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ERIC Number: EJ1113563
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
Incomplete Reform in Baltimore: A Shift in Authority to School Leaders Falls Short
Gross, Betheny; Jochim, Ashley
Education Next, v16 n4 p26-35 Fall 2016
Five years ago, Baltimore City Public Schools seemed on the brink of a breakthrough. The district had been freed from mayoral control after more than a century, and a high-energy superintendent was leading bold moves to de-emphasize central administration, give schools greater autonomy, and engage families in a revitalized portfolio of educational choice. A new school funding formula matched resources to student needs, and chronically low-performing, underenrolled schools were closed. Citywide, enrollment had begun to stabilize after four decades of steep decline, as more families opted to enroll their children in district schools, including newly expanding charters. Suspensions were down, the graduation rate was up, and more students were proficient at grade-level work in math and reading. A new teacher evaluation system set common standards for excellence across the city. By almost all accounts, Baltimore's district-led portfolio system--traditional and charter school options, all authorized and managed by City Schools' central office--was working. But today, progress seems to have stalled. Baltimore, at least right now, is a story of incomplete reform, a stark example of the limits of a reform strategy that sought dramatic change while leaving many old political and administrative arrangements in place.
Hoover Institution. Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Tel: 800-935-2882; Fax: 650-723-8626; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maryland (Baltimore)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A