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February 9, 2009

Chat with Andrés Alonso, Baltimore city schools CEO

Posted by Sara Neufeld at 12:00 PM | | Comments (13)
Categories: Baltimore City


What are you doing about the figure of close to 2000 homeless Baltimore City school students who have nowhere to live and can't be educated if they no one to care for them.

Dr. Alonso-
BCPS has a chicken and egg problem: middle class families either leave the city or send their kids to private schools because the public schools seem broken. They seem broken because the remaining students are from more stressed, lower income families, where parents are more difficult to engage and youth tend to have more educational and developmental issues. What are concrete strategies that can successfully get middle class families to enroll their kids in public schools, and break this cycle?

Thank you for this discussion. The question from the 20 something in Mt. Vernon resonated with me. How many people out there are willing to help, even if they don't have a hand directly in the system?

It would be helpful if someone from the school system could provide a "Who's Who" list of volunteer organizations that partner with city schools to provide our students with quality education, engage them in the classroom, and support their afterschool activities and keep them off the streets and out of trouble.

to blarg:

It's not a list, but here is an editorial on volunteerism that ran on Saturday that might help you get started:,0,4425720.story

Anica Butler is all over the place.

Very interesting discussion. Who's the next interviewee, Sara? I suggest Marrieta English, a school board commissioner, or someone who's vastly opposed to the Alonso method. I think the comparison would be interesting to read/learn.

Anica - that's a really, really, really great idea. I absolutely think the schools should publish something like this.

Baltimore City schools claim they what the parents involved but if a parent speaks out about something, they are often ignored or blacklisted by the staff at the schools. Parents don't engage because they feel that they can not make a difference or they won't be heard.

This series, the blog, and afterward discussion has been thoughtful and insightful. Wonderful work on everyone's part. I am so inspired by Dr. Alonso's efforts on behalf of Baltimore City and our kids. Please, please keep up the effort- your hard work is not in vain.

I agree with Bill on his comment about being ignored and often blacklisted by the school administration. Parent involvement? The teachers and staff at our school would prefer we just fade away unless there is a fundraiser. Instead, they just let you sweat it out until you are at the point of lashing out. I am, without a doubt, blacklisted at our school because I am defending my son against a bully the school refuses to acknowledge. During the last six months I have had meetings with the principal and vice principal asking to have my son removed from the classroom because the bully has committed assault and battery on my child on more than one occasion... and pushes and shoves him everyday and calls him racially charged names. The bully has laid his hands on three girls in the classroom and they were immediately removed, I dare say, for fear of sexual harassment charges. This child disrupts the class on a regular basis and the teachers rarely take any action. I went through the whole chain of command, calling the bully hotline (twice) and filing a police report with the school police (this was a mistake, I should have filed with the city police). After six months of this, I can only conclude that their lack of action and concern is intentional and has become a child-like face off. I am not an abusive parent and to send my son back to this school next year is a severe form of abuse. No, we have applied to several private schools and if he is not accepted we will move to the county. Until you put into place 'concrete strategies' to abolish violence, INCLUDING racially motivated violence, my son is not going to be a guinea pig.

When transfering from one high school to another, some schools are not accepting credits earned from another school. Credits are being treated like college credits from a community college to university. This is hurting our students and holding them back a grade and in some cases holding up graduation. If all the schools standardized test are equal across the board, why are credits earned not equal?


The comments about parents being only involved when it comes to fund raisers---sorry you feel that way...I have worked for BCPSS for four years and at two different schools----if that is the way you truely feel--maybe your children are at the wrong school---there are many (schools) who love, want, and encourage---parents and communtiy involvement. Keep pushing never give up----brick walls are very easy to remove and replace....

please tell me why no one
has gone to northern and that other
school there.those chidren
are off the hook. shooting cramp
in hall way no respect for adult
the school stinks smells like urine
and other odor. I see how the kids hang on corner and in the shopping
center near the school.

I guess it ok to fight teacher
that school is still bad.seem like
you guy are scare of that school.

Dr. Alonso,
I have been very impressed with your achievements in the Baltimore City Public Schools, and because of my faith in your abilities to recognize good strategies, I want to share an article/research study from an NPR broadcast:

I hope you find this helpful.

Joan Lobell

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