The Baltimore area is growing more diverse, but the schools are getting more segregated by race and class. Is your child in a segregated or integrated school? We'd like to hear about your experiences. Share your thoughts here.
Thank you for this deeply researched and deeply moving article. It is incredibly saddening to hear that the opportunity to build meaningful integration was squashed. With school 'choice' taking over the driver's seat in the national education narrative, articles like yours are ever more critical. I did want to share that, despite what we hear over and again, there ARE families who do value integration, and who are deliberately opting in to integrated/integrating schools. My (white) children, now in middle school, attend an overwhelmingly minority school, and one that is also over 90% free/reduced lunch. And yes, they are doing very well both academically and socially. Having advocated for integration hyperlocally for over a decade, I have partnered with like-minded parents across the country to lift up the benefits of integration and to build a grassroots movement to support it. If anyone out there is interested, join us! IntegratedSchools dot org
Looks like there has been no improvement at all in the last 30 years if you look at the graph "With integration the achievement gap shrinks" Maybe the early gains of integration seen only in the black students from the late 70's to 1990 have already been captured. I think the burden of proof lies on the proponents of even more integration to show the benefits. These graphs show no benefits to achievement for white students. Black students have seem to have also plateaued after 1990. Do black student test scores correlate to the % of white students in a school? Is there some optimum % white students that is most beneficial to black students? Look more closely at the data. Informed opinion does not seem to be the point of this article. I also strongly object to the indiscriminate use of racial identifiers of people quoted; bad editing.
Thank you for this series - it is well written and thought-provoking. We are a white, middle class family. I think often and hard about segregation, integration, and other challenges facing City Schools. For PreK, we sent our son to our neighborhood school, which is about 98% African American, and like Henderson-Hopkins, has a brand new, beautiful building. The first day after moving to the City from out of state, I volunteered at the school, painting the walls in preparation for the new school year. I was committed to being active in the school and in the education advocacy community. Despite ideals, commitment, advocacy, and beautiful facilities, our family encountered numerous and significant problems with the school, my son had a rough year, and we moved him to a charter school in kindergarten that has a student population that is about half black and half white. The difference was night and day. His current school is diverse, joyful, intentional, and high performing. One by one, I've observed other involved, middle class families formerly committed to our neighborhood school and to racial/socioeconomic integration move their children to other schools. New facilities, resources, and involved parents do not always result in a thriving school community despite best intentions.
I have a younger child. I had hoped to send her to the Henderson-Hopkins Early Childhood Center after learning about it (I applied for a spot for my son at the new school in kindergarten; we were far down on the waiting list). The Early Childhood Center has Head Start slots for low-income children and tuition-based slots. Unfortunately, with a $19,000/year price tag, the tuition-based slots are only accessible to upper-income families, not middle class families. Recognizing this, a foundation stepped forward at one point and offered subsidies to middle class families to enroll their children in the center. I applied for one such subsidy, and never heard back. I understand that the subsidies have now been discontinued. Thus there's a mismatch between the intention of integration, and the reality of a business model that needs $19,000/year from tuition-paying families to be sustainable.
Using school boundaries may be a temporary solution. However, it would be just that temporary. The fact is that those who could will move to a neighborhood with a higher percentage of affluent families. We have to change the mindset. That can only be done by ensuring that all schools are performing. Rather than changing boundaries why not move teachers? Companies do it all the time. They move employees to other departments, and other sites. It makes for more well rounded employees. The Same would apply for Teachers. Access to new ideas, the accountability that comes with having a new boss, and developing relationships across the district would be beneficial to all.
Eli was correct about one thing, if a student is reinforced in the understanding that hard work will be rewarded, then half the battle is won. Students heed to be held to high expectations and excuses for low achievements are unacceptable.
This is not about race, but about conduct. No excuses based on perceived prejudice or for that matter the occasional setback that may be based on real prejudice. Put it aside and do the best you can at all times, in school or in the workplace.
There is no free lunch for anyone. Don't emulate entertainers or athletes, emulate successful people and yes, sometimes they will be entertainers or athletes, but the odds to join their group are very long indeed.
Interesting series. I felt like crying when I read the tests cores for the henderson hopkins school. And for balt city as a whole. It is a crime that we cannot find a way to achieve 100% passing rate on the very basic state mandated standardized tests. And to realize that generations of kids in balt city have been passed through the school system without ever coming close to achieving these basic skills. We need someone to say enough is enough and truly prioritize the education of children rather than directing funding to the latest education fad, unworkable "architectural masterpiece," schools, etc And other boondoggles that benefit adults rather than the children. Based on results maybe it would be better to let the archdiocese of baltimore take over the city schools. They certainly seem to have a formula that somehow works. Regarding the most recent installment, I would like to see the graphs also include the percentage of asians in ap classes. Although I suspect that analysis may not support the author's conclusion regarding minority underrepresentation in ap courses.