The Marc Steiner Show

Archive for Baltimore City Public Schools

Education Roundtable: Baltimore Overcounting Students Could Result In Loss Of Millions

February 9, 2016 – Segment 2

8197862632_ab2459b054_hToday we have our Education Roundtable, where our guests will discuss the idea that the Baltimore City School district might have inflated student enrollment numbers, a revelation that could result in the loss of millions of dollars.

Joining us is: Luke Broadwater, reporter at the Baltimore Sun, where he covers Baltimore’s City Hall and local politics; Frank Patinella, advocate with the Education Reform Project; Dr. Roni Ellington, Associate Professor of Mathematics Education at Morgan State University; and Delegate Kathy Szeliga, House Minority Whip who represents Maryland’s District 7 in Baltimore and Hartford Counties.

Baltimore Mayoral Candidate: Elizabeth Embry

CTs4jBtWoAAD0nTDecember 15, 2015 – Segment 2

Elizabeth Embry, candidate for the Democratic nomination for Mayor of Baltimore. She  has served as acting director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, assistant solicitor at the Baltimore Law Department, and special assistant to the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. Ms. Embry is currently chief of the criminal division under Maryland Attorney, General Brian Frosh.



Social, Racial, Historical and Economic Context of Freddie Gray’s Life and Death

6269710104_5fb0a512fa_bDecember 8, 2015 – Segment 2

Today we examine the conditions of our society that placed Freddie Gray in his social and economic position when he died in police custody last April. Joining us will be Jacqueline Robarge, Founder and Director of Power Inside, a project of Fusion Partnerships; the Rev. Dr. Heber Brown, Pastor of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church and Executive Director of Orita’s Cross Freedom School; and Dr. Lester Spence, Center for Emerging Media Scholar-In-Residence, Associate Professor of Political Science and Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins University, and author of the forthcoming book, Knocking the Hustle: Against the Neoliberal Turn in Black Politics.

Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle: The Foundation, A Compilation Album

Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle - The FoundationNovember 24, 2015 – Segment 2

 Today we preview Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle presents The Foundation, a compilation album. The Foundation is comprised of multiple music genres and media clips addressing police accountability with a strategic emphasis on the mission of Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle with: DevRock, Minister of Culture for Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle; and Chelsea Monaé, Baltimore native, singer, songwriter, poet, and emerging recording artist featured on The Foundation.


Internet, Technology & Protecting Our Children

Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Education on FlickrNovember 5, 2015 – Segment 1

Today our guest host is Dr. Karsonya “Kaye” Whitehead, Assistant Professor of Communication and Affiliate Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies at Loyola University Maryland, and author of Notes From a Colored Girl: The Civil War Pocket Diaries of Emile Frances Davis and My Black Sons: Raising Boys in a Post-Racial America.

Dr. Kaye will moderate a panel on Technology, the Internet, and Youth. She is joined by April Campbell, Director of Technology at Arlington Elementary/Middle School; and Dr. Jameta N. Barlow, Assistant Professor of Women and Health in the Department of Women and Gender Studies at Towson University.

Charter Schools in Baltimore

(Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun)September 29, 2015- Segment 1

Today we discuss a recent lawsuit filed by some Baltimore city charter schools against Baltimore City Public Schools, alleging that the district’s new funding formula for charters violates state law and leaves the schools struggling for money to fund books and supplies with: Jack Pannell, Founder of Baltimore Collegiate School for Boys, a Baltimore City Public Charter School; Dr. Jessica T. Shiller, Professor of Urban Education at Towson University, and producer and director of the documentary film School’s Out: Closing Baltimore Schools with New Lens and the Baltimore Algebra Project; Matthew Hornbeck, Principal at Hampstead Hill Academy; Bobbi MacDonald, Executive Director, The City Neighbors Foundation; and Rachel Cohen, Baltimore freelance journalist and Writing Fellow at The American Prospect.

Conversation with Baltimore City Schools Interim CEO Tisha Edwards

Baltimore City Public School CEO Tisha EdwardsJanuary 9, 2014 – Segment 4

Baltimore City Schools Interim CEO Tisha Edwards joins us to talk about the year ahead for Baltimore schools. She discusses her philosophy, her priorities, and responds to reporting on the school system.


Baltimore City Public Schools: Constructing Community Spaces

Baltimore City Public SchoolsBaltimore City Public SchoolsOctober 28, 2013 – Segment 3

We discuss the Baltimore City school construction plan, with:

  • Michael Sarbanes, Executive Director, Office of Engagement, Baltimore City Public Schools;
  • Timothy Byrd, parent of a child at Dr. Rayner Browne School, who is part of the design team for Ft. Worthington School;
  • and Frank Patinella, an Advocate with the Education Reform Project of the ACLU of Maryland.

For more information about Transform Baltimore’s summit taking place November 2nd in the Student Center at Morgan State University, click here.


A Look at Dr. Andres Alonso’s Tenure in Office

 May 13, 2013 – Segment 1

Alonso2Baltimore City Public Schools Superintendent Andres Alonso announced that he is resigning his post to move back to New Jersey and spend time with his family. Our panelists will assess Alonso’s time in office. We are joined by  Roni Ellington, Associate Professor of Mathematics Education at Morgan State Unviersity’s School of Education & Urban Studies, Erica Green, Education reporter for The Baltimore Sun, and Buzzy Hettleman, former Baltimore City School Board member.


Local News Roundtable: Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Dr. Andres Alonso Resigns

AlonsoMay 6, 2013 -Segment 1

Anthony McCarthy co-hosts our local news round table discussion on several headlines including the resignation of Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Dr. Andres Alonso. Erica Green, education reporter for the Baltimore Sun, multi-platform journalist Krishana Davis, Marta Mossburg, columnist for the Baltimore Sun and the Fredrick News-Post, and John Bullock, professor of political science at Towson University join us for this discussion.


How Should We Teach Social Sciences In Our Schools?

Teaching Black History in Chicago

February 26, 2013 – Segment 3

We close our show with a look at the debate taking place right now in Chicago, over whether or not Black History should be taught in schools. You will hear from a roundtable of educators and historians about how social sciences are taught and how they should be taught in our schools. Our guests include:

  • Alan Gilbert, John Evans Professor in the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver and author of Black Patriots and Loyalists;
  • Robert W. Simmons III, Assistant Professor in the Teacher Education Department at Loyola University and Director of the Center for Innovation in Urban Education;
  • Roni Ellington, Associate Professor of Mathematics Education at Morgan State University’s School of Education and Urban Studies;
  • and Michelle D. Wright, head of the History and Africana Studies programs at CCBC Essex

January 30, 2013 – Segment 1

We open our show with a discussion of the Baltimore City Public Schools’ policy of offering financial incentives to teachers in order to reduce the number of out-of-school student suspensions. We’re joined by:

  • David Miller of the Urban Leadership Institute;
  • Karen Webber-Ndour, Dean of Student Support for the Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS);
  • Ejaz Baluch Jr., social studies teacher at ConneXions School for the Arts; and
  • Iris Kirsch, BCPS teacher and author of the bi-weekly column “Future Imperfect: An Education Report for Tense Times” for the Indyreader.

January 15, 2013 – Hour 1


We look at the battle brewing in the Maryland State Legislature over allowing Baltimore to float a $2.4 billion bond for school construction. To discuss the proposal and the controversy surrounding it, we speak to:
  • Bebe Verdery, Director of Education Reform for ACLU Maryland;
  • Hassan Giordano, columnist for the Baltimore Independent Examiner;
  • Michael Sarbanes, Executive Director, Baltimore City Public Schools’ Office of Engagement;
  • and George Liebmann, Volunteer Executive Director of the Baltimore-based Calvert Institute for Policy Research.


December 12, 2012 – Segment 1

We take a look at the newly released Baltimore City school system’s 10 year plan, which would close some schools and renovate others over the next decade to deal with infrastructural problems. Joining us to discuss the plan and some of the controversy surrounding it are:

  • Erica Green, education reporter with The Baltimore Sun;
  • Michael Sarbanes, Executive Director of the Office of Engagement for Baltimore City Public Schools and a major architect of the plan; 
  • Arica Gonzalez, parent at Gwynns Falls Elementary; 
  • Jimmy Stuart, co-chair of the Baltimore Education Coalition (BEC) and organizer with Child First Authority; and 
  • Michael Eugene Johnson, community leader who attended Northwestern High School, which is one of the schools slated for closing under this plan.

October 17, 2012 – Segment 2

Audits of the Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) have revealed issues with bookkeeping, debt collection, and millions of unaccounted-for dollars in overtime and overpayment to employees and contractors. Neil Duke, Chairman of the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners, and BCPS Chief Financial Officer Victor De La Paz, join us to discuss the audits.

June 30, 2011 – Segment 1

Marc sits down with Andres Alonso, CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools, to talk about the current state of the city’s education system. Alonso will address the effects of the new budget on education in Baltimore and his plans to improve city schools.

May 9, 2011 – Hour 1

Join us for a discussion with members of Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, a community based think tank founded by group of former Baltimore City Public School Students.  We’ll talk about the future of education and how we can work to improve our community here in Baltimore.
Join LBS May 14th at 2pm at Coppin State University for a community forum about the Baltimore City Public Schools.  For more information, contact Deverick Murray at or 443.423.3873.

April 28, 2011 – Hour 1

How has teaching changed in recent years, and how do education experts see it changing in coming years?  These questions and others are discussed by our panel this hour, which was taped at Johns Hopkins University on April 25, 2011.  The panelists are Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, Michael Cohen, president of Achieve Inc., Richard Lemons, vice president of Education Trust, and Sonja Brookins Santelises, chief academic officer of Baltimore City Public Schools.

November 16, 2010 – Segment 1

Last week the Council of the Great City Schools released a report that
documented the staggering achievement gap between black male students
and their peers.

Yesterday columnist Bob Herbert argued in a New York
Times op-ed that that gap can never be closed without addressing the
crisis facing black families.  We discuss the state of black families in America,
what can be done to strengthen them, and how we can work to help young
black males who are struggling academically.




Join Dr. Raymond Winbush and others at 2pm tomorrow for The Black
Family Today and Beyond: A Community Conversation on Family
Strengthening, a project of the Center for Urban Families.  For more
information, click here.

September 30, 2010 – Hour 1

Yesterday some big education news was announced in Baltimore.  The city public schools and the Baltimore Teachers Union reached a tentative contract agreement that would upend many long-standing provisions, including the link between a teacher’s pay and the number of years that he or she has taught in the system.  In order to go into effect, the contract must still be approved by the teachers union and the school board, but the proposal is already making waves in education circles around the country.  Baltimore is one of the first cities in the nation to try linking teachers’ pay with performance rather than tenure, and the fact that the proposal is the result of cooperation between the union and school officials is even more unusual.  
Today we’re joined by four city school teachers, who offer their thoughts on the contract.
Iris Kirsch is a fifth year teacher at Heritage High School
Matt Stern is a third year teacher in the Baltimore City School Department
Charles Dugger has taught in the public school system in Baltimore for over 40 years
Trinya Smith teaches grades 6 – 8 at ConneXions Community Leadership Academy

September 1, 2010 – Segment 1

Dr. Sonja Santelises is the new Chief Academic Officer of the Baltimore City Public Schools.  She joined us today to talk about the start of the school year, her mission of ending low expectations for kids in public schools, and her vision for improving Baltimore schools. 

July 21, 2010 – Hour 2

Tony Geraci, the head of the Food and Nutrition Services Department in the Baltimore City Public Schools, updates us on what’s being served at schools around the city.  Never one for boring bureaucratic talk, Geraci discusses the struggle of making institutional change in the school system, and why he thinks fresh, local food is important to bring to all kids.

Read more about Tony Geraci in the July 2010 issue of Urbanite Magazine.  Click here for Michael Anft’s article.

June 15, 2010 – Hour 2

How can we improve the quality of education in Baltimore City Public Schools? A newly released report offers several controversial suggestions for improving teacher performance, including giving principals more power to hire and fire teachers, having teachers work longer hours for better pay, evaluating teachers more regularly, and linking pay to performance.  
We discuss the recommendations with:
Marietta English, President of the Baltimore Teachers Union
Kate Walsh, President of the National Council on Teacher Quality, which released the report
Lee Rutledge, public school teacher in Baltimore City, and Executive Board member of the Baltimore Teachers Union
Zeke Berzoff Cohen, a public school teacher in Baltimore City
Read Building Teacher Quality in Baltimore City Public Schools, a report issued jointly by the National Council on Teacher Quality and the ACLU. 

June 15, 2010 – Hour 1

With the end of the school year approaching, Marc is joined in studio by Dr. Andrés Alonso, CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools.  Join us for a discussion of the state of the school system, plans for next year, and more.

August 18, 2009 – Hour 2

The 2009-2010 school year is about to begin! Marc is joined by  Dr. Andres Alonso, the C.E.O. of Baltimore City Public School System, to discuss his goals for the coming school year and what’s next for the Baltimore City Schools and its students.

August 4, 2009 – Hour 1

Marc and guests discuss a new farming program that the Baltimore School system is running here in Baltimore. Great food and opportunities are being provided to students for locally grown, organic fruits and vegetables.

Today’s guests were:

July 29, 2009 – Hour 1

On today’s show, Marc spoke with several environmental leaders about how the racial make-up of Baltimore City may change or effect the discussion of environmental justice.

Today’s studio panel included:

This show is a rebroadcast. Click here to listen to the podcast on the original show page.

July 8, 2009 – Hour 1

The KIPP Ujima Village Academy has been ranked as the highest performing public middle school in Baltimore since it opened in 2002. It’s part of a network of 66 KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) schools nationwide whose mission is to develop students who will be successful through college and beyond.

Today we discussed the success of the KIPP Academy and how lessons from the school can be applied to other public schools around the city.

Our guests today were:

Jason Botel, KIPP Baltimore’s Executive Director

Jay Mathews, Washington Post education columnist and author of Work Hard, Be Nice: How Two Inspired Teachers Created the Most Promising Schools in America.


This show is a rebroadcast. In order to avoid your podcast aggregator from downloading this show for a second time, we have not attached the podcast to this page. To download this podcast, click here!

June 15, 2009 – Hour 2

The second half of today’s show started off with a brief interview with CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools, Dr. Andres Alonso, discussing the progress he’s made, the steps he has left to take, and the resignation of Brian Morris.

Then we were joined in the studio by three city teachers to discuss the last school year, Dr. Alonso’s plan for the system, the teachers’ unions, and much more.

Ebon Soul is a history teacher at Carver Vocational-Technical High School.

Trinya Smith is a teacher of social studies for grades 6-8 at ConneXions Community Leadership Academy.

John Moneghan is a former science teacher at Patterson High School.  He is about to start teaching at Civitas Academy

May 18, 2009 – Hour 1

The KIPP Ujima Village Academy has been ranked as the highest performing public middle school in Baltimore since it opened in 2002. It’s part of a network of 66 KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) schools nationwide whose mission is to develop students who will be successful through college and beyond.

Today we discussed the success of the KIPP Academy and how lessons from the school can be applied to other public schools around the city.

Our guests today were:

Jason Botel, KIPP Baltimore’s Executive Director

Jay Mathews, Washington Post education columnist and author of Work Hard, Be Nice: How Two Inspired Teachers Created the Most Promising Schools in America.


March 24, 2009

On today’s show, Marc spoke with several environmental leaders about how the racial make-up of Baltimore City may change or effect the discussion of environmental justice.

Today’s studio panel included:

March 16, 2009

 In the first part of today’s show, Marc sat down with Baltimore City Schools CEO Dr. Andres Alonso to discuss the new school reform program he proposed this week. Under Dr. Alonso’s plan, 179 jobs would be cut from the central office of the system, and failing schools across the city would be closed or combined with other schools.

Then, four guests joined Marc in the studio to discuss a problem that’s increasingly affecting youth in Baltimore – a doubling of the rate of homeless students in the past year.

Our panelists were:

Francine Hahn, Attorney at the Homeless Persons’ Representation Project.

Betty Schulz, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who works for the Healthcare for the Homeless program at Mercy Hospital.

Annette White, homeless services liason for Baltimore City Public Schools. Ms. White runs programs in shelters for after school homework help.

Louise Fink, director of interagency support for the Baltimore City Public Schools.  

Read WEAA reporter Melody Simmons‘ piece on youth homelessness at the Investigative Voice.

February 2, 2009

Cuts to Maryland’s education budget have been delayed for the moment as the state waits to see whether the federal stimulus package will inject money into struggling school systems. But Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Andres Alonso is still worried about how the system will fare in the current economic climate, and has sparred in recent weeks with Governor Martin O’Malley over the potential budget cuts. Dr. Alonso joined Marc in studio today to discuss how Baltimore’s students and teachers will weather these tough times.  

Joining the conversation were Matt Hornbeck, Principal of Hampstead Hill Academy, and Tisha Edwards, former Principal of the Baltimore Freedom Academy.

You can find Bob Embry’s op-ed discussing whether Maryland’s schools really are the best in the country on the Baltimore Sun website.


November 25, 2008

We’re excited this month to bring you the first Urbanite Radio Hour on the Marc Steiner Show. Each month, we’re partnering up with the great team at one of Baltimore’s best local publications and featuring some of the people and issues in the latest issue.


(photo by David Harp)


First, you’ll hear an interview with writer Bill Thompson and photographer Dave Harp. Bill wrote the cover story for this month’s issue which is all about the fate of the Chesapeake crab and what it means for the identity of our state.


(photo by Mitro Hood)


Then, we take a trip to a kitchen at Digital Harbor High School, where students are busy cooking a meal for the school board meeting, to speak with BCPSS Food Services Director Tony Geraci. He’s bringing some innovative ideas to the table, including a dream that all 82,000 kids in Baltimore City Schools can be fed food cooked from scratch-by their peers. Read the Urbanite profile here.


(photo by La Kaye Mbah)


And finally, we’ll visit Baltimore’s only Ethiopian restaurant, Dukem, which is located in Mount Vernon. We’ll talk with manager Garedew Atnaf-Seged about his restaurant and Ethiopian cuisine. Read the Urbanite review by clicking here.

November 24, 2008

Last Friday’s stabbing of middle-schooler Markel Williams on the grounds of William H. Lemmel Middle School in West Baltimore has focused the city’s attention on the culture of violence that surrounds children in Baltimore schools.

Our panelists discussed the implications of the stabbing, and the myriad problems facing Baltimore youth. Who, if anyone, should answer for such a tragic act of violence? What can parents, teachers, administrators, and the community do to improve conditions for our young people? How will President-Elect Barack Obama’s administration meet the challenge of America’s failing urban centers?

Marc was joined in the studio by:

Mary Washington, Ph.D., Assistant Director of Baltimore Parks & the Natural Resources Leadership Institute at the Parks and People Foundation and a former candidate for Maryland State Delegate.

Bob Somerby, Editor of The Daily Howler, Op-Ed Contributer to the Baltimore Sun, and a former fifth grade teacher in Baltimore’s public schools.

Read Marc’s response to the stabbing on the Center for Emerging Media blog.

July 16, 2008

The Marc Steiner Show for 7/16/08 tackled two topics.

In the first half of the show, we learned about the Baltimore City Curfew Center and how it has changed under the administration of Mayor Sheila Dixon and Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld. The curfew center, which went into operation in 2006, is for the first time offering services and doing background checks on kids who are brought into the center. To learn more, Marc talked to:

  • John Dixon, Deputy Secretary of Operations for the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services
  • Ginger Myers, Analyst for DJS
  • Angela Johnese, Juvenile Justice Director for ACY (Advocates for Children and Youth)

In the second half, we took a look at Baltimore City Public School System. What are some of the reasons for the extraordinary gains accomplished by Baltimore City students in the 2008 Maryland State Assessment tests? Are some of our city-wide schools like Poly and City College being forced to keep students they would rather have gone? And does it make sense to fire great teachers because they haven’t gotten their certification? Marc talks to:

  • Dr. Andres Alonso, CEO of the Baltimore City Public School System

Links for further reading/listening:

School Violence: Dr. Andres Alonso

The question of whether or not enough is being done to keep students and teachers safe in Baltimore City Public Schools is being asked a lot lately, ever since art teacher Jolita Berry was attacked by a student in the classroom, and students later uploaded videos of the beating to video sharing websites.

We sat down with Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Dr. Andres Alonso to find out what his plans for reducing school violence are.

Running time is 51 minutes. Let us know what you think!



Andres Alonso with Marc Steiner in his North Avenue office