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July Newsletter

A Message from the Fund for Educational Excellence about the Supreme Court’s Repeal of Affirmative Action

“In so holding, the Court cements a superficial rule of color-blindness as a constitutional principle in an endemically segregated society where race has always mattered and continues to matter.” – Justice Sonia Sotomayor

In the weeks following the recent Supreme Court ruling repealing affirmative action, we at the Fund for Educational Excellence have contemplated the implications this decision has on Baltimore City students. At its premise, the ruling denies the existence of our country’s persisting systemic racial inequalities.

In our view, this decision conflates equity with equality, assuming that all American citizens have the same inherent access to a high quality and well-rounded education, regardless of socioeconomic and racial background—every day we see this is far from the truth.  This ruling threatens to create new opportunity barriers for those not born into a privileged class, barriers that place a heavier burden on our country’s disproportionally disadvantaged black and brown communities.

While we anticipate and fear this ruling will decrease the number of students of color—specifically students who are descendants of those who were enslaved—enrolled in higher education, perhaps colleges and universities will see this as an opportunity to more carefully consider their admission processes to better align with their stated values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

We believe education is the most critical lever for interrupting centuries of systemic racism and generational poverty. While we fear the Supreme Court’s ruling will further harm the students who have been historically, and intentionally, disadvantaged, the Fund will continue working to ensure City Schools students receive the excellent and equitable education they deserve.

ICYMI: Kwane Wyatt Interviewed by Sheilah Kast for WYPR’s On the Record about Our Latest Report

Last week, Kwane Wyatt, the Fund’s Program Director of Analysis & Engagement and co-author of our newest report Should I Stay or Should I Go? Retaining the Teachers Baltimore City Students Need, joined Sheilah Kast on WYPR’s On The Record for a discussion about the report:

Listen Here

The report details findings and impressions from interviews with a demographically representative sample of 202 current City Schools teachers and nine recently separated teachers from 100 of the 164 schools about their working conditions, general experiences, what makes the job difficult and what they love most about teaching. The full-length report outlines key themes and findings and culminates with recommendations from teachers and the Fund for Educational Excellence to improve conditions and retain and recruit the educators Baltimore City students need.

Read the Full Report Here

In the coming months, the Fund will be making presentations to district and city leadership as well as educational and community partners. Interested in learning more? Schedule a briefing with the report’s authors. For more on Should I Stay or Should I Go? visit ffee.org/teacherretentionstudy/ to read the full-length report, including detailed key themes and findings, teacher stories, and the Fund’s recommendations.

Heart of the School Fund Grantee Spotlights

The Heart of the Schools, the principal-centered program of the Fund for Educational Excellence, awards grants through the Heart of the School Fund on a year-round basis to City Schools principals for projects that enhance their students’ learning, their staff’s growth and their school culture and infrastructure. Since 2016, the Heart of the Schools has provided grants for over 220 principal-identified projects! Head to the Heart of the Schools blog to read our most recent grantee spotlights: Taste of ACCE Cultural Celebration, Hampden Elementary/Middle School’s “Buried Creature” Sculpture, and Booker T. Washington’s school store. Check out the full blog here:

Grantee Spotlights

Of Note:

Additional insights, updates and resources.

  • The MD Summer Food Service program provides FREE meals to kids 18 and under. No registration or identification is needed. Looking for your local summer meal site? Use the map search feature to find the site closest to you, here.
  • Across City Schools, nonverbal learners are finding their voices through Core Vocabulary Boards. Learn about how this incredible language and learning tool is enhancing student growth in this district Progress Report story: https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/progress-core-vocab-boards-23
  • City Schools students are learning about construction, business, and marketing through a program that provides meaningful learning experiences by renovating a vacant home on the same street as Carver High School. Learn more in this Progress Report story: https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/progress-carver-house-23

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