Requiring the teachers to reapply for their positions could help improve the level of professionalism at the school, but only if the bigger problem of student behavior is addressed. And in the future, it sounds like Dr. Maxwell could learn a few things himself about employee relations and team building. The hurried manner in which he addressed the teachers and Mr. Lilley, without providing a Q&A session, is shameful and shows little courage as a leader.
George Sass Annapolis
School houses excellent program
Superintendent Maxwell's decision to zero-base the entire staff at Annapolis High School was akin to throwing the baby out with the bath water.
Within the struggling classrooms is a top-notch International Baccalaureate program that houses students who are surpassing national test scores, participating in national and international community service projects, winning math competitions, and running a model United Nations.
Why must these IB teachers reapply for their jobs?
It's an insult to their capabilities and dedication - and it wouldn't surprise me if many of them chose to apply to work in a different county this fall where they may once again find themselves to be a valued commodity. That would be a huge loss for Annapolis High.
Stacy Korbelak Odenton
The writer is the parent of an IB student at Annapolis High School.
Annapolis High is healing, not failing
I have three students attending AHS. I try to stay in touch with the staff, students and other parents as much as I can.
I find the school, staff, students and parents reflect the real world. It is a rich, warm and culturally diverse family.
There are problems but they are minor when compared to the richness of the culture and sprit that has evolved since Eric Smith and Deborah Williams stripped the school of its staff, spirit, dignity and history.
Annapolis High School is not failing. It is healing. What is failing is the school board and the community for allowing the school to be gutted five years ago.
Can we survive the second coming? If the staff has to be zero based so does the entire board.
In his letter on Wednesday, Dr. Maxwell said, "I hope to assemble a team to not only improve the school, but make it a showcase for Anne Arundel County."
Duh. Look again. It already is.
John Howser Annapolis
Try giving teachers support
If the number of murders increased or the number of fires due to arson became rampant, would there be a clean sweep from "top dog" police and fire chiefs, all the way down to new recruits? No. The reason is that they have no control over those variables.
By the same token, how can every staff member be held responsible for the AYP issues? Many interventions have been in place and yet, the students do not come. Tutoring by adults, teachers, peers, community members; extra study sessions; after-school HSA practice tests with transportation and pizza provided; teachers available for help; intervention for targeted at-risk youth, of which less than half signed up.
Our AYP failures in English 10 and the graduation rate certainly have a direct correlation to the absentee rate. Students not in their seats at school, are not going to pass standardized tests because they lack adequate preparation. And if you don't come to school, don't pass your courses, how can you graduate?
Take the pressure off the teachers. Give them support: longer school days that start later, alternative places for education for those unable to learn with the rest of the student body, and the end of the A/B day scheduling.
Try these interventions before you get rid of our teachers.
Pam Bukowski Annapolis
The writer is a parent, volunteer and former teacher at Annapolis High School.
Shake-up is good for school
As a parent of a freshman at Annapolis High School, I support the superintendent's decision.
There is a portion of the student body that has performed well and continues to perform well - but the contingent of students that continue to struggle, fall through the cracks and simply drop out is a concern not only for the school system but also the whole community.
Though change is difficult, in this case a shake-up is good.
The acknowledgment and action taken by this school administration should be applauded. The process for improvement should be supported and scrutinized by the public as well as the city, county and state governments.
Vicki Barstow Annapolis
Parents, community are the real problem
What an insult this is to the teachers.
The state wants to take over the school, but it doesn't have a plan or it would have suggested it by now.
The problem is not the teachers. It's the parents, the community. You can't force people to care.
Teachers should stand together and all relocate. Maybe Dr. Maxwell will teach a class or two.
Robert Moore Brooklyn Park