Amplifying Community Voice
The Fund regularly publishes reports that combine strong analytics with community input to address some of the most pressing problems facing our students. Our recent report, NOT IN SERVICE: Why Public Transit Must Aim to Serve Students, explores the impact of transportation on Baltimore City Public School students’ learning experiences. Through interviews with hundreds of current high school students and analysis of past transportation policies and programs, the report examines how students get to school, how safe they feel on their commute, the expense, and how transportation access impacts attendance, school choice, employment, and extracurricular participation. The Fund’s analysis culminates with a set of findings about transportation in Baltimore City with recommendations for improvements. In the video below, experience Imani’s commute to Western High School on MTA buses in this documentary. Inconsistent public transit limited her ability to participate in extracurricular activities and often caused her to lose valuable in-class learning time because of frequent bus delays. For more on NOT IN SERVICE, visit

Recent Reports Include:

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Staving Off a Teacher Shortage in Baltimore City Public Schools examines the current challenge of teacher retention and burnout in Baltimore City by centering the conversation on the impressions and experiences of Baltimore City Public School teachers. We heard from 427 educators across 132 schools in a survey conducted at the end of the 2021-2022 school year. Teachers shared with us what motivates them to stay, what drives them to leave, and what would make them more satisfied in their teaching jobs. For more on this brief, visit

NOT IN SERVICE: Why Public Transit Must Aim To Serve Students examines how students experience public transportation in Baltimore and the implications that experience has for their academic and career opportunities. For more on NOT IN SERVICE, visit

Broken Pathways: The Cracks in Career and Technical Education in Baltimore City Public Schools reveals an inflexible construct lacking promised hands-on experiences and career advising, and makes practical, specific recommendations for restructuring CTE to better support student success.

Calculated Choices: Equity and Opportunity in Baltimore City Public Schools pairs analysis of access to advanced academic programs in the middle grades – and the implications for high school admission – with student and parent perspectives on public school choice in Baltimore City. What students and parents want in their schools – and how they find the right school fit – mirrors the reality of inequitable access on the ground.

Building a Bright Future: Understanding College Readiness in Baltimore City Public Schools takes a close look at college readiness in Baltimore City. From conversations with 225 individuals, we found that for our students, college-readiness requires strong, rigorous academic preparation as well as focused supports to help with social/emotional development, college guidance, and financial literacy.

City Speaks: Community Voices on Baltimore Schools documents the findings of our city-wide listening campaign that engaged the community in defining priorities for our public schools. Taken together, the findings and key themes we heard from 859 participants in 63 conversations across all 55 Baltimore City communities paint a picture of what Baltimore residents most want for our students.

The Fund’s studies and key recommendations have culminated in City School’s leadership responding and implementing systemic change within the district, notably:
  • As a follow-up to the Fund’s fourth report, Broken Pathways: The Cracks in Career and Technical Education in Baltimore City Public Schools, the Fund worked with the district to organize the Re-Imagining Career and Technical Education in Baltimore City Public Schools community conversation to hear perspectives from 120 parents, students, community members, and local businesses. The district has committed to using the data we collected from the event to inform its four-year strategic plan for career and technical education.
  • In its September 2017 report to the Board of Commissioners, the Office of Enrollment, Choice and Transfers cited our Calculated Choices recommendations for improvement and, in response, outlined new efforts to enhance staff training and student/parent communications.
  • In response to Building a Bright Future, at the end of the 2015-16 school year, the Board of Commissioners approved a policy mandating that every high school offer at least one Advanced Placement (AP) course.
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students, parents, educators, and community members have shared their experiences with Baltimore City Public Schools
recommendations from our reports have been implemented by City Schools to improve students’ academic experience and opportunities

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