Maryland must desegregate schools

Can Maryland achieve something better than a 'veneer' of equity in schools?

The silence is deafening. There have been three extensive Baltimore Sun articles revealing that attitudes from the 1970's remain pervasive in our state ("Bridging the Divide: The struggle to move past segregated schools," March 17). In Baltimore County, the emperor clearly has no clothes as both Superintendent Dallas Dance and the school board have abdicated any leadership role in resolving the inequitable elementary school conditions north and south of Route 40. For several years, Baltimore County has been training its staff with an equity program whose hallmark is "courageous conversations." Apparently, the initiative has not penetrated Greenwood.  

Johns Hopkins University and Morgan State University collaborated on a vision of a school with an economically diverse student body and staff. The success of the project is stalled with all the personnel and resources from both institutions stymied over how to overcome innate biases and prejudices similar to those that permeate the Baltimore County situation ("Struggles of new East Baltimore school show challenges of integration," March 22).

Finally, The Sun featured an article on the implicit barriers to minority inclusion in Howard County's Gifted and Talented and Advanced Placement programming. Again system administrators and teachers postured in efforts to explain and ameliorate the current reality ("Within integrated schools, de facto segregation persists," March 25).

That these critical issues are allowed to fester in 2017 is shameful. Maryland has a veneer of equity and scratching the surface peels it off. With the advantage of having only 24 school districts, Marylanders have the creativity and the expertise to envision and implement a new paradigm for pre-K through 12 education.  Let us demonstrate the resolve to overcome the critical impediments to success for all in Maryland public schools.

Gabrielle Lawrence, Randallstown

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