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 Patterson Park North & East CSA, we heard from 11 participants. We held one ‘kitchen table conversation’ in this CSA, which took place at a private residence in the neighborhood of McElderry Park on June 30, 2014. Along with this conversation, we received some additional responses via one-on-one conversations with residents of the CSA and an online survey. Of the 11 participants, 10 chose to submit at least some demographic data.
Some of the themes that we heard most often from participants in our discussions included:
- Participants discussed teachers and school staff, and shared the opinion that there are many great teachers in the schools, but that there are also teachers that lack cultural competence. Respondents suggested that the district do more to support teachers and work to decrease teacher turnover.
- There was discussion about diversity in the schools, and concerns that schools are very segregated.
- Participants also discussed standards, curriculum and instruction, and called for schools to increase student performance expectations so that students are adequately prepared for college and career.