ERIC Number: ED469965
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Aug
Community Organizing for School Reform in Baltimore.
Gray, Richard, Jr.; Wheeldreyer, Laura
The Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS) serves the highest number of low income and special needs students in the state, struggling to create effective educational environments that respond to students' social and economic needs. While there have been many restructuring efforts through the BCPSS' history, the modern era of school reform began in the late 1980s, when a for-profit educational services company received a contract to manage nine schools. However, it did not consult the community, and under extreme political and community pressure, the mayor declared it a failure. Race was, and remains, a central issue in BCPSS school politics. Community-based organizations to improve public education are a relatively new phenomena in Baltimore City. ACORN Baltimore builds the power of low and moderate income neighborhood constituents so they can transform their communities, adopting a direct approach to parent organizing. The Southeast Education Taskforce (SET) produces recommendations for changes needed in southeast Baltimore schools, focusing on the mutually supportive relationship between families, communities, and schools. Both ACORN and SET believe that parent and community perspectives are crucial in public education. Both have established productive relationships with university-based partners. Obstacles to their success include uncertain, changing political environments and tentative, inexperienced school leadership. (SM)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Black Students, Change Strategies, Community Involvement, Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Governance, High Risk Students, Parent Participation, Politics of Education, Poverty, Public Schools, School Community Relationship, Urban Schools
New York University, Institute for Education and Social Policy, 726 Broadway, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10003. Tel: 212-998-5880; Fax: 212-995-4564; Web site: http://www.nyu.edu/iesp.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: New York Univ., NY. Inst. for Education and Social Policy.