoever did this mess...it's awful

Nyarlathotep said...

It sucks. Apparently this happens every year. The headquarters on North Avenue needs to be blow to smithereens. Then the teachers could do their jobs and the kids could learn.

Flea said...

Every post about what you deal with every day just blows my mind.
And I'm not talking about the kids.

Silenus said...

I don't even want to ask what a Code 504 behavioral problem is.

Tanner M. said...

Wow... this is terrible. Hello future of America.

Heather said...

I wish I could say that I was shocked. Every single friend I've had who has taught in the Baltimore City schools has been put through ridiculous things like this. It makes me heartsick for those children and it's incredibly frustrating that nothing ever improves.