post about perceptions and City Schools. I posted a few comments, but it seemed that the discussion was becoming about a specific school (Margret Brent, picture to the left), as opposed to something more general about City Schools. I don't know enough about Margret Brent to keep that discussion going, so I stopped commenting there.
The discussion I'd like to hit on with this post is more general. How do you balance the fact that City Schools have some very real problems with an exaggerated perception by many that sending your kids to Baltimore's public schools is child abuse, at least if you can find any alternative? The schools have faltered and made progress, but that perception has remained. Look at this post from the City Paper from 2000 that sounds like it could be from today.
I'm not sure what the answer is. I personally try to spread the word about the educational experiences my kids have had and are having. I talk about my own education - 100% BCPSS K-12. I really do feel like there are some incredible stories to be told.
On the other hand, the things that I see in statewide competitions, that point out the financial disparity between Baltimore City and say Montgomery County, make me feel ill. It takes money to support a robotics team, or a science fair project, or even a chess team. You can make up for a certain lack of money with passion, but passion won't buy bus transportation or a set of tools.
I feel that there needs to be equity on school funding, but I don't want people to think my decision to send my kids to under-funded schools is deluded or some sort of sacrifice to a political goal. It's a choice we've made for the last 13 years, and I think it's the right one.
I'd love to spark a discussion in the comment section to this post. How can we demand better funding without looking pitiful?