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Stars shine a light: City faces a crisis in education

Maryland released its first school star ratings, and Baltimore did not do too well in the assessment of its schools (“State issues school ratings,” Dec. 5). Only 35 of the state’s 1,300 schools received a one-star rating, the lowest possible, and 23 of them are in Baltimore. The article also stated that more than the half of the schools receiving a one- or two-star rating largely educate minority students from low-income families.

While this may be front page news today, by tomorrow it will be overshadowed by something else more newsworthy. So, the question is “what do we do now in Baltimore to improve the school system and make sure the kids get a good education that will prepare them for their life in the real world? Baltimore City school system CEO Sonja Santelises said “she wasn’t surprised by the results, noting they do not reflect the complexities of the city’s education system.” Sounds like a definite political cop-out statement and amazing coming from the school systems CEO who appears to be admitting that she has no idea what’s going on.

No, Ms. Santelises, the ratings were based on the quality of the education and other factors which related strictly to the educational standard. You and Baltimore failed big time. Statements like “the ratings will look better next year” serve no purpose except to give the CEO and Mayor Catherine Pugh another year to come up with another poor reason for their failure. What is the plan to improve the quality of the education? Volunteer mentoring, better school curriculum, better environment, etc?

Let us know and maybe we can all volunteer time to make it happen and improve the ratings. The youth of Baltimore deserve better. Let’s not let this fall through the cracks again. Show us your master plan, Ms. Santelises.

Stas Chrzanowski, Baltimore

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