The striking thing about last night's meeting was the breech of this norm by the last speaker, BCPS math teacher James Beam.
Beam is the organizer of End AIM Now, a Facebook page that has attracted 1,600 members in 11 days. While criticizing AIM, here's what Beam said about Superintedent Joe Hairston:
With the dawn of the Articulated Instruction Module (AIM) we have seen Dr. Hairston ascend to his throne. He no longer works collaboratively with us. Cronies are allowed to make decisions in his absence and we are forced to accept that there is no check against this new found unbridled authority. New policy immediately displaces everything that we have come to believe and trust as best practices.The applause following Beam's comments was among the most enthusiastic and prolonged that I've heard at a board meeting.
Meetings are now held in secret, to the point that we cannot find out who is attending them, let alone see a copy of their minutes. Our teachers and administrators are afraid to speak out against this because they fear losing the livelihood that feeds their family.
The outsider has become king. He rules with an iron fist, and we suffer.
One thing that mystifies me is the blandness of the Sun's coverage. Here's the bowdlerized soundbite from Beam that Liz Bowie and her editors chose to include:
James Beam, a math teacher from Parkville High School, praised Hairston for some of his previous initiatives. But he said with AIM, "He no longer works collaboratively with us." Beam said the AIM progress reports "should be taken off the table."Don't they want to sell newspapers?
Ann Miller did a much better job in the Examiner.
It seems to me that Dr. Hairston continues to underestimate the breadth and depth of opposition to AIM.
Hairston blamed the outcry on some ill-informed teachers who he said were blowing the issue out of proportion and wanting to create a controversy where there was none.It's time for him to wake up and smell the coffee.
"These people are creating the crisis out there," he said.
This BCPS parent thinks James Beam's aim is right on target.