Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Missing Man

Continuing my post from yesterday--where was OMHS Alpha Achievers' Faculty Sponsor when this lovely photo was taken?

Some of my readers have pointed out that Mr. James retired at the end of 2015. He did retire from teaching, but continued on in his paid position with Alpha Achievers. That is, until he abruptly received this email:

We are processing your last salary invoice for the year, and I want to thank you for all your work. We have now reached the amount that we were able to allocate for your work at Oakland Mills.
I will be contacting the principal for directions regarding the upcoming school year. Please feel free to volunteer your time and talents at Oakland Mills. However, if any essential functions surface for which Oakland Mills needs representation, let me know.

This was before Spring Break. Hmm. Let's think. We have a retired Howard County Teacher who helped found this organization, who didn't want to retire because he cared so much about what would happen to Alpha Achievers at Oakland Mills High School, and you let him know you are done paying him via email.

Feel free to donate your time, though.

I find this to be profoundly disrespectful, both to Mr. James and his students. How much commitment are we showing to the Alpha Achievers if we basically kiss off their sponsor with three months of the school year left? I guess we don't truly value the group or its mission all that much. Is it any wonder that some people have come to wince when they hear the oft-touted "World Class" claim?

World Class is as World Class does. And this, my friends, is just not doing it. You can see the mindset that allows students fall through the cracks when it is equally apparent that we are doing the same to teachers. That abysmal Teacher Job Satisfaction Survey? Not too surprising.

In the meantime, parents who have reached out to the principal at OMHS have been told that "there may be some misunderstanding" about Mr. James and that they're "finding the money" to keep him on. However, as of yesterday no official announcement has ever been made to parents and they are in the dark as to whether Mr. James is returning.

Well, this seems like a good time to have the Superintendent and Chair of the Board of Education stop by and have their pictures taken against the backdrop of hastily assembled Alpha Achievers.

Of course it does.

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