Frederick County Public Schools officials may force a new charter school to hire teachers of the county's choosing instead of the school's preferred candidates, according to the school's president.

Rather than let the Frederick Classical Charter School offer jobs to nine candidates who had passed a series of interviews and tests, FCPS' human resources department told the school to choose candidates who had not been interviewed, said school President Tom Neumark.

(41) comments


It is important to share that the teachers at FCCS fully support the policies and procedure set by FCPS. We are all FCPS employees and are all part of the Frederick County school system and should therefore abide by all policies and procedures set forth by the county and state.

All employees may be faced with being excessed because of circumstances beyond their control as many have mentioned. It is important that wherever these teachers are placed we accept them and welcome them into the school. They are first and foremost teachers...... #proudtobeateacher


I think what everyone is forgetting in this whole situation, is the children and how it will affect them. For those of you new to the problem, and read a newspaper article and then have an "educated opinion" of what the "law" is governing the issue at hand, let us discuss it a little further. First of, this has been an ongoing issue for the last 5 years when FCPS began to thwart every attempt FCCS and Mr. Neumark made to open this school. The newspaper article was printed because this was the last straw at every attempt to follow the rules and work with whatever FCPS through at them. The school is starting off with less funding than any public school in Frederick County. They made it work, thanks to donations, volunteers, and strategic planning by Mr. Neumark. Now for those of you only worried about your tax dollars, what about the taxpaying parents who are enrolled in FCCS for the fall would like their tax dollars to go toward their children and not yours, and no they should not have to "get out of Frederick" as some of you have so eloquently put. Some of you may find it ok to just accept what the governing bodies and not have the common sense to advocate for yourself by asking why. Like egomom stated, no public school teacher has ever lost their class room due to maternity leave nor sabbatical. Lack of funding or cut-backs, possibly but not 100% likely, because if they were that good at what they did the school would find a place for them. FCCS being a charter school and not a private school gives parents who feel public school is not the best route for there child but cannot afford private school another outlet. But once again close minded society wants us to just go with the flow or "get out". By not allowing FCCS to hire classically trained teachers we are just hurting the children. The best person for the job is one of the things that make this country so great. What you all should also remember is that the principal of FCCS is actually a teacher in Frederick and is on the same page as Mr. Neumark, and she is apart of the hiring of her teachers for this school and she is also not willing to except the teachers from this pool that FCPS wants hiring to be done from. So if one of these teachers colleagues finds them unacceptable then why should the parents and Mr. Neumark. So next time before you feel you have a valid opinion because you read a law book or because your child goes to public school or because you're a resident of Frederick maybe you should get the facts first before making an "educated" opinion. I applaud Mr. Neumark and the FCCS community for not just accepting the arbitrary rules, and I hope this does go to an appeal and they win.


and before the critics jump on yes I typed DCFS instead of FCPS along with a handful of other typos. Alas I am not perfect [smile]


BTW I have YET to see a teacher on Maternity leave LOSE a classroom, I guess all those longterm subs are there just for kicks huh. Great teachers are retained at all cost, not recycled because the dare to have a baby.


1. Good teachers don't get excessed and don't get "laid off" when enrollment drops.

2. Because of number one no principle can know who they are before they are hired because, they all know who the lemons are and they are likely on that list.

3. The one who are NOT lemons are local celebrities like Gary Brennen hiding our on the leave status while collecting a fat union check for many years. He will likely return to the classroom for 1 year so he can collect a tidy retirement at our expense and after years of being out of the classroom he will teach the poor children off of whom he profited.

4. Mr. Doerrer is quite right DCPS is a model for how to deal with charters. A nationally know model of WHAT NOT TO DO.

5. The Montessori charters better wake up and get off their high horse as well, they no longer have Angie Fish to protect them. The Primary class is MVMPCS is getting a recycled teacher too, one who is NOT Montessori trained, This is the STUPIDEST thing u have heard yet. A non-Montessori trained teacher would not have the first clue how to teach at this school furthermore the kids would be screwed for the future classes that are Montessori method. they are aghast but still operate in this delirious bubble that they can work it out with the county. Perhaps it is time to wake up and join forces? (not holding my breath)

If the precious union were not so hellbent on screwing the charters they would realize this sets the teachers up for failure as well as the school. And the kids oppss I am sorry THE CHILDREN-well we all know what they are gonna get....

All around FCPS can collectively pat themselves on the back for once again screwing the children for the sake of petty politics. Your children are pawns in a game of adult behaving badly.


I think choice is important, and these policies, old or new, take the choice out of the "consumer's" hands. Principals/Public Schools/Charter Schools/Private Schools should be able to hire and fire who they want. That is how any service industry operates. We trust the principal of our school to do that, right? If the school is not performing, be it charter school or standard school, principals should be at the mercy of the governing body.

As far as being on the waiting list for two different charter schools, again, choice is key! Why would you deny yourself a choice by not entering the lottery for all the charter schools?

Excessed teachers? Maybe I'm misunderstanding here, but are these people still getting paid by the county taxpayers without working? How long have some of these people been on the list? Please clear that up for me. I wasn't aware that Maryland had no formal teacher's unions. I apologize for assuming so.

No doubt Frederick County is top of the line when it comes to education. Again, choice and competition are not bad things, that is how we can challenge our county to stay on top!

Either way, may we just hope that these excessed teachers are good wholesome people who share ideals with the parents of the schools they teach in. That is all we can ask and we can hope the right people take the jobs!!


This is actually standard for all schools in the county. All building principals have excessed teachers placed in their building. This is a non story. The real story is why FCCS is not aware of such a common policy. I find it interesting that parents would have their child wait listed on both the Montessori charters and the Classical Charter - those are two pretty different approaches.


Basically they are looking to have a private school that can lord over the teachers without having to pay for that private school. If they do not get in to either there is little doubt in my mind will pull their child out to home school.

They want to have their cake and eat it too. Very few of them want to participate in public schools they just want to exact their price from the public schools. Their comments here are indicative of their opinions.


First off, let us be clear on who is on the "to be placed list." These are professional educators who are already employed by FCPS and need to be placed. They may be coming back from maternity leave, sabbatical for further education, or have had their current position excessed due to low enrollment at their current school. The circumstances are varied, their educational qualifications are not. These are professional educators, not unqualified rubes. This placement of these individuals in these circumstances occurs every year, and is common to the school system at this time of year.

If Mr. Neumark is unfamiliar with this policy, that is surprising, as he has appeared to be very thorough in his preparation. However, he and the Classical School's proponents simply cannot expect to take public funding and then not follow the rules as they exist. If that is what they expect, they should stop taking public money and simply open a private school. That is school choice.


I think he is just asking to interview the available candidates to see who would be the best fit for his school. My niece was hired as a teacher in the FCPS and she had to interview with the principal and office folks at the school in which she ended up teaching. Why is this accommodation allowed for the other schools but not afforded this Charter?


That is required for the INITIAL hiring into the system, but this is how it works (apparently, I'm not part of this system) once you are hired in and a part of the FCPS teacher pool. I would think you'd be allowed to interview if, say, there are two English teachers and want to pick among them.


This is not a conspiracy against charter schools, this is how FCPS staffs itself every year. The employees on the "to be placed list" are just that: employees. They alraedy have a job with FCPS. For circumstances out of their control - (see my previous post) sabbatical, maternity leave, illness, many varied reasons really, or simply the position at the previous school has stopped. Maybe the music department had less students in the band that year, for example, so the music teacher would go to a different school where the band was growing. It is not unlike a transfer within a company to a different location within the same company.

Since the Classical school is now a part of FCPS, taking County tax money, it is now part of the placement of the excessed techers. And no, the princpal of those schools where the excessed teacher is placed does not get to decide who is placed from off that list into the school. Mr. Neumark wants extra priveleges that his colleagues do not have.

The employee is simply placed, without an interview, because they do not need one. Job applicants sit for interviews, employees already have a job. These people being placed are employees. The article does not explain this procedure very clearly. So what Mr. Neumark is asking for is a changing of the rules. Again, as I wrote earlier, I am surprised that someone as thorough as he would be surprised by this practice. Those twenty employees mentioned in the article already have jobs, they need to be placed. And being part of the system, the Frederick Classical School may be where seven of them end up. Again, this is nothing against Mr. Neumark nor the Classical school; this is how the placing of excessed employees operates.


Mr. Neumark's M.O. has always been about not adhering to the rules that he does not agree with or finds inconvenient. It is about his agenda.


Why does the public school system in Maryland always have to play this game with the charter school?? Is the competition too much for the public school system and they know it??


Charter schools take public money so they invite the interference.


Nice to have all charter schools,no free bus service, cheaper for tax payers and safer when school lets out.Must be escorted by an adult,not just Ok??


1) A charter school is a PUBLIC school. The rules that govern the charter school in Frederick County have been known since the beginning. Why cry "foul" now?
2) It is illegal in the State of Maryland for teachers to belong to unions. They can have associations to represent their interests in contract negotiations and legal matters, but they have NO strike power as a true union does, ie-Pennsylvania. This is one reason why teachers in PA retire at or near full salary and MD teachers have a pension system that ranks in the bottom 5 of states in the nation.


Apparently that doesn't stop their union sorry """associations to represent their interests in contract negotiations and legal matters""" from having influence at the FCPS now does it?


In a democratic and free market society, competition and choice drive success. Why are schools any different? If the public school in my neighborhood is not ideal for my child, I should have the freedom to send my children to a different school that shares my ideals. This also makes the neighborhood public school continue to want to improve. If we think of education as a free market choice, as we do our produce, or our clothes we choose to buy, then price would come down, efficiency would go up, and everyone wins! Get the middle-men and the government out of my ability to choose! FCCS has worked very hard to stick with their ideals and I work very hard to stick to my ideals. Why should someone be allowed to teach my child just because they are on some list? I want the best candidate to be at the front of my daughter's class, not some union-priveledged, dues paying puppet who has no idea about Classical Education.


You are free to purchase a house in whichever school district you deem the best. If you want total choice, choose a private school. If you want to use our taxpayer dollars you have some restrictions like everyone else.


Ah, so those with the means to move will move where the good schools are, but those that can't are stuck. How progressive.

Why not inject genuine choice into the system, where parents can send their children to the school of their choice regardless of their address? Because it challenges the status quo and too many entrenched interests.

There is no economic, moral or pedagogical reason to object to school choice. It goes on in countries around the world (with better educational statistics than the US) with great success. Only shills for the establishment object.


The only shill here seems to be you, ticking off every single one of Mr. Neumark's talking points.

When you actually analyze the talking points and compare apples to apples you will find they generally do not add up.

Case in point according to a study done in Florida Charter School students in high performing districts, like Frederick County, generally underperform their peers. That is one of the many facts that Mr. Neumark frequently glosses over. Another fact is that students in our high performing schools out perform their peers in other countries. You are trying to fix a problem that does not exist in Frederick County.

What we should be doing is pumping resources in to the Academy/Magnet model which has much better results.


Actually I have no ties with any "establishment" and don't have children in the FCPS system at this time. You see, I prefer to actually FIX the perceived problems so everyone benefits rather than saying "to heck with you rabble, we want our own playpen". If you don't like public schools, and they certainly aren't perfect, then try to fix them. If you can't fix them then take your OWN money and do what you want with it.

Trust me, I'm not pleased with unions in general and teachers unions specifically (I am a big fan of M. Rhee), but this charter school knew, or should have known, the rules and to complain now is just pure BS.


It's amazing to me that Mr. Neumark did not know this, especially since there are other charter schools here that have dealt with this previously.

What does that say about his leadership and management? Does he operate in a vacuum?


Where in the article does it say he was unaware of this possibility? FCPS has been extraordinarily capricious in their dealings with the Classical Charter. If I was Mr. Neumark, I'd be just as frustrated.


Then perhaps Mr Neumark should have started a private school, instead of a school that depends on interacting with an organization he doesn't like. Is this any different than has occurred with the existing charter schools? If so, what has he learned from their experience?

I base my comment on the fact that he's complaining about issues he should have known about from the start (like the July 15 date) and should have taken that into account when interviewing and selecting candidates. He talks as if this is news to him when he should have known before the process began. Is this article somehow inaccurate or missing the point?


It sounds like the issue isn't that HR wants them to offer jobs to people on this "to be placed" list, but that they (HR) won't work witht he school to allow it to interview those candidates first. FCPS HR is telling the school it has to hire these teachers without being allowed to do ANY kind of a background check to determine that they are qualified to teach the material, or that they would be a good fit for the teaching methods the school plans to use. They won't even give them the names of the teachers that HR is telling them they have to hire.


The charter school had to have been given permission to interview and now FCPS is changing up on them. So much for the best person for the job getting hired


Kind of like voting for the BOCC, not always the best person gets the job. [beam]


It's taken several years to get approval for the school. Didn't they ever meet with HR to talk about the hiring process? What other procedures do they have to follow as part of FCPS? It should have been worked out before now.


seems to me that defeats the purpose, they should at least be able to interview the teachers and find the ones who will fit the best.


We need to end charter schools separate but equal is not equal.


If there is a better model of education out there, how would we go about implementing it if not incrementally? Charter schools allow the public system to explore new methods, curricula, and models without wholesale adoption. If Classical Charter is successful and grows, they can expand, and the wider public system can adopt some of their best practices benefiting all students in the county. Failure would mean a small loss to the county. It's a large upside/small downside scenario that is key to building successful systems.


No, if this school fails then the whole system pays. Under NCLB if one school fails to meet goals then the whole system fails. There is a huge downside to are already highly successful schools.

If the parents do not want to deal with the fact the teachers are under a union contract then they can go and set up their own private school.


And they are being set up for failure by the FCPS HR department who is forcing them to hire unknown individuals off the "nobody else wants them" list. It is no secret that our public educators have nothing but total disdain for any alternative education choice in this community. This action drives home that point rather well. " is being made by the FCPS HR department at their discretion, and is not based on any state or county law,"


Another effort to rewrite history. The correct facts are given above.

FCPS keeps a “to be placed” list of teachers who are returning from leave or were laid off because school enrollment declined, Neumark said. FCPS' HR staff will not allow Frederick Classical to offer jobs to external candidates until all 20 people on the “to be placed” list are assigned to a school.


It is part of the legally binding contract between the teachers and the school system, which now also includes this Charter.

Mr. Neumark's lack of research on the topic is not the FCPS HR's issue. He frequently has shown that he does not believe the rules apply to him.


The charter school people aren't fools
they pay taxes but want private schools
you can see what they've done
is take their money and run
if we all did that law would not rule.

We need to get rid of teachers unions.


If the Superintendent also fell under these rules, we might just as well have another person at the helm of FCPS (and that might not be a bad thing). That said, parents' demands for innovative charter schools--which FCPS cannot provide--is forcing us and many others to move to other states. It's high time we grant Charter's their rightful place in turning around our [Nation's] public schools, and get our children to the top of the world rankings ... and that begins with encouraging innovation, removing bureaucracy, and curbing union controls.


If any individual or group wants to develop an innovative plan they are free to do so without involvement of the public school system. This is called having a private school. But if an individual or group chooses to have a charter within a public school system, they are bound to the hiring procedures of all public school teachers. By the way, there is no teacher "union" just an association that cannot strike, etc. as a union can do. Talk is cheap so let's have some action...when are you moving to one of those other states?

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