BALTIMORE (WJZ) — City schools are pushing back to stay off the city’s chopping block. Tuesday night, the city school board will recommend which schools to close.
Amy Yensi reports a rally is getting underway at city public school headquarters.
The crowd is there to protest the closing of Northwestern High School. The school is celebrating its 50th anniversary and they want to make sure it’s around for much longer. The problem is any time the city is considering which schools to close, Northwestern is on the list.
The future of Northwestern High School is in the hands of the city school board—but before school leaders recommend which schools should close their doors for good, parents, students and alumni want their voices heard.
The 14-acre campus is on the list of Baltimore city schools on the chopping block. Parents and students say shutting it down will cause bigger problems.
“That’s another school closed down and that’s going to mess our area up. And the kids are going to ave to go from east to west and this and that instead of going to their zone school,” said one parent.
“Number one, you can get a great education here. Number two, you have a lot to learn from here,” said student Kevin Wilson. “Different cultures and stuff.”
Other schools set to close at the end of the school year—like Renaissance Academy in Druid Heights—are also mobilizing to stay open.
A big reason why the schools are on the chopping block is the Jacobs report, a city study calling for the modernization of school buildings and closure for those not up to 21st century standards.
Low enrollment is another reason for closure. Michael Eugene Johnson with the Northwestern Alumni Association says closing schools will not boost student performance.
“You’ve got these diploma mills that you’re just popping all over the place to drop students in, instead of keeping the comprehensive, larger schools, which build relationships, families and education,” Johnson said.
Tuesday is just the recommendation. The actual vote is in December.
We tried getting a response for city schools but were told they would hold off until after the board meeting Tuesday evening.