Guidance for Parents and Stakeholders
By Julie Henn, Baltimore County Board of Education
I understand many parents and other stakeholders have questions and concerns about curriculum and instruction – particularly around the teaching of controversial topics. This post is NOT to open debate – but rather to share information on current Board policies and channels for public input / information. Know the policies; know where to get more information; and know where to communicate concerns and how to affect change.
Policy 6000 – Curriculum and Instruction
“The Board of Education of Baltimore County (Board) recognizes that the foundation of the school system’s educational program is a systemwide curriculum designed and structured so that Baltimore County Public Schools’ (BCPS) students will attain high academic achievement and experience continuous growth by participating in a rigorous instructional program. The Board recognizes that instructional materials should effectively support and enrich the educational programs of the school system. All curriculum must align with federal and state academic standards and requirements, be designed to increase student performance, reflect cultural responsiveness and provide materials for instruction and assessments that reflect the diversity of students and staff and that are geared toward the understanding and appreciation of culture, class, language, ethnicity, ability and other differences that contribute to each student based on measurable objectives.”– POL6000_010521_finalized.pdf
Policy 6002 – Selection of Instructional Materials
“The Superintendent is required by Board policy to establish guidelines for the selection of instructional materials based on standards of quality, criteria, and protocols to ensure that the materials for teaching and learning support the curriculum, meet the diverse needs of students, and adhere to applicable federal and state laws. The Superintendent is also required by Board policy to evaluate instructional materials, including assessing the appropriateness of materials based on measurable outcomes and their link to achievement at all levels. Before renewing or modifying any contract for the purchase of instructional materials requiring the expenditure of public funds, the Superintendent is required to evaluate the effectiveness of the instructional materials and to communicate the results of the evaluation(s) to the Board.”– POL6002-090914_Finalized.pdf
Policy 6102 – Teaching of Controversial Issues
“It is the responsibility of Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) to develop students’ abilities to think reflectively and responsibly based upon opposing points of view and multiple perspectives.A controversial issue may be considered for classroom instruction or discussion when the following criteria are met:A. The issue is related to the instructional goals of the course of study and level of maturity of the students.B. The controversial issue is presented in an impartial and objective manner and in an atmosphere that is free from bias and prejudice.C. The controversial issue presented encourages open discussion and a respect for conflicting beliefs and opinions.”More Information / Channels for Concerns / Contacts:– POL6102_100819_Finalized.pdf
What You Can Do
1) Discuss concerns with teachers and school administrators. Ask to review materials of concern.
3) Contact key decision makers.
- Superintendent Dr. Darryl Williams
- Dr. Mary Boswell McComas (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Megan Shay (email@example.com)
- Board of Education (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- State Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury (email@example.com)
- State Board of Education (firstname.lastname@example.org)