Toward the end of 2013, the Fund for Educational Excellence embarked on an intensive study of Baltimore residents’ views on their public schools. Over the course of four months in 2014, we heard from 859 Baltimore residents representing all 55 community statistical areas (CSAs) in Baltimore City through a series of intimate conversations about schools and neighborhoods.
In the Clifton/Berea CSA, we heard from 16 participants. We held one ‘kitchen table conversation’ in this CSA, which took place at the Fort Worthington Community Center in the neighborhood of Berea on April 22, 2014. Of the 16 participants, 9 chose to submit at least some demographic data.
Some of the themes that we heard most often from participants in our discussions included:
- Participants talked about district policies and practices and how social promotion is an issue in the district. Participants also voiced support for school choice.
- Respondents shared their belief that the school should help the community and serve as a hub for community activity and communication.
- There was also discussion about standards and the curriculum, specifically that the standards are currently too low. The fundamental belief shared was that schools should provide every child with a quality education; however, participants also talked about how many kids graduate who are not college and career ready, indicating that there is still a lot of work to do.