Education | WYPR

Education

Education reporting on WYPR is supported in part by the Sylvan-Laureate Foundation.

Frederick County Schools

Frederick County became the fourth school district in Maryland to create a policy specifically supportive of transgender students in the spring of 2017. A few months later, a mother and her daughter sued the school board that adopted that policy.

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.

Rachel Baye

By Monday, the State Board of Education must submit a plan to the U.S. Department of Education outlining how Maryland’s schools will abide by the Every Student Succeeds Act, the successor to No Child Left Behind. The federal law governs how states monitor schools’ performance.

Maryland’s plan will be submitted without Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature.

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. 

In this hour, Wes explores education technology and online learning – discussing everything from coding as a foreign language to the potential dangers of the privatization. We’ll also learn how online learning has the potential to make education more equitable and accessible. Wes speak with some of the most influential people in the field of education technology and asks tough questions about the future of learning here in Baltimore and beyond. 


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. 

Earlier this month, Baltimore City Schools laid off 115 people to help plug a looming budget gap. But at the same time the school system was trying to fill 200 vacancies.

And that has left teachers and their representatives in layoff limbo.

"It’s just a mystery to me why you can’t find a place for these people," fumed Marietta English, president of the Baltimore Teacher’s Union.

Dominique Maria Bonessi / 1992

The Baltimore Teachers Union partnered with Baltimore City Schools last week to launch a five-week campaign to enroll 1,000 new students in city schools. 

Using a database of targeted houses provided by the city, groups of teachers and paraprofessionals have gone door knocking to try to talk parents into sending their kids to city schools. But at least one group found that many of the houses where they were told school aged children lived were vacant; one after another, after another, with mail piled up at the threshold. .  

PUGHFORMAYOR.COM

Baltimore City schools officials failed to report a $100 million pension liability to the city government in fiscal year 2015, according to the city auditor.

Auditor Robert McCarty told the Board of Estimates about the missing information Wednesday morning.

"In their report they did not include their liability to the city's employee retirement system [ERS] of $100 million," McCarty said after the meeting. "In their opinion, it was a liability of the city of Baltimore to the ERS."

Jamyla Krempel

Baltimore City high school graduates are on track to receive more college scholarships this year than any other year, according to Rudy Ruiz, the Executive Director of College and Career Readiness of Baltimore City Public Schools.

Ruiz says 1600 scholarships have been offered to Baltimore city high school seniors – that’s more than any other year on the books.

photo courtesy baltimorecityschools.org

Baltimore City school officials sent layoff notices to 37 teachers, 39 administrators, 26 paraprofessionals and school personnel, 11 support staff, and five district managers Thursday. It was the first round of layoffs in city schools in a decade.

Marietta English, president of the Baltimore Teachers Union, denounced the layoffs, wondering why they were necessary when school leaders have said they need to fill 200 vacancies.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

The simple task of dropping off or picking up a child at school became fraught with worry for parents at Hampstead Hill Academy in March when the father of a fourth grader was followed home and arrested by immigration agents. Now, parents, students and teachers at the school at Linwood and Eastern avenues have united behind their Latino parents and students.

"You never know when it is going to happen to you. So you live in fear and you live afraid," said David Rosario, father of a third-grader, in an interview at his office just blocks from the school.

Baltimore City 2018 FY Budget

 

Parents, administrators, and community activists made their case to city council last night for additional funds for youth, after-school, and additional educational opportunities.

Baltimore County's school board bemoaned the loss of Superintendent Dr. Dallas Dance at its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday night. Dance abruptly resigned earlier that day. WYPR's Jonna McKone covered the meeting, and told Nathan Sterner some of what happened.

John Lee

Baltimore County School Superintendent Dallas Dance resigned unexpectedly Tuesday, leaving the county school board scrambling for a replacement. Dance said in a statement it was time for him to "transition to another chapter of my career."

Photo courtesy of movoto.com

Will is a second grader in Anne Arundel County schools, and already he’s on his third school since kindergarten; not because he moved, or his old schools closed, but because he has a disability that leads to behavioral problems. And the behavioral problems have led to suspensions.

He was suspended six times from Jacobsville Elementary in Pasadena as a kindergartner. His mother, Lori Cornwell, says the school didn’t recognize his disability.

Maryland State Archives

Stanley Andrisse is an endocrinology post-doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University. He’s also a convicted felon.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

The General Assembly passed the state’s $43-billion budget Tuesday, with a little less than two weeks to go before the legislature’s 90-day session ends.

The final budget includes nearly $30 million to help Baltimore City Public Schools fill its own budget hole.

Dulaney High bucks renovation and AC plans

Mar 8, 2017
John Lee

The Baltimore County School Board rejected last night plans to renovate Dulaney High School in Timonium after parents argued to wait for a new school. And that could put in jeopardy County Executive Kevin Kamenetz’s plan to have all county schools air conditioned in the next couple of years.

Some parents, teachers, students and administrators in Baltimore City Schools spent the week trying to convince state and local lawmakers to plug the schools’ $130 million dollar budget gap.

The search for money to “fix the gap” started in Annapolis on Monday where Mayor Catherine Pugh staged a press conference. “We have not heard yet what the governor's commitment is going to be,” she said, calling for the state to pitch in more funds.  “And he knows how important our school system is and how important our children are.”

Students at predominately white Westminster High School fought back Wednesday after administrators removed posters promoting diversity. More than a third of them showed up wearing T-shirts modeled after the posters.

But things didn’t go exactly as planned at this Carroll County school that’s 87 percent white. A bomb threat led to the evacuation of the school in the afternoon just as thunderstorms rolled into Westminster. The students returned about a half hour before dismissal, some of them rattled by the threat.

John Lee / WYPR

Last week Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said she would update plans to shrink the city school’s $130 million budget shortfall. Monday, she and city officials unveiled that plan.

Jonna McKone

With Baltimore city schools facing a $130 million shortfall-- roughly 10 percent of the annual budget—schools CEO Sonja Santelises has warned of painful cuts, including teacher layoffs.

Some of the specifics are beginning to take shape as school principals received their budgets last week.

Job Grotsky, the principal at Mount Royal Elementary in Bolton Hill says next year’s budget is significantly smaller than in the past.  He’s probably going to lay off nine people, some of them teachers.

“As a result we basically have to build the school from the ground up,” he said.

Rachel Baye

  

Just before the U.S. Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos Tuesday, Democrats in Annapolis held a press conference tying Republican Gov. Larry Hogan to the controversial new education secretary.

Jonna McKone

For the fifth time in ten years, a Maryland teacher is one of four finalists for the National Teacher of the Year award.  Athanasia Kyriakakos is the first Baltimore City teacher to reach those heights.

Kyriakakos, the only visual arts teacher at Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School, or Mervo, was chosen for her dedication to her students and her commitment to teaching art as a critical thinking skill.

She started at Mervo, the biggest high school in Baltimore, four years ago and found the school didn’t do much in the way of proudly showcasing its students’ work in the glass display cases that line the halls.

Jonna McKone

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Coleman Report, a landmark study led by then Johns Hopkins University sociologist James Coleman. The study found an enormous achievement gap on test scores between black and white children and was the basis for the busing programs of the 70’s to achieve racial balance in schools.

State and federal programs have poured billions of dollars into some of the nation’s worst schools since 2009 in hopes of making improvements. But once those schools show progress, the money disappears, and they risk sliding backward.

Commodore John Rodgers Elementary and Middle School in East Baltimore is one of those schools. After drastically improving test scores, school climate, enrollment and absenteeism, it is no longer eligible for turn around funding.

State releases second-year PARCC results

Sep 27, 2016

More than half of Maryland’s students who took standardized tests last spring failed them, according to the state Department of Education.

The department released scores on the 2016 Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) tests Tuesday which showed overall, modest gains throughout the state. The percentage of students passing the English test was essentially flat, but the percentage of African American and Hispanic students passing showed a small positive gain.

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