Open letter to the CEO of Baltimore City Schools

Posted: March 23, 2017 by teachkirsch in Uncategorized

Good morning Dr. Santelises,

I hope this finds you well. I teach 12th grade English at Patterson High School. When you were CAO, I deeply appreciated your commitment to academic excellence and rigor. In your brief tenure as CEO, I have seen that several of your initiatives make more sense academically than some initiatives I have seen in my 11 years with BCPSS.

However, the trend this year to close the grading window on the date the quarter ends is antithetical to rigor and high standards.

My students are writing 2-4 page research papers on Hamlet. In order for me to grade these carefully, I need more than an hour and a half, which is the time I have between the end of Quarter 3 and the close of the grade posting window. If I make the essays due before the quarter ends, I don’t have the authentic deadline of the quarter’s end to enforce the reality of deadlines. Moreover, if I make the paper due before the end of the quarter, I have to waste several instructional days with “filler” work that won’t take very long to grade.

Please extend the posting windows to give teachers at least a full weekend after the end of each quarter to carefully grade our students’ work.


Iris Kirsch

  1. teachkirsch says:

    I got a response from someone in her office this morning, stating that my school could easily get an extension to the posting window. She said the issue was due to the new software we are using, called InfiniteCampus. While I appreciate their quick reply and clear solution, I am concerned that the needs of software applications are being put above the needs of teachers and students.


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