A Little Bit of History — Leading Up to and Including the November 5 Board of Education Meeting

Dr. S. Dallas Dance [link to page], Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent, engaged Scholastic Scheduling Solutions to evaluate the Baltimore County master scheduling process, which has been haphazard in the past, and (he perceives) causing several problems. Additional studies were done by the consultants to recommend improved practices for master scheduling, and to evaluate the bell schedule of County schools.

Links:

Board of Education Meeting 11-5-2013 (alternate direct link)

The decision came to our attention shortly after the November 5 Board meeting, but was obviously in play before then. At that meeting:

Abby Beytin, President of TABCO (Teachers Association of Baltimore County — the collective bargaining unit), speaks (starting at 7min30sec) on the master schedule change, and expresses dissatisfaction with the fact that the change was not discussed with the teachers’ organization in advance, and that self-determination is being taken away from the schools.

Bill Lawrence, Executive Director of CASE (Council of Administrative and Supervisory Employees — the principal’s union) speaks (beginning at 18min50sec) on the change, and stipulates that Baltimore County is highly diverse, and one size does not fit all. He suggests that each school should retain the right to choose, and requested a delay in implementation for further study and comment.

Superintendent Dance speaks (beginning at 1hr10min) on the subject of scheduling, and summarizes that, at one year into a four year process, and that the factors in his decision are:

  • mobility of students, primarily within Baltimore County, causes some students to have to “sit out” and miss classes or repeat courses
  • “student choice” (primarily as it relates to a partnership with CCBC) needs to be increased;
  • staff allocation should be increased (primarily applied to schools with eight period days); and
  • he is working with schools (also with Assistant Superintendents Mark Bedell and Maria Lowry) on the best approach.

It’s fairly obvious that Dr. Dance needs a little help realizing how different Hereford High School is from the other 60% of the County. That’s why we’re here.

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