Dumping on teachers doesn't pay off in Baltimore County

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Teachers in Baltimore County, Maryland have been up in arms and for good reason. In a classic school district blunder, the 6,000 plus teacher corps was informed in December that, on top of the traditional report cards, they would have to complete a new reporting requirement each grading period: an exercise that involves rating each one of their students on over 100 different specific skills.

The thinking, as we understand it, was to give parents way more information than any sane parent should want on little Johnnie or Tanesha's progress.

The real blow was delivered to high school teachers who typically have class rosters of 100 or more students. They would be logging in each quarter some 10,000 individual assessments of skills.

Disticts-Gone-Wild!--perhaps more accurately known as the "Articulated Instruction Module"--was developed by a Baltimore County district administrator, Barbara Dezmon, reputedly during her free time. In a legal agreement with the district, Dezmon retains the copyright on her innovation, provided the county got to use it for free. However, other districts as eager to antagonize their teachers will have to pay for the privilege.

A Facebook protest group, "End AIM Now," was started on January 2 and already has over 1,700 members. The teachers' union also organized a petition and ran a letter writing campaign directed at decision makers and the media. The protesting paid off this week with an announcement from the superintendent that no implementation will take place until a committee studies the matter further.