By Kimberly Eiten

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Outside the classroom, looking in. Parents had ranging opinions on where local schools are succeeding and what can improve.

WJZ’s Kimberly Eiten went into neighborhoods across Baltimore City and Baltimore County to ask parents where they’d like to see schools get better.

An overwhelming response was praise for teachers in local schools. That being said, parents said some things should change in local classrooms.

Parents say schools themselves are in need of a change, but, shaping up means cashing in. In some districts, the money just isn’t there.

Grade school and high school parents both say they’re concerned there will come a time when existing classrooms and staff won’t be big enough to meet capacity challenges.

More students, not enough desks.

Right now, some parents say schools are doing a great job of making large classes feel small.

“[Reporter: Where do you think the school system is succeeding?] I think the school system is really making an effort to try to keep things small,” said parent Renee Gerkens.

Parents credit teachers and other educators with focusing in on students’ needs and staying consistent in the classroom.

“There are a lot of things they do well,” said parent Mandi Pusateri. “As far as training teachers to know and do a lot of the same things. If you move from one place to another, you’re going to get the same curriculum, etc.”

On and off camera, school parents tell WJZ their wish list:

  • Smaller class sizes.
  • More training for educators.
  • Flexible curriculum.
  • Larger budget for infrastructure.

Across the board, parents had high praise for teachers, who they say make do with what resources they have, while meeting strict standardized testing requirements.

“If they could just teach and love our kids and be able to give our kids what they know is needed in that individual classroom, I think we’d get a lot further,” Pusateri said.

Another parent tells WJZ he would like to see a game plan, along with a budget, for things like school improvements and maintenance.

They also want more training for teachers and technology to fit a growing and diverse student population.

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