Weekend Reads

Baltimore City Public Schools Expanding Great Options 2010-11: Recommendations (PDF)
This document lays out the BCPSS current strategy to improve the “portfolio” of great city schools. It discusses closures and other interventions at the city’s worst performing schools. There is little in this document on efforts to improve “traditional” public schools, with a particular absence of discussion of promoting excellence in elementary education.

Maryland Charter Schools Founders’ Manual, Third Edition (PDF)
Everyone who starts a charter school will read some or all of this manual in the early stages of the process. I recommend reading it with an eye for the assumptions the authors make about the socioeconomic status and political values of those who want to start charter schools, the authors’ implicit definition of “community,” and fundraising recommendations that advise founders to use the dysfunction of impoverished urban neighborhoods to fiscal advantage.

“Charters emerge as threats to Catholic schools,” Erica Green, Baltimore Sun, March 16, 2011 (link)
This article reports on the announcement by the Archdiocese that it would not lease any of its 13 recently closed schools to charter schools. Erica Green is the education reporter at the Baltimore Sun and maintains the Sun’s education blog, Inside Ed, with Liz Bowie. She is a 2008 graduate of the School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

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5 Comments to “Weekend Reads”

  1. Thank you “a parent” for the digging! I am so happy to read that the partners are community partners, and not some out-of-state for-profit entity, like Edison.

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  2. Had a little time to do the digging – from City Schools wesite:
    Partners can provide essential support to make a school community truly great. City Schools is broadly seeking partners who will help our schools excel. There are three kinds of partners:
    – Join the Great Partners program for at least a year. Great Partners commit to do three or more activities to support schools during the course of a year. For organizations making this commitment, the City Schools Office of Partnerships will work with you to help match your interests to a specific school and then work with you and the school to develop a partnership plan.
    – Sign up for one or two activities. If your organization is not yet ready to commit to three or more activities, we ask you to identify the one or two that you are most interested in doing. We will alert you by email about opportunities that may arise that fit your interests.
    – Mentoring organizations. For organizations that coordinate mentors on behalf of schools, City Schools will help identify schools seeking mentoring services.

    Schools list their partners on their webistes sometimes. Two schools that came up first in a seach on “partner” –
    James Mosher Elementary (http://www.baltimorecityschools.org/domain/1843) –
    Perkins Square Baptist Church
    Holy Trinity Church
    Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
    Coppin State University- Coppin Heights- Rosemont Family Community Center
    The Bryn Mawr School Partnership
    Xerox Corporation
    The Dance Guild of Baltimore
    Baltimore DanceTech
    James Mosher Little League

    Vivien T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy (http://www.baltimorecityschools.org/Page/12367)
    The Learning Bank of COIL,Inc.
    MedStar Health
    University of Maryland – School of Medicine
    University of Maryland – BioPark
    The CollegeBound Foundation

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  3. I think most of the times these external partners are colleges. I know Coppin, JHU and Towson State have partnerships with different schools. I think Johns Hopkins Hospital partners with Dunbar, so I suppose they could be local businesses as well. You could probably do some searches on the City Schools website to find their definition.

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  4. Thanks for posting these, I look forward to reading them! After skimming the fist doc though one immediate question emerged: who is/are the “external partner(s)” referred to as an intervention measure for more than half of the schools on the list?

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    • Good question, Claudia. I don’t know, yet. I’m hoping this blog will be a place where readers start asking these questions and sharing the facts we uncover. Thanks for reading.

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