What made Cecil Elementary a Blue Ribbon school
With the holiday rush and cold season upon us, I didn't have a chance to comment last week on the appointment of East Baltimore's Cecil Elementary as a Maryland Blue Ribbon school. But here's something that struck me about the award:
At the city school board meeting earlier this month, the board named a new principal of the school, Roxanne Forr. Forr is only the fifth principal that Cecil has had in 42 years of existence, according to a school system press release. That means each of the school leaders has lasted an average of nearly a decade.
Ninety percent of the students at Cecil receive free or reduced-price lunch. Ninety-one percent of the students passed the state reading test last spring. Ninety-six percent passed in math.
People ask how a school serving such an impoverished population can get those kind of results. Judging by the track record at Cecil and at George Washington Elementary (the national Blue Ribbon school in Pigtown), the answer seems pretty simple: a great principal who sticks around for a long time.
Here's hoping that Forr (who replaced James Drummond) can keep a good thing going...