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December Newsletter

Read on for updates about what the Fund for Educational Excellence has been working on, including:

  • Heart of the Schools Awards Nominations Open 1/1
  • Maryland’s Five Star School Ratings
  • Career & Technical Education in City Schools–Next Steps
  • Of Note, News You Should Know

2020 Heart of the School Award Nominations Open January 1st

Mark your calendars! 2020 Heart of the School Award principal nominations open Wednesday, January 1, 2020 and accept submissions the entire month of January.

Anyone can nominate a principal they would like to see honored at the Heart of the School Awards – the annual event coordinated by the Fund for Educational Excellence that celebrates Baltimore City Public School principals each May for their tireless work on behalf of students and families.

Award criteria and details on the quick nomination process can be found at

Anyone – student, parent, school staff, community member or organizational leader – can nominate a Baltimore City principal who has positively impacted you, your family or your community. Spread the word!

Stay in the loop with the Heart of the Schools E-blast:

With updates on the annual Heart of the School Awards, the yearlong Heart of the School Fund principal grant program, and the Heart of the School Holiday Party, the Heart of the School E-blast keeps readers updated on everything happening to support Baltimore’s principals. Sign up today by emailing

Maryland’s 2019 Five Star School Ratings Released; System Still Overlooks Achievement Gap

Maryland recently released its 2019 star ratings for schools – a ranking system now in its second year that rates every public school in the state on a scale of 1 to 5. The ratings take into account test performance, attendance, quality of curriculum and two newly added items this year: student and educator surveys and a science exam. However, as the Fund pointed out in 2018, the ratings continue to overlook one crucial issue: the student achievement gap that persists across the state along racial and socio-economic lines.

The result: the rating system’s failure to account for this gap in achievement masks the fact that some students are being served better than others. Fund President & CEO Roger Schulman reiterated this perspective to the Baltimore Sun in a recent article analyzing the updated criteria. Find that article here. Maryland’s students and families deserve a rating system that reflects the quality of education every student receives, not just some of them.

The Fund Supports City Schools in Improving CTE Programs

The Fund for Educational Excellence is excited to support Baltimore City Public Schools in the reworking of itsCareer & Technical Education (CTE) programs in order to better prepare students for high quality, well-paying jobs after high school.

City Schools Office of College and Career Readiness is seeking a Data/Policy Analyst to examine CTE and develop a four year strategic plan for improving the program. The Fund worked with the district to create and distribute a request for proposal.

Help spread the word to those you know who may be interested! The proposal deadline is December 20.

In February, the Fund released Broken Pathways: The Cracks in Career and Technical Education in Baltimore City Public Schools, a report analyzing CTE programs, speaking with students and educators and recommending a re-envisioning of the program. We’re thrilled to see our recommendations moving forward, combined with those stemming from a district-led analysis of CTE. Read Broken Pathways here.

Of Note:

Updates, resources, and articles of interest to the educational community

  • “Study: Kirwan Commission recommendations for Maryland schools would begin to pay for themselves by 2034” – Baltimore Sun.
  • The Heart of the School Holiday Party, an opportunity for principals and district leaders to come together and celebrate their work and the season, is coming up this Thursday, December 19th at M&T Bank Stadium. Learn more about the party and the Heart of the School program, which the Fund manages, here.
  • Project Rampart, a Fund lead multi-million dollar Under Armour initiative that aims to amplify the student athlete experience in Baltimore City Schools , has partnered with City Schools to create the Under Armour Student Athlete of the Month award. Congratulations to November’s winners!
  • “Baltimore city schools approve school calendar for 2020-2021 with Aug. 31 start date” – Baltimore Sun.

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