Wake Up, Get the Facts

June 18, 1995|By ROBERT T. RINALDI

Your recent editorial entitled, ''Futility in the Schools'' (June 11), although positively addressing the success of the Calvert curriculum at the Barclay school, still misses the mark.

As school systems go, the Baltimore City Public Schools is a good one. Its rate of improvement in test scores and attendance is the highest among American cities and surpasses surrounding Maryland counties.

As urban school systems go, Baltimore's public schools are excellent nurturing environments for the children of the city. City school teachers are the best in the state and could teach children and manage instruction anywhere in the state.

The conventional wisdom regarding American education is dead wrong. The conventional wisdom regarding American urban education is dead racist, one of the new codes we use because it is politically incorrect to be more direct about our race and class fears and prejudices.

Take a good look at our schools; there are many, many excellent programs: Canton Middle School is nationally recognized as an outstanding full-inclusion program. William S. Baer School provides a leading top-down curriculum for the physically handi- capped. Carter Woodson has a language-enriched curriculum recognized by the National Center for Applied Linguistics. The Upton school continues to provide the first comprehensive educational-support program for children with sickle-cell anemia in the nation.

L Are you aware of any of these programs? There are many more.

One of the best-kept secrets in Baltimore is the significant number of students whose parents live in surrounding counties and who give city addresses of relatives or friends so they can attend the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, clearly the best technical high school in Maryland. Poly is a Baltimore City Public School.

The Westside Skills Center, Mergenthaler Vo-Tech, the School for the Performing Arts, all are Baltimore City Public Schools; all offer outstanding programs tailored to the specific needs of our children.

The primary futility felt by our schools and our teachers is that the superb jobs they do with insufficient resources go unrecognized and unappreciated by the community at large, for whatever combination of reasons. Wake up and get the facts, Sunpapers. God bless the children and the teachers of Baltimore. God bless and keep the Baltimore City Public Schools.

Robert T. Rinaldi is a former assistant superintendent of the Baltimore City Public Schools.

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