Through our Analysis and Engagement efforts, the Fund is proactively working to identify and advance interventions that can significantly improve outcomes for all students while also creating greater district effectiveness. Our goal is to build demand for great public education for all students in Baltimore City’s public schools, resulting in changes to policy and practice that will produce significant gains in student achievement.
Through our Analysis and Engagement work, we are leveraging our knowledge and understanding of education priorities in Baltimore City to become a recognized source of in-depth expertise, and a more active participant in the local education reform conversation.
Recent studies include:
- Building a Bright Future: Understanding College Readiness in Baltimore City Public Schools takes a close look at college readiness in Baltimore City. What we learned from conversations with 225 individuals in 27 focus groups is that for our students, college-readiness requires strong, rigorous academic preparation as well as focused supports to help with social/emotional development, college guidance, and financial literacy. Based on a survey of the available research, the report also includes a map of college readiness indicators from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade that educators, students and parents could use to keep students on track.
- City Speaks: Community Voices on Baltimore Schools. Published in October, 2014, the report documents the findings of our city-wide listening campaign that engaged the community in defining priorities for our public schools. Taken together, the findings and key themes we heard from 859 participants in 63 conversations across all 55 Baltimore City communities paint a picture of what Baltimore residents most want for our students.
Our Analysis and Engagement work is centered around those levers we believe have the highest potential to improve outcomes: teacher effectiveness; school quality; college and career readiness; and parental access and involvement. A key component of this effort is engaging the larger Baltimore community in a public discussion around promising reforms including:
- Examining pressing issues affecting educational quality in Baltimore;
- Exploring promising policies and practices and any resulting gains from other districts;
- Outlining policy and practice recommendations; and
- Engaging with parents, students, the school district, and the larger community around these issues to drive the necessary changes.
To guide our efforts, the Fund has formed an advisory committee that meets on a quarterly basis to propose issues and challenges to explore, and to recommend analyses or projects that could result in heightened public awareness of what it will take to achieve an excellent education for all students in Baltimore City. The committee is made up of parents, students, teachers, and business and community leaders.