Incoming Baltimore schools CEO Gregory Thornton sent a letter to all city principals this week, explaining why he's not here in Baltimore and encouraging them to stay strong through the rest of the school year.
The letter was sent one day after The Sun reported on interim CEO Tisha Edwards' controversial plan that has one-third of the city's school leaders facing disciplinary action and 22 charter school operators on high-alert for their absenteeism rates and attendance submission. You can read that story here.
You can also read a follow-up post on how Thornton has tackled attendance issues in Milwaukee here.
Thornton's letter to principals is below:
March 19, 2014
Good Day Baltimore Principals,
The school year is rapidly coming to an end, and what a year it was. You know it was a bad winter, when Baltimore had their snowiest March in almost 20 years. Wisconsinites plan for a “six month winter”, but Baltimore is usually more blessed.
I write to introduce myself as your new CEO and partner in your work to enhance learning opportunities for the children of Baltimore. I had the pleasure of meeting many of you last month at Frederick Douglass High School. If you were present, you heard my comments about the importance of the role of the principal. I know firsthand of the challenges, workload and joy of being a principal. As principal, you play a major role in the success and future of our young people and the City of Baltimore. I look forward to working with you to not only build on the work that has been done, but to partner with you to take on the work that is yet to come.
As much as I would like to be in Baltimore during the next three months, my time will be limited. In Milwaukee Public Schools, we are working hard to complete the current school year and budgets are being developed for our next school year. And, of course, there are proms, graduations, and much to celebrate. It is necessary that I remain in Milwaukee to complete my commitments and responsibilities to the children of Milwaukee Public Schools. Then, it is full speed ahead to my new hometown – Baltimore!
I am a firm believer that it is not how you start, but how you finish. Please finish this year strong and come back to work rested, rejuvenated and ready to take on the challenges and opportunities that are ahead of us.
I look forward to meeting each of you, visiting your school and working as a team on behalf of the students we are entrusted to serve.
Gregory E. Thornton