Baltimore draws much of its character and potential from the strength of its neighborhood communities, but great disparity exists from one neighborhood to the next. In Baltimore City and Baltimore County, the neighborhood where a child is born too often dictates his or her academic destiny and access to life opportunities. For the past five years, Newsweek, Education Week, and the College Board have ranked Maryland as the number one state in the country for education. At the same time, nearly 4 out of 10 Baltimore City students will not graduate high school, and only 8 percent graduate college in six years.
In our twenty-fifth year of partnership with the Baltimore City and County public schools, Teach For America-Baltimore now has 1100 corps members and alumni. We have created long lasting relationships with educators, community organizations and leaders. Students who had corps members teaching in their classrooms are becoming corps members themselves and year after year we recruit, train and support an increasingly diverse corps that reflects the racial and economic backgrounds of our students. Alumni are investing in our state, teaching, leading schools, contributing to the growing EdTech industry and running for office.
We know this work can be replicated for more widespread and transformational change. As our presence grows, so does our responsibility to engage even more deeply and collectively with families, educators and partner organizations around our shared goals to ensure that all children have the opportunity of an excellent education and the opportunity to reach their fullest potential.