Why I Don’t Want a Charter School in My Backyard (Not just yet. Not so fast.)

(Blog Post) Like every other traditional public school in Baltimore City, Hampden #055 is suffering from budget cuts. It’s also suffering from the insidious notion that traditional city public schools aren’t places where parents who can afford not to would send their kid. The issue isn’t race. It’s class. It’s just that Hampden is the only neighborhood where people are race-blind enough to see it. Because Hampden isn’t just poor. It’s white. Full Story »

Posted by Mary Hartney

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Review

Bill Ferguson
2.5
by Bill Ferguson - May. 6, 2011

Interesting perspective, and very glad to read of the great support of this future parent for her neighborhood charter school. That said, I think there are a huge number of misplaced assumptions about Roots & Branches noted in her article. These same misconceptions have hampered perception of public charter schools since their first existence in 2003. We absolutely need great traditional public schools, but having great public charters alongside is not mutual exclusive. More to the point, Roots & Branches has faced unbelievable barriers in trying to find a location - be it the Catholic church, unreliable promises made by organizations, or otherwise. This is a great group of dedicated parents who want to create a school with a curriculum that's not provided within the City Schools. I just wish the author would consider in more depth the possibility that we need a system of great schools, not just great schools within certain neighborhoods.

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