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February 6, 2008

What the Algebra Project was protesting

I hate to put down my competitors at other media outlets, but this line in the Associated Press story about today's Baltimore Algebra Project protest in Annapolis made me laugh:

"It was unclear what exactly the students were protesting. They mentioned cuts to an educational funding formula known as Thornton, possibly referring to a phase-in to a portion of that formula. Others mentioned protesting a recent Baltimore City Schools proposal to pay students for high test scores."

Ruma covered the protest -- which resulted in two dozen arrests -- for The Sun (her story will be in tomorrow's paper; an early version is here). But I have been following the Algebra Project for awhile and can provide a bit of context about what the fuss is about. I hope that all of the students who got out of school yesterday to take a field trip to Annapolis also understand what they were supposed to be fighting for.

The Algebra Project is a civil rights organization. Its members believe that education is the fundamental civil rights issue of our time. Its slogan is "No Education, No Life" because members believe that when our society fails to provide children with an adequate education, it's equivalent to giving them a death sentence. For years, the Algebra Project has been involved in a lawsuit charging the state with unlawfully underfunding Baltimore's schools. Its members have taken officials to task for failing to comply with a court ruling that found the state had unlawfully underfunded the city schools by $400 million to $800 million between 2000 and 2004. The group estimates that, by now, the state owes the school system at least $1 billion.  

Making matters worse, Gov. Martin O'Malley -- who as mayor met with the Algebra Project and supported its quest for more state funding -- has now frozen the inflationary increases provided to school systems under the Thornton legislation (a statewide education funding initiative that grew out of the school funding lawsuit in the city). In Baltimore, that freeze will amount to a $50 million budget shortfall for next school year.

So all that was reason enough to protest. And then last month, Zachariah Hallback -- an 18-year-old Algebra Project member who had planned on participating in the "die-in" today -- was murdered, the victim of a foiled robbery attempt. To his Algebra Project colleagues, his death represented exactly why they are fighting, because when young people don't get a decent education, it's all too easy for them to turn to a life of crime instead.

UPDATE: For more info on the cool protest photo above, plus a link to more protest pictures, check out this post on the Photo Edge blog.

Posted by Sara Neufeld at 6:19 PM | | Comments (15)
Categories: Baltimore City
        

Comments

Thanks, Sara, for adding some context in your blog.
I was present on March 3, 2006, when then-Mayor O'Malley presented a sheaf of legal documents to Algebra Project students, some of whom were arrested at today's protest in Annapolis.
The Mayor told the students that these documents demonstrated how the Governor--not the Mayor--was responsible for overcrowded classes, broken computers, absence of art and music, and so on. He urged the students to hold the Governor accountable for the $800 million described in the court documents as constitutionally owed to the city schools.
Today, the students attempted to hold the Governor accountable. It is a shame that the voices of politicians and officials claiming to represent the students are so muted, that the public is almost completely unaware of this context.

Well done, Algebra Project. Well done.

I hope every government teacher in the city makes sure to include this in the warm-up!

My concern is that these, I am sure well meaning students, do not truely understand all the dynamics of education. I would guess that many of their facts come from their teachers. Teachers that no doubt have a bias toward more dollars being spent.

If the students are able to listen and research that might find that the quality of a good education is not based on the amount of dollars but rather how those dollars are allocated and spent.

Their beef should be with their current school board and administration. They should request accountability for every dollar spent, from how many custodians in the system, to how many vehicles are in the system to what are the roles and responsibilities of every administrative employee on North Avenue.

They may then learn that more dollars is not the answer but rather wise spending of those dollars.

I say this as an individual that remembers the ideaology of his youth viewed from eyes that have now spent over 30 years working and co-managing a family and household. I also veiw this from the eyes of a father that hopefully has taught his children to not trust absolutely one source but to research and read all sides of an issue. That is a sign of maturity.

I agree with Bill that dollars should be accounted for. However, micromanagng is not the way to go. Maybe for a family it is, but not an entire school system. That is unreasonable. Comparing the two is missing the point. I am a grandfather myself who has raised a family on very little. My age and "wisdom" has taught me that "maturity" means holding "our" government accountable and that it is setting its priorities correctly.

Additionally, you can't have your cake and eat it too. What about defense spending Bill? We spend over half of our federal budget on that, but where is the accountability with that? More money does not equal better defense, but look at all the money we are giving away to Lockheed Martin, Boeing and the ilk. Defense contractors and simply have to ask for their trillions, but school systems have to stage protests and beg for their millions.

Shame on Jay Gillen and the other adults involved in this little piece of theater for using kids as political props.

How about you spend more time giving these kids useful skills and less time training them to become professional protesters like yourself?

And in what sense are city schools underfunded? Only Montgomery County spends more money per pupil. Money is not the issue - mismanagement is.

Sara,
Thank you for bringing some more light to this issue. All of the news articles I have read about the incident were lacking in a background understanding of the Algebra Project. This was not some juvenile whining or tantrum; it was a pointed and justified example of civil disobedience.

From my perspective, both lack of funding and mismanagement of funds are an issue. The Baltimore City schools are in such a state of disrepair at this point that they warrant spending that exceeds any other county in Maryland. Of course, no problem will just go away if you throw money at it, but it seems pretty clear to me that Baltimore City schools need more than just frugal management to make the necessary improvements.

There is more money being spent per student because Baltimore's schools have fewer students than the Montegomery county school system.

Montgomery County has well over 1 million people in it, versus Baltimore's population of 660 thousand +.

Baltimore City's facilities are also much, MUCH older. The City does not have the ability to sprawl out into a corn-field somewhere and build a new high-tech building. NO city system has that luxury. So Urban school districts, like Baltimore, have the never ending and spiraling costs of keeping 40-50 year-old buildings working all the time. Removing lead, paint, updating water and heating lines, making them compliant with things like ADA and all - still a very real problem at some schools.

COmbine these issues with the society of drugs, crime and hopelessness that has gripped many neighborhoods of the city and you have a volatile mix.

Hooray for the algebra project. This isn't them begging for money. And this isn't them being used as pawns. The algebra project started as a student-run organization and if you spend 5 minutes in a meeting with these kids you will know that they no more about the political landscape and legislation than any of us writing right here.

This isn't them begging for money, all the Algebra project demands is that the school system get the money that was rewarded to it by the Maryland court system.

If your boss was underpaying you for 5 years and you took him to court to get back pay; and won; and he STILL refused to pay you the back pay - what would you do?

That is the situation we have right here. O'Malley made fully funding Thorton a campaign promise that he is now backtracking on. I understand that EVERYONE wants to get their money and NO ONE want their taxes raised. But the state of MD needs to find a way to fund this. The county legislators that have for years snubbed the city need to wake up and realize that they are LEGALLY REQUIRED to do this.

Hold on here. The whole idea that the state is underfunding one jurisdiction over another has some serious flaws. Counties and the City fund schools, not the state has a whole. If the city is 'underfunded' by $1 billion, then how much is the rest of the state underfunded? Left wing political groups have for years been trying to set up 'entitlement funding' for education. Look at what it has done in California where it has more or less bankrupted the state and it is impossible to make any real progress on education.

state support for bcpss schools has increased in recent years; city support for bcpss schools remained flat despite increases in property taxes. we'll see what dixon can do if a recession hits.

A reply to Baltimoron.

I was there. Grudgingly. I was "roped" into going! I don't normally go in for stuff like that. I'm more of an observer. But I can say I was impressed with the high level of interest on the part of the students. I was also very impressed with the student leaders of the Algebra Project. They were well mannered, informed, and very articulate.

On another note, as a teacher, the biggest frustration is not the lack of $$$; it is the class sizes. 30-35 really impacts my effectiveness. These kids need even smaller sizes because their skills are not as well developed. They need teachers to differentiate instruction, and this is difficult with large class sizes. And the other thing I say to students is come to school. Regardless of whether the toilet does not work (or any other issue), students coming to school is a big part of the solution.

One thing about funding, the needs of City School children is much greater than that of their county counterparts. The building upkeep is just the beginning.

I work for an organization that is planning on busing about 160 students from more than 12 schools to Annapolis on February 28th for a different type of event. We are lobbying for issues our students have picked themselves, and have rooms reserved in the Miller Senate Office Building and the Lowe House Office Building. Or do we? Despite making the trip for more than 13 years Mike Miller decided after the Project Algebra fiasco that we're no longer allowed to use the Miller Senate Office Building. This is ridiculous as we are not Algebra Project. I only mention this to say that the demonstration obviously got the attention of our state legislators.

I was also on the phone with one of the state senator's aids earlier and they said that the Algebra Project made a large crucifix with a picture of O'Malley's head on the top. I hadn't seen that reported yet. It reminds me of my time community organizing at ACORN. We wanted to be extreme (while lawful) in order to make a point and get the media to cover us. Once we dumped trash on City Hall from one of our neighborhoods that wasn't being serviced. The Department of Public Works finally agreed to meet with the community. Over time the Baltimore chapter has mellowed somewhat. Here's why,

In order for real change to occur you cannot alienate the people in power capable of making change happen. Eventually you need to sit down with them and come to an agreement. It's a delicate line between doing what is necessary for people to listen while not demonizing the allies you'll need in the future.

I wish the Algebra Project the best of luck in this tightrope walk.

I will ask the Algebra Project students to read through this excellent discussion. Our tradition--from Ella Baker and SNCC--teaches that learning and motivation to learn comes out of thoughtful exchanges like the one above.

Two points: Algebra Project students spend most of their time teaching math after school. The wages they earn through professional contracts as after-school service providers are part of a comprehensive reform plan that would lower teacher-learner ratios by employing thousands of older peers in all subjects to help younger peers learn. Students, mostly low-income, have earned more than $1 million over the past six years teaching math.

Second, it would be nice if this type of discussion happened spontaneously. Over and over, however, the more radical the students act, the more discussion. The arrests, as the students predicted, have generated more media, conversation, interest, than earlier marches and rallies without arrests. The students' clearest and best-argued moment was actually in Circuit Court in 2006 representing themselves in two formal hearings against the state's top lawyers. It was a wonderful, carefully reasoned display, reported in the press only slightly, and almost completely ignored afterwards. This is the way things are, neither good nor bad, and we try to help the students learn to do both styles as well as possible.

Baltimoron says:

"How about you spend more time giving these kids useful skills and less time training them to become professional protesters like yourself?"

This is the point - this is what students need - to learn that the government works FOR THEM and that they, the disenfranchised can and should demand a voice. What skills would you have teachers teach? parts of a cell? How often have you been asked to put into practice this little nugget of information? As a science teacher in the city I would much rather have my students understand the power that they have both individually and as part of a larger group than to remember some piece of information that will have no impact on them as adults. Building strong and involved citizens is what schools should be doing and it is what Jay and others are trying to get the rest of us to understand. And for those who know anything about the AP, Jay is only the name on the paper - it is in fact the students who run the project. I have never been more proud of the students of BCPSS.

Thank you, Jay, for helping to nurture such smart, socially aware and active students. You've been fighting the good fight for a long time and I am confident that you will continue to do what is right for your students. I hope they know how lucky they are to have you in their corner. I know you realize how fortunate you are to be able to work with them.

I applaud each and all of the protesters, along with every member of the Algebra Project for doing the great work you are doing. Even more, I commend you for giving up part of your lives to volunteer your knowledge and time to tutor fellow students in need.
When I took some time to find out what your group has done (those bad-mouthing you should) and will continue to do, I truly felt some of the pride I have lost in the American people start to return. Please, keep up your amazing work and the vision of BOB MOSES. Wow! Whoever thinks one person can't make a difference would have time well spent reading his story.
Don't let these negative bloggers get to you or wear you down. As you might presume from their "writings", they have un-exercised minds and most likely this is true of their hearts. This causes them to exhume their ignorance, which in turn lets us see them as they really are. Persons with no compassion for people. They seem uncaring, vile, malicious and they probably fear change. This is what they have demonstrated to all in just a few minutes with a litany of lines. I shudder to think what they are like in person. That being said, I do have some good thoughts about their, either unfortunate or regrettable mental condition. It can be coaxed into remission and in most cases remedied. The prescription is predominantly safe, but in some cases, it can be painful. Investigations have shown that in all cases it can be free if one so desires. It is also simple. Just a daily intake of knowledge administered with a large dose of empathy.
The reason I am familiar with this extremely effective procedure is that I too was afflicted with this very same condition. I think most people have been or will be affected at some point in their lives.
We will have some fun dealing with their comments later, but definitely before my ending this post.
As I said earlier I took some time to check out your organization and I was encouraged by your scope and breadth. I am amazed I hadn't heard of you previously. Keep up with your great cause. These are just two of the web pages I visited.... http://www.algebra.org/ http://www.algebra.org/whereweare.php
To all those who tried to ostracize those young visionaries from the concerned people of this country, you ought to be ashamed of yourselves..... and The list is lengthy. Please Check these "people" out. How can so many people be so out of touch with humanity. Have they not read the U.S. Constitution or their State Constitution or even just a few passages of the Bible.

1)CONSERTATIVE, 2)Fed up in Towson, 3) Stop Taking My Money, 4)Dave, 5)not a fool, 6)baltiMORON, 7)reason, 8)Henry 9) Shaft , 10)Bowman, 11)civil servant,
The Algebra Project (AP) started from one parent’s desire to see his child understand algebra in middle school so that she could enter high school and enroll in college preparatory math courses. In doing so, he saw the need to change youth culture around math education – to get them excited about math – and to break down institutional barriers to a quality public education.

The Algebra Project is a civil rights organization. Its members believe that education is the fundamental civil rights issue of our time. Its slogan is "No Education, No Life" because members believe that when our society fails to provide children with an adequate education, it's equivalent to giving them a death sentence. For years, the Algebra Project has been involved in a lawsuit charging the state with unlawfully under funding Baltimore's schools. Its members have taken officials to task for failing to comply with a court ruling that found the state had unlawfully undefended the city schools by $400 million to $800 million between 2000 and 2004. The group estimates that, by now, the state owes the school system at least $1 billion.

Making matters worse, Gov. Martin O'Malley -- who as mayor met with the Algebra Project and supported its quest for more state funding -- has now frozen the inflationary increases provided to school systems under the Thornton legislation (a statewide education funding initiative that grew out of the school funding lawsuit in the city). In Baltimore, that freeze will amount to a $50 million budget shortfall for next school year.

So all that was reason enough to protest. And then last month, Zachariah Hallback -- an 18-year-old Algebra Project member who had planned on participating in the "die-in" today -- was murdered, the victim of a foiled robbery attempt. To his Algebra Project colleagues, his death represented exactly why they are fighting, because when young people don't get a decent education, it's all too easy for them to turn to a life of crime instead.

the Baltimore Algebra Project "No education, no life. Every year, they underfeed our schools, they kill us."
CONSERTATIVEParkville, MD"THE LITTLE BRATS SHOULD BE IN SCHOOL. THEY DO NOT VOTE. THEY HAVE NO SAY IN GOVERNMENT." CONSERTATIVE, You do believe in the constitution don't you? It protects all people of the U.S. not just people old enough to vote.
You know about----Freedom of speech, right to assemble.
Fed up in Towson Lutherville Timonium, MD
1) "Ahhhh, the idealism of youth. We're glad you've got a brain and can use it, but let's talk after you've been in the workplace for ten years and you've seen your tax dollars burned up paying for others' poor life decisions and social / fiscal irresponsibility. My money says your tune will have changed."
2) "You'll have to forgive me if I don't take it seriously when a hippy kid who's never paid any meaningful amount of taxes in their life tells me I "can pay a little more taxes." Talk is cheap when it's not your money that's being spent."
3) "It will turn into more waste as it historically has -- consumed by the Teachers' Union and School Board, while affecting no change for the kids. All of this, of course, while the root causes of crime, poverty and the horrific conditions in inner city Baltimore remain unaddressed."

Fed up in Towson, If you had tried to understand what Chris Snyder's` point was you would see he was trying to say "spend less on war and MORE on education."
chris snyder
Bel Air, MD"you give plenty of money for murdering millions of people but money for education no way."
Fed up in Towson, "You'll have to forgive me if I don't take it seriously when a hippy kid who's never paid any meaningful amount of taxes in their life tells me I "can pay a little more taxes." Talk is cheap when it's not your money that's being spent."
FED UP, Just what is a "meaningful" amount...? $100- $1000-$10,000. Is there a plateau we must meet to be heard. Just because those young people might not be property owners (you don't know that) doesn't mean they don't pay taxes. Some may be employed. But every citizen who purchases a product in this country excluding food, PAYS TAXES. I also think that property owners should not be the only ones to foot most of the education costs. Property owners should be taxed for police and fire. Education should be paid for by everyone in this country by adding a tax on commerce and removing it from properties.
Fed up in Towson 3) "It will turn into more waste as it historically has -- consumed by the Teachers' Union and School Board, while affecting no change for the kids. All of this, of course, while the root causes of crime, poverty and the horrific conditions in inner city Baltimore remain unaddressed."
That's why we ALL need to demand ACCOUNTABILITY and start arresting the political thieves who are stealing and squandering our tax dollars. The " horrific conditions" are exactly what the Algebra Project IS TRYING TO ADDRESS.
"We're glad you've got a brain and can use it,"
So let them. Don't try discourage them. To me it sounds like their organization is just what you are looking for. Maybe you should join them and contribute your experience and passion. Just a thought.

AnonymousSaint Paul, MN1)"Every study I've read on the subject fails to find a correlation between funding and school achievement. It's one of the greatest public policy myths of our time. Adjuster for inflation, we spend more on schools than we ever have before. It doesn't translate to success. Parochial schools do a much better job educating urban children, and they do if for about half of the cost."
Anonymous, I checked for hours and could not find an independent study that correlated with your statement but I did find these. I would also suggest that public schools do pay more for teachers who have college degrees whereas
the nuns and sisters get a pittance for salary. Are you suggesting that public school teachers take a vow of poverty. In the business world a person with the same level of degree as a teacher gets almost twice the pay and does not have the responsibility of keeping your child safe. Also, don't you think the insurance and similar costs for a public school might be allot higher than a well kept Parochial school.

<>Public vs. private not seen as key to learning<>
Web Posted: 10/10/2007 12:59 AM CDT
www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA101007.01A.Public_Private.38f0c2d.html - 44k -
Express-News and wire reports WASHINGTON — Low-income students who attend urban public high schools generally do just as well as private-school students with similar backgrounds, a new study concludes.

Students at independent private schools and most parochial schools scored the same on 12th-grade achievement tests in core academic subjects as those in traditional public high schools when income and other family characteristics were taken into account, according to the study released today by the nonpartisan Center on Education Policy.

While the finding is in line with a handful of recent studies, it is at odds with a larger body of research over the years that has found private-school students outperform those in public schools.

KGET17, NBC 2007 10/31/2007 6:53 pm
www.kget.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=7117f040-a372-430f-b477-1746d3d7b161 - 48k -

Do private schools really give kids an academic advantage? According to the Center on Education Policy in Washington, D. C., the answer is no.

“The findings are pretty clear: there is no significant difference between how kids do -- given their socio-economic background, their family background -- in private schools and in public schools,” says Dr. Martin Carnoy, Stanford University Department of Education.

The study reports that success in school and in life isn't a matter of public school versus private school. It's a matter of how involved parents are with their children. Research continues to show that when parents get involved in their child's education, that's what helps kids the most.
Parochial schools: generally cost between $1,200 and $2,400 per year for an elementary school student and between $4,600 and $7,500 for a high school student.
Independent schools (private): Independent private day schools generally cost from a few thousand to more than $10,000 per student per year, while an independent boarding school charges each student approximately $20,000 annually.

References

* Broward County Public Schools
* National Association of Independent Schools
* Oregon Department of Education
* Partnership for Learning


Stop Taking My Money Baltimore, MD@ chris snyder:
"You do realize you basically described North Korea. Ask those people how they like living in a world completely controlled by the Government. Look, everyone knows we have to pay taxes. It is the percentage of income taken, and use of that tax money for which we have a problem. I live month to month and have two jobs to put food on the table. Yet I don't EXPECT the government to provide my food and pay for my bills. It's called responsibility, but unfortunately that's a word that is no longer taught in schools. And BTW, I would not EXPECT money from the government for a natural disaster. That's what insurance is for".

chris snyderBel Air, MD " Bush stopped collecting taxes,(from the rich, my interjection) and look where the country is now...stretched completely thin in wars and bankrupt...lets start caring about people through govt like european models,"
Stop Taking My Money, NO WHERE in Chris's statement does he describe North Korea. Unless you think N. Korea is in Europe. I'm definitely, NO POSITIVELY sure that EU would take offense to you implying that any of their nations are governed by a communist dictatorship. Obviously you no nothing about Europe. They are almost exactly like the U.S. except for their health care and their education. Their schooling goes from kindergarten right through to four years of college.
Stop Taking My Money: "It is the percentage of income taken, and use of that tax money for which we have a problem. I live month to month and have two jobs to put food on the table. Yet I don't EXPECT the government to provide my food and pay for my bills. It's called responsibility, but unfortunately that's a word that is no longer taught in schools. And BTW, I would not EXPECT money from the government for a natural disaster. That's what insurance is for".
Stop Taking My Money, if you have a problem with how your taxes are spent take it up with your local, state and federal representatives. Don't take it out on Chris because our tax dollars are being spent to subsidize huge MEGA-CORPORATIONS and to destroy, rebuild, destroy again, rebuild and destroy Iraq. The Bush administration has just acknowledged they have lost, not misspent, or misappropriated, LOST 18 billion dollars of our hard earned cash somewhere in Iraq. They just can't find it. It's just gone they said. That could buy allot of computers. 2) Responsibility should be taught at home and the school to reinforce it. That being said I think responsibility is taught in schools because the last I heard they still give out detention for wrong actions. A student must maintain certain grade average to participate in extracurricular activities. Hell, if they don't study or do homework they flunk out. 3) Who said anyone want's the government to pay for our food and bills? In a case of emergency though, such as a hurricane that is exactly what WE, THE GOVERNMENT, because we are the government is supposed to do. Would you rather have hundreds of thousands of people die of thirst and starve to death. That is what FEMA was created for to prevent that from occurring. Something they failed miserably at after Katrina. 4) Did you just crawl out from under a rock? Have you not seen any of the news concerning the insurance companies involved in the Katrina disaster. To this day, almost three years later, insurance companies are still refusing to honor their contracts.

The Algebra Project is a civil rights organization. Its members believe that education is the fundamental civil rights issue of our time. Its slogan is "No Education, No Life" because members believe that when our society fails to provide children with an adequate education, it's equivalent to giving them a death sentence. The students volunteer to tutor other students in need. Its members have taken officials to task for failing to comply with a court ruling that found the state had unlawfully under funded the city schools by $400 million to $800 million between 2000 and 2004. The group estimates that, by now, the state owes the school system at least $1 billion. <>DaveLaurel, MD "As for the protesters, I bet you they paid absolutely zero in taxes. Therefore, I resent their "it is our constitutional right to a great education." I don't think the Constitution particulary states that anyone is entitled to a certain amount of money for education. Thowing more money into the educational system is not the solution"
Oh yes the constitution does Dave. As I said earlier DAVE, everyone in the U.S is protected under the constitution.
<>not a foolGrand Rapids, MI "Excellent example of public education and the generation of entitlement!!!! Don't be thankful for what you have, don't personally sacrafice for the common good. Go to Annapolis and demand money for your selfish purposes. The hippie generation should be proud. They have reached their goal of producing worthless people who can't do anything but beg for government assistance. What a bunch of clowns. Lets tax working people to support these morons"
not a fool, lol, LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE A FOOL, Its members have taken officials to task for failing to comply with a court ruling that found the state had unlawfully undefended the city schools by $400 million to $800 million between 2000 and 2004. The group estimates that, by now, the state owes the school system at least $1 billion. Its slogan is "No Education, No Life" because members believe that when our society fails to provide children with an adequate education, it's equivalent to giving them a death sentence. The students volunteer to tutor other students in need.
not a fool, "Lets tax working people to support these morons" WHO'S THE MORON???
"The hippie generation should be proud. They have reached their goal of producing worthless people who can't do anything but beg for government assistance."
WHO IS WORTHLESS?? The students volunteer to tutor other students in need.
<>ShaftWestminster, MD"At least they're getting started on the right foot. Demand more money be thrown into a horribly broken system. And they are on school time no less."
"So, typical of Baltimore street thugs, what did they do? Try to go in carrying a coffin."
Hey shaft, and <>Stop Taking My MoneyBaltimore, MD you should read an article before slandering good decent students. That way you can avoid embarASSing yourself again sometime in the future. I also think you should apologize for calling these concerned caring young citizens THUGS. To me it looks like state officials are the THUGS for disobeying a court order. They are not demanding more money. They were raising awareness about moneys from that past that has been withheld. [a court ruling that found the state had unlawfully undefended the city schools by $400 million to $800 million between 2000 and 2004.] The group estimates that, by now, the state owes the school system at least $1 billion.
They lay a coffin symbolizing Hallback's death before the State House while loudly reciting, "No education, no life." Twenty-five protesters were detained yesterday after they charged up the steps of the State House, they lay still, as if dead, before the bronze doors of the building. They had pressed past more than a dozen police officers, strung crime-scene tape along the stair railings of the State House
<>
Stop Taking My MoneyBaltimore, MD "I don't understand their message...Actually I do. They should just say the following: "Hi, we are a disfunctional group of kids who have been brainwashed by the media and teachers unions to believe that only money and Government solve problems. In as such, we are here to demand that the people who bust their rear-end everyday give us their money so that we do not have to be creative or impassioned enough to solve our own problems." Give me a break."

civil servantCalifornia, MD"So let me get this straight. An activist student organization, funded by your tax dollars, along with public school teachers, holds an illegal protest leading to arrests. And what are they demanding? More tax dollars."
<> civil servant, The Algebra Project, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) national, nonprofit organization that uses mathematics as an organizing tool to ensure quality public school education for every child in America. We believe that every child has a right to a quality education to succeed in this technology-based society and to exercise full citizenship. We achieve this by using best educational research and practices, and building coalitions to create systemic changes. The U.S Constitution states we have a right to assemble, The right to free speech, and ALL people are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. You of all people, especially, a "civil servant" should know that because you swore an oath to uphold and defend that constitution.
Baltimore Sun
The demonstration, organized by the Baltimore Algebra Project, a student-run tutoring and advocacy group
The demonstration, organized by the Baltimore Algebra Project, a student-run tutoring and advocacy group, involved about 150 high school and college students who said inadequate education funding has led to juvenile crime and the killing last month of one of the Algebra Project's members, Zachariah ,, who was shot in Northeast Baltimore during a robbery.
<>
baltiMORONBaltimore, MD"Shame on the adults involved in this protest for using kids as political props. Perhaps they should be giving the kids useful skills instead of training them to become professional protesters like Jay Gillen."
baltimoron, what can I say, your name say it all .The demonstration, organized by the Baltimore Algebra Project, a student-run tutoring and advocacy group, involved about 150 high school and college students who said inadequate education funding has led to juvenile crime and the killing last month of one of the Algebra Project's members, Zachariah Hallback, who was shot in Northeast Baltimore during a robbery.
<>reasonEllicott City, MD" Mike, Race? Where did you think that up? I don't see one word in here referancing race. This has nothing to do with race.------"
<> Henry Bowman Annapolis, MD wrote
"All of those white kids are students in Baltimore City Public Schools? Hmmmm......"

Hope you adults and parents are proud that your children are focusing their motivation towards protest instead of education. And the fact that these protests are based on misconceptions makes it even better.
Where is the proof that city schools are underfunded? Please, someone give me a link that shows how much money city school get in comparison to rural schools. I have a hard time believing that the city schools recieve far less funding then others. I'm thinking this protest is based on asumptions that are untrue. Could this just be an excuse for the kids who don't do well because of a lack of motivation and/or a lack of encouragement from home? And could the significant turn-out at this protest be fueled by the fact that kids could go there instead of school?
reason, pay attention, the Baltimore Algebra Project, a student-run tutoring and advocacy group, involved about 150 high school and college students.
Its members have taken officials to task for failing to comply with a court ruling that found the state had unlawfully undefended the city schools by $400 million to $800 million between 2000 and 2004.
They keep saying they need money for "school supplies". What supplies? What type of supplies do they need? Is this money for pencils? They already recieve the same text books as everyone else, so what do they mean? Any of you who held or took part in the "Algebra Project" please send me the proof that your schools are under funded. Lets compare how much your schools get in comparison to a few different rural schools in Maryland. I'm sure that when your "Mentors" organized this protest they provided all the proof you needed, so where is it? I don't think these kids are to blame, its the parents and other adults who are teaching them this "Conspiracy Theory" that the evil government is stealing from their schools to satisfy their own greed.
its the parents and other adults who are teaching them this "Conspiracy Theory" that the evil government is stealing from their schools to satisfy their own greed. And I do feel bad for the inner city children that come from broken or abusive homes, but throwing them money will not help. Think about it, the government already is willing to pay for housing, health insurance, food, etc. for people in need but history proves this only helps some of the people while enabling others to do less. So when you standing yelling at these politicians, remember that they already do give substancial amounts to inner city environments. Next time you join in Annapolis, go there armed with knowledge and proof, don't use a coffin because it will just fuel comments like your seeing above.
Baltimore Sun
The demonstration, organized by the Baltimore Algebra Project, a student-run tutoring and advocacy group, involved about 150 high school and college students who said inadequate education funding has led to juvenile crime and the killing last month of one of the Algebra Project's members, Zachariah Hallback, who was shot in Northeast Baltimore during a robbery.
reason: that name depicts logical, rational, and analytic thought; intelligence. But your comments portray anger and insults against people I bet you don't even know. I wish you had read what this group is all about before judging them so harshly. I'm pretty sure I saw you in the mall the other day. I may be mistaken, but I think it was you pushing and old old women around in a wheelchair and I thought, wow, that's so nice. But looks can be deceiving. When you finally reached the ramp, you let go, and the chair and the old old women rolled down the incline uncontrollably towards the bottom. l was too far away to do anything about it but I did hasten after you. Once outside, you stepped over a homeless veteran, but not after providing him, a slight kick in the ribs. Immediately, you jumped into your car, which you could do because it was parked in a handicap space. Then you drove away in your new Hummer, which sported an "I voted for Bush" sticker. After rolling down your electric window, you tossed out some crumpled up napkins, a crushed aluminum can and an uneaten sandwich, I'm sure the homeless guy might have taken. With the grin on your face, you must have been feeling quite smug knowing you had enough money to not care about the situations of others or how they came about.
Well, maybe it wasn't you. Maybe it was some other guy, like the thousands I've seen in my short 52 years in this country. Our USA.

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