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Green School deserves Baltimore's support

Green School of Baltimore's recent test scores show a large achievement gap between and white and minority students.
Green School of Baltimore's recent test scores show a large achievement gap between and white and minority students. (Kenneth K. Lam / The Baltimore Sun)

We are writing in support of the Green School of Baltimore (“Baltimore charter school working to narrow ‘startling’ achievement gap,” Jan. 30). Four years ago, we heard about GSB from family friends as we were looking at schools for our eldest child. We heard that it was a diverse, inclusive and rigorous school that was small enough to give individualized attention to its students. What we found was that it is also a school with a dedicated staff, an engaged family community and an understanding that learning is so much more than test taking.

We strongly believe that it is flawed to look purely at one (albeit stark) measurement of a student's achievement and disheartening that the school board gave so much weight to the PARCC scores, when they have been shown by experts to be developmentally inappropriate and are being phased out by the state of Maryland.

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We do not dispute that there is a very real achievement gap within Baltimore City Public Schools, and we fully support the actions the school administration is taking to address that gap at GSB. We know that all students, no matter their scores, are being challenged and supported by a team of amazing teachers and staff. And Paul Harleston observed, “we’re not running from this problem. We want to address it as effectively as we can.”

Bill Helman and Andrea Medina-Smith, Baltimore

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