Balto. Co. schools asked to improve success of blacks

September 25, 1992|By Mary Maushard | Mary Maushard,Staff Writer

An advocacy group for minority students in Baltimore County asked the school board last night to do away with what it sees as a dual system of education and help black students succeed.

Wyatt Coger, president of the Educational Coalition of Organizations, spelled out what his group expects the public TTC schools to do for minority students, who, he says, "perform well below all other groups academically and are suspended more."

Mr. Coger commended the board for hiring the new superintendent, Stuart Berger, "a progressive superintendent with the experience and expertise" to meet the needs of the county's black students.

"There are signs that this school system is moving in the right direction," said Mr. Coger, who has a son at Randallstown High School. "I come to this table with a sense of hope."

Among those signs are "buzz words" such as accountability and sensitivity, preventive strategy and school-site management, he said.

"These are topics not discussed openly in the past, topics that progressive school systems are wrestling with," he said.

Mr. Coger then listed what his organization wants the board to do to alleviate the inequities his group says black youngsters face in the schools.

Among those expectations are:

* Programs to close what his group sees as an academic gap between black and white students, including greater access to honors and gifted-and-talented courses and to math and science classes.

Mr. Coger said that while black students make up about 20 percent of the county's enrollment, they represent only about 6 percent of the gifted-and-talented students.

* A closer look at school boundaries to achieve greater racial balance.

* Staff development to make teachers and administrators more sensitive to needs of individual students.

* Integration of African-American culture and history into the regular curriculum.

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