I retired in 2004 after 34 years of teaching in the Baltimore City Public Schools. I must have inherited a good work ethic from my parents because I rarely was out sick even after some pretty dicey medical issues.
That being said, I have a perfect right to criticize what I believe to be a lack of organization, expertise, helpfulness, and common sense in the halls of the administration of the BCPS.
Most recently, Penny, a friend of mine, decided to apply for a new teaching assignment in another county of Maryland after teaching in Baltimore City for a few years. There is a window of opportunity that makes life a bit easier for teachers trying to transfer from the City to other counties. The process becomes much easier when completed by July 15. After July 15 it becomes more difficult, especially when one has to deal with the employees of the Human Relations Department (Personnel) in the City Schools.
My friend Penny received an offer to teach in a neighboring county and needed to resign from Baltimore City. The July 15th date had passed so there was concern whether Baltimore City would assist as energetically. The answer was clear shortly after the "magic" date passed. Her resignation was taken to the Human Relations Department in the City and accepted. Penny was given a signed form which indicated that she was terminated "without prejudice". This form was taken to the neighboring county personnel officer who told her they needed an "official" letter on Baltimore City stationary confirming the resignation. The Human Relations officer in the City told her he did not have the authority to produce such a letter and referred her to his supervisor. His supervisor told her that he could not produce such a letter and referred her back to the Human Relations Officer. Penny told the neighboring county personal officer about this and he told her to get the name and/or email address of the Human Relations officer in the City so he could contact him and work on this Catch 22.
Penny was then directed to the Records Office in the City Schools, perhaps they could write the letter. She followed this request to that office with multiple emails to everyone in the Human Relations Department of the City Schools she could think of. She received a reply from some upper-level administrator who said that the letter was no problem and that she would take care of it right away.
I sent an email to a friend of mine who worked in that same Personnel Office in the City for many years. He was so frustrated with the operation of that office that he left about 5 years ago and took a similar job in a neighboring county. His reply to me, after I told him about all this nonsense was "they haven't changed their ways since I left...in fact it's gotten worse!"
If I had any thought about NOT retiring in 2004 from the City Schools it was only for a brief fleeting moment. Is it any wonder that good teachers are leaving there in droves?