On Friday, January 17, hundreds of eighth-graders in Baltimore will submit their high school choice applications. This one day will be the culmination of months of research, planning, and soul-searching by students, families, guidance counselors, and others.
As the General Assembly reconvenes with education as one of its top priorities, I’d like to underscore the critical importance of giving every child in our city an equitable choice of options.
We’ve known for decades the effects of deindustrialization, segregation, and disinvestment on children in Baltimore. The Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance shows a double-digit difference in life expectancy itself between north and northwest Baltimore.
Under the leadership of Dr. Santelises, Baltimore City Public Schools has done so much to ensure that gifted and advanced, career and technology, and other specialized learning options aren’t concentrated in the most affluent neighborhoods. Bard is proud to be part of that, to draw 450 students to our northwest Baltimore campus from a range of backgrounds and there give them the space to learn from each other.
We need to continue this work, to see that high school choice really is a choice of innovative school options where students, regardless of income, can be known, mentored, and encouraged to dream the biggest of dreams.
Dr. Francesca Gamber is the Principal of Bard High School Early College Baltimore.