Baltimore City Schools | WYPR

Baltimore City Schools

Recent Immigrants Shut Out of Elite High Schools

Jun 13, 2018

Updated 3:32 p.m., 06-14-18

While Baltimore’s schools are losing students every year, there is one population that is growing rapidly: students whose first language isn’t English. But many of those students are shut out of the elite city high schools.

Now, a group of Latinx students at Baltimore City College is trying to change that.

Rachel Baye

Four Democratic candidates for governor and three for lieutenant governor discussed education policy at a forum Tuesday night hosted by the Real News Network in Baltimore.

The forum’s focus was the state panel studying how to revise Maryland’s education funding formulas and modernize the state’s approach to education more broadly. The group is known as the Kirwan Commission because it’s led by University System of Maryland Chancellor Emeritus Brit Kirwan. It plans to publish its recommendations at the end of the year, and they are expected to come with a large price tag.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

In this school year, nine Baltimore City students died as a result of violence. CEO of Schools Sonja Santelises and Mayor Catherine Pugh held a memorial vigil Wednesday for  them and all city school students.

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan on Wednesday morning vetoed a bill taking the Board of Public Works out of the school construction approval process.

The Interagency Committee on School Construction, or IAC, makes recommendations to the Board of Public Works on school construction projects. The bill instead makes the IAC independent and gives it final approval of those projects.

Mary Rose Madden / 88.1 wypr

When the heat failed in many of Baltimore’s schools last month, angry families came face to face with CEO Sonja Santelises, complaining not just about their freezing kids, but about curriculum, tests and their inability to get answers from school administrators on a variety of issues.

Santelises said she wanted to build a partnership with families in the school district.

Mary Rose Madden / wypr

The pictures of collapsed ceilings and students wearing parkas and gloves in their classroooms earlier this month outraged parents, grandparents and teachers. 

They showed up at a town hall meeting at Dunbar High School Monday and a school board meeting Tuesday to express fears for their children's safety and complain of a lack of communication from school administrators.

People at the town hall meeting held signs that read “warmth is a basic human right” and “no more excuses.” 

Baltimore public schools' heating crisis earlier this month was a "day of reckoning" for the system, the city, and the state said public schools CEO Sonja Santelises. The crisis, she said in an interview with WYPR Wednesday, exposed the truth that Baltimore city school buildings are less than functional.

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposed $17.7 billion operating budget for next fiscal year, released Wednesday, cuts funding for several Democratic priorities.

Updated 7:45 a.m. ET Thursday

Baltimore's public schools closed Thursday after parents and educators there complained students were enduring frigid classrooms with plumbing issues — conditions the local teachers union called "inhumane." Four of Baltimore's public schools were closed Wednesday because of facilities problems but the rest had remained open through below freezing temperatures. Some schools hovered around 40 degrees inside.

Garrett Heights Elementary/ Middle School

The Baltimore City school system is highly segregated. In a city that’s 63 percent black, the average school is 84 percent black. Garrett Heights Elementary Middle School in Northeast Baltimore is therefore not unusual. Around 90 percent of its students are black, though the surrounding neighborhood is more than a third white. Many of those families choose to send their children to other schools. But last year the school launched a pilot program that may begin to change that.

Mary Rose Madden / national public radio in Baltimore

Kids might be headed back to school, but their teachers have been hustling to put together lesson plans and to get their classrooms in order for weeks. And teachers are resourceful, of course, so they've been swapping everything - from supplies to ideas. 

Kimberly Mooney/Twitter

Eli McBride shared her story with her classmates, some of whom bullied her the first time she told them she was a girl.

Her next move was to hit a Baltimore City Board of Education meeting and tell the members they needed to do more to help kids like her.

Mary Rose Madden

Eli's mom, Stephanie, says she wasn't shocked when Eli told her she was a girl. There had been signs that Eli was transgender. And even though she knew other people who were transgender, in the beginning, she says, "I did feel like I was scrambling." Stephanie says she and Terry McBride, Eli's father, still had "a ton of questions about it." When they went looking for guidance from the professionals in their lives, they came up short.

Mary Rose Madden

In the past year, various states have taken up the questions transgender kids face when they come out in school. What bathrooms to use, where to get changed for gym class?  Those logistics are not the only things to be taken into account. Is there support for kids coming out as transgender, their classmates, and their teachers?

WYPR’s Mary Rose Madden brings us the series "Eight and Out: Transgender in the Second Grade," which centers around an 8-year-old child who wants to live openly as a transgender girl, so she forged her own path. 

Dominique Maria Bonessi

The Baltimore Teacher's Union President, Marietta English, presented the almost final numbers of the efforts to enroll or re-enroll students Monday.

Two-months ago the Baltimore Teacher's Union and Baltimore City Schools began a door knocking campaign to enroll or re-enroll 1000 students. Efforts came as the school system faced a loss of 1000 students between the 2016 to 2017 school year and the $130 million budget deficit. 

CASA de Maryland

Jesus Peraza, the Honduran who was picked up by immigration agents after he dropped off his son at Hampstead Hill Academy last March, will be forced to leave the country. 

The notice came Tuesday in a letter to Jared Jaskot, Peraza's lawyer, from John Alderman, the deputy field director in Baltimore for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Alderman wrote that he could “not find a compelling reason” to allow Peraza, who has been in the U.S. for more than a decade, to stay.  

GLAAD

Sonja Santelises, Baltimore schools CEO, recently appointed DeRay Mckesson, a Baltimore native and leader in the Black Lives Matter movement, to be the city schools interim chief of human capital. As an educator and an activist, Mckesson brings a unique set of experiences to his new position. 

Flickr Creative Commons//David Robert Crews

Thousands of Baltimore City eighth graders found out last week whether they got into the high school they hoped to attend, or whether they’re going somewhere else next year. Same thing for fifth graders applying to middle schools. The policy is called school choice. In the first of a two-part series, we look at what is and isn’t working with school choice.

The theory behind school choice is that where you live shouldn’t dictate where you go to school. Just because you’re growing up in a poor area, you shouldn’t be limited to a badly performing neighborhood school.

Baltimore’s schools started their choice program in 2002 and during that same period began closing troubled schools and creating smaller high schools with specialized focuses.  The idea is to allow students and families to select the school that best fits them.