Drawing from her experiences as a student in the Baltimore City Public Schools and now as an education reporter for the Baltimore Sun, Erica Green ’07 recently spoke to Goucher students about educational opportunity and inequality.
Inside a packed classroom, Green discussed the economic and geographic disparities in public schools, noting that they tend to reflect inequities found in other areas of society. Families are especially affected.
“Every child should be able to go to a good school without having to put all their eggs in one basket,” she said, referring to competition for popular charter schools with limited space.
The level of experience and professionalism within specific schools can also be inconsistent.
“Adequate staffing is a make-or-break condition for serving kids successfully,” Green stressed, adding that in her observations, the most successful schools are where staff members model the behaviors they wish to see their students adopt.
Initiatives like Teach for America, that try to bridge gaps, also face challenges when they don’t have the proper support.
Despite the hurdles educators are faced with to level the playing field, there is hope. As Green said “They’re trying.”
Green was invited to campus by Raj Ghoshal, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology. His class, SOC 245: Wealth, Power, and Prestige, challenges students to uncover the relationships between the origins and processes of inequality.
– Amy Eddy M.A.T. ’04