Baltimore Shines During Mayor’s Conference

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City schools took center stage as the U.S. Conference of Mayors came to an end at the Convention Center downtown.

Political reporter Pat Warren has more on what Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake considers a successful weekend for Baltimore.

It was a roll call of mayors from cities with populations of 30,000 or more and a chance for Baltimore to shine.

“I really wanted a way to showcase the city for the nation and this has been just that showcase,” Rawlings-Blake said.

Over the course of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, there were keynote speakers like Baltimore native and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Baltimore City teachers broke new ground last year with the adoption of a contract that changes the way teachers are paid.  They disposed raises based only in tenure in favor of performance evaluations in part tied to student achievement.

“It just puts people on point, makes sure everybody is teaching, everybody is working toward the same goal, which is excellence in education,” said teacher Shelton Goins.

And it’s a departure from the norm, which Mayor Rawlings-Blake believes merits a place at the table at the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

“And I’m very proud to say Baltimore is not waiting for Superman, Superwoman or anyone else to improve our public schools,” Rawlings-Blake said.

It caps a week of show and tell.

“It’s been great for Baltimore.  The one thing I keep hearing is that they’re saying they’re going to come back and they just had no idea how wonderful our city was,” she said.

The mayor’s conference ends with votes on policies they hope will influence federal legislation. The mayors passed a resolution urging a quick end to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and for Congress to spend those billions at home instead.

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