The Marc Steiner Show

Archive for schools

Baltimore Mayoral Candidate: Councilman Nick Mosby

Councilman Nick Mosby (Credit: City Paper)February 2. 2016 – Segment 2

Joining us is Baltimore’s Democratic Mayoral candidate, Councilman Nick Mosby, who shares his vision for the city. Councilman Mosby currently represents Baltimore’s 7th District in West Baltimore.

Raising Strong Leaders: A Community Discussion For Parents & Young Readers

casey's dayJanuary 12, 2016 – Segment 3

Today we preview an important community event happening this weekend in Baltimore, hosted by the Center for Urban Families: Raising Strong Readers, a community discussion for parents and young readers. Our guests include Bobby Marvin Holmes, Founder of Son of a Dream, LLC, a youth development consulting and multimedia firm committed to empowering youth and families, and author of Casey’s Day with Daddy and Ryan Turner, Founder and Executive Director of The AKOBEN FOUNDATION, a nonprofit organization that develops urban youth into leaders in order to preserve future outcomes of minority communities.

Oak Hill Center For Education And Culture: Building Social & Economic Justice In Baltimore

2457753436_9224e1a6c6_oNovember 24, 2015 – Segment 3

We talk to three collective members of the Oak Hill Center for Education and Culture in Baltimore: Markele Cullins, Baltimore based artist working toward a BFA in Graphic Design and Culture & Politics at the Maryland Institute College of Art; Tanya Garcia, Artist and curator and a recent Creative Alliance Community Arts Fellow through the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation; and Nick Petr, artist, curator, and educator who is a a sculpture teacher at the Baltimore School for the Arts.

This worthy Baltimore project is undergoing a crowdfunding campaign. The Oak Hill Center for Education and Culture is a school that explores creative strategies for movement-building around social and economic justice in Baltimore and beyond.

Should Police Carry Guns In Public Schools?

copsFebruary 26, 2015 – Segment 3

Maryland legislators are considering a controversial bill that would lift restrictions on when police officers could carry their weapons, allowing them to carry them inside schools, an issue that was hotly debated in a Baltimore City School Board public hearing this week. Baltimore City is the only school system in the state that has its own designated police force. Joining us to discuss the issue are: Sgt. Clyde Boatwright, President of the Baltimore City School Police Union; Rais Akbar, Juvenile Justice Director at Advocates for Children and Youth; school resource officer Donovan Brooks; and Dr. Kimberly Moffitt, Associate Professor of American Studies at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and co-editor of Blackberries and Redbones: Critical Articulations of Black Hair/Body Politics in Africana Communities.

What Should The Role Of Police Be In Maryland Schools?

Maryland bill to put police officers in schoolsFebruary 3, 2015 – Segment 2

We examine the role of police in schools, in light of the video that went viral last week of an officer interacting violently with Baltimore middle school students. We will also examine Delegate John Cluster’s (R-8th District) proposed bill to put armed school resource officers in all Maryland schools.

With: Mo Canady, Executive Director of NASRO, National Association of School Resource Officers; Sara Love, Public Policy Director of the ACLU of Maryland; Kate Rabb, Education Policy Director for Advocates for Children and Youth, who wrote an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun in response to the incident; Jenny Egan, Juvenile Public Defender in Baltimore City focusing on school-based arrests, who also wrote an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun in response to the incident; and Andrew Turner, Supervisor for Safe Schools for Wicomico County Public Schools.

Baltimore Town Hall: City Funding, Bond Issues & Which Institutions Are Supported Financially

housingDecember 15, 2014 – Segment 2

We discuss an important community event that’s taking place Tuesday, hosted by the Baltimore Community & Business Alliance: a Town Hall Meeting on City Funding, School Funding, Body Cameras and Police Accountability, and other issues. Our panel of guests includes: Lou Fields, Founder & CEO of Black Dollar Exchange and Host of the BDX Business Online Talk Show; community activist Kim Trueheart; Dr. Joanne Martin, co-Founder, President, and CEO of Baltimore’s Great Blacks in Wax Museum; and Kristerfer Burnett, Neighborhood Organizer for Comprehensive Housing Assistance, Inc.

The Town Hall Meeting will take place from 6-9pm on Tuesday, December 16, at the Arena Players, 801 McCulloh Street in Baltimore.

Baltimore Education Coalition Forum: MD Gubernatorial Candidates on Education

Maryland gubernatorial candidatesMarch 6, 2014 – Segment 2

We listen back to the Non-Partisan Gubernatorial Forum on Education in Baltimore City, organized by the Baltimore Education Coalition, which I co-moderated with Sue Fothergill, Karen DeCamp, and Zuri Battle Wednesday night at City Springs Elementary/Middle School.

Democratic Gubernatorial candidates Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, Attorney General Doug Gansler, and Delegate Heather Mizeur share their visions for education in Maryland.


State of Public Education in Baltimore

School closuresNovember 14, 2013 – Segment 2

In the wake of the announcement that Baltimore City is planning to close seven city schools, we begin our show with a roundtable discussion on education in Baltimore. In addition to the school closings, we will discuss the 10-year school construction plan as well as a recent report that Baltimore City suspended Pre-K students at a rate far higher than any other district in Maryland last year. Our guests include:

  • Michael Eugene Johnson, community leader who attended Northwestern High School, which has been slated for closing under the 10-year plan;
  • Dr. Roni Ellington, Associate Professor of Mathematics Education at Morgan State University;
  • David Beard, Education Policy Director, Advocates for Children and Youth;
  • and Hassan Giordano, Host of Reporter’s Roundtable and publisher of


Chicago & Baltimore Dialogue On The Future Of Education

Chicago Public Schools, School ClosingsJuly 26, 2013 – Hour 2

We open a dialogue between two cities facing tough decisions on the future of education and schools: Chicago and Baltimore.

Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that 50 schools in the district will be closed, and Baltimore City’s plan for the coming decade includes closing underutilized schools and placing emphasis on renovations and new school construction. We open the conversation with the situation in Chicago with:

Then, Stacy Davis-Gates and Elaine Weiss talk to Dayvon Love, Baltimore City Schools teacher and Director of Research and Public Policy of Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, and Carol Reckling, a founding member of the Baltimore Education Coalition and Executive Director of Child First, about the similarities and differences between what is happening in Chicago and Baltimore.


Chicago and Baltimore: Two Cities Facing Tough Decisions On Education

Chicago Public Schools, School ClosingsMay 30, 2013 – Segment 1

We open a dialogue between two cities facing tough decisions on the future of education and schools: Chicago and Baltimore.

Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that 50 schools in the district will be closed, and Baltimore City’s plan for the coming decade includes closing underutilized schools and placing emphasis on renovations and new school construction. We open the conversation with the situation in Chicago with:

Then, Stacy Davis-Gates and Elaine Weiss talk to Dayvon Love, Baltimore City Schools teacher and Director of Research and Public Policy of Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, and Carol Reckling, a founding member of the Baltimore Education Coalition and Executive Director of Child First, about the similarities and differences between what is happening in Chicago and Baltimore.




Where Are Community Schools And After-School Programs After Funding Cuts?

Community schools, BaltimoreMay 16, 2013 – Segment 4

We talk about the state of our community schools, after-school programs, and out-of-school time after cuts to funding with Principal Mark Gaither of the General Wolfe Academy; Sharneasha Street, mother of two daughters who attend Dr. Bernard Harris Sr. Elementary; and Jake Berzoff-Cohen, Organizer for the Child First Authority.


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.

December 11, 2012 – Segment 1

We speak with S. Dallas Dance, Superintendent for Baltimore County schools. We will speak to him about his experience leading Baltimore County schools since he started in mid-2012, as well as his past experience as chief middle schools officer in Houston, Texas. Dance will share his vision for Baltimore County Public Schools and his experience in education, which has come under scrutiny by some critics.

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.

September 18, 2012 – Segment 1

We will discuss the issue of truancy and prevention programs in Baltimore City with

  • Anthony “Bubba” Green, the former Baltimore Colts lineman who is currently a staff member at theUniversity of Baltimore’s Truancy Court Program,
  • Dr. BarneyWilson, principal of Reginald F. Lewis High School,
  • and Anthony Knox, Dean of Students at Reginald F. Lewis High School and
  • Robert Sawyer Jr., a middle school student with an outstanding truancy record.

September 17, 2012 – Hour 1

We check in with the Chicago Teachers’ Strike that’s moved into its second week after a failed attempt to end the strike by Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and lawyers for Chicago Public Schools. Keelin Mayer, Chicago art teacher at Gunsaulus Scholastic Academy Elementary School, joins us for an update.


Then, Marc and co-host Anthony McCarthy turn to the phone lines to hear what’s important to listeners locally and nationally.

September 11, 2012 – Segment 1

The Chicago teachers’ strike is in its second day, with almost 30,000 teachers and support staff walking out over reforms proposed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s former chief of staff. We discuss what the strike means for not just unions but teachers’ work lives and the future direction of education in America. Our guests are:













August 29, 2012 – Hour 1

We are joined in our first hour by Baltimore City Schools CEO, Dr. Andrés Alonso. He gives us an update on the state of Baltimore’s schools and what we should expect out of this school year.

August 28, 2012 – Segment 4

In the aftermath of the shooting at Perry Hall High School, we take a look at violence in our schools and what can we do about it. We are joined by:


May 31, 2012 – Segment 2

Today, members of the Intersection join us to talk about the state of Baltimore City schools and how they are using media to address their issues with infrastructure. The Intersection is a non-profit that trains teens in community-organizing. Our guests include Zeke Cohen, Ejaz Baluch and Takira White.

November 7, 2011 – Hour 2

Education advocates in Baltimore say that over 70% of Baltimore public schools are in need of major renovation or replacement.  Some of them join us this hour to discuss efforts to allocate funding to improving Baltimore school facilities, which will take an estimated 2.8 billion dollars.  Our guests are Terrel Williams, teacher at Holabird Academy, Briana Wills, senior at Baltimore Freedom Academy, developer Donald Manekin, partner in Seawall Development, and Bebe Verdery, Education Reform Director at the ACLU of Maryland.

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.

June 22, 2011 – Hour 2

In the book Hands on the Freedom Plow, authors gather the testimonials of many women’s personal narratives of working for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) for the Civil Rights Movement.

On Friday June 24 at 7PM at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum they are holding a panel discussion of Hands on the Freedom Plow.

Joining us today are two of the authors of the book:

Bernice Johnson Reagon – a singer, songleader, civil rights activist and scholar of African American culture. She founded the SNCC’s Freedom Singers and the singing group Sweet Honey on the Rock. She is Curator Emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History

Rev. Cecil Gray – a pastor at Northwood Appold United Methodist Church and he co-founded the Freedom and Democracy Schools Foundation. He is the son of civil rights activist, Victoria Gray Adams, the first woman to run for Senate in Mississppi.



June 8, 2011 – Segment 1

Nancy Grasmick, the Maryland State Superintendent of Schools, is the longest serving State Superintendent in the country.  She’s retiring at the end of this school year, and she joins us in the studio to talk about her legacy after 20 years of heading up the Maryland school system.

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.

March 30, 2011 – Segment 2

Today Maryland Schools Superintendent of Education Nancy Grasmick announced that she will be stepping down at the end of June.  Having served as Superintendent for 20 years, she is the nation’s longest-serving education chief.  We’re joined by two reporters who have covered Grasmick’s tenure in office to discuss her legacy and her decision to leave office.
Joining us are:
Charles Robinson, Reporter for Maryland Public Television and Regional Director of the National Association for Black Journalists
Liz Bowie, Baltimore Sun Education Reporter

March 7, 2011 – Segment 3

KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) Charter Schools came to Baltimore in 2002 with the founding of the Ujima Village Academy, a middle school serving mostly low income students.  They’ve since expanded with an elementary school, KIPP Harmony Academy.  They have some of the highest performing students in the school system, with the Ujima Village Academy students scoring the highest scores in Baltimore on both the reading and math sections of the Maryland School Assessment.  But despite these successes, this year could be KIPP’s last in Baltimore, if negotiations between KIPP and the Baltimore Teachers Union are unsuccessful.
KIPP teachers are currently operating on a year-by-year contract that allows them to work longer hours than other city teachers without a full pay increase for the extra work.  If KIPP and the BTU are unable to agree on a multiple year agreement, KIPP may pull out of Baltimore, closing their two schools here.
Joining us to discuss the negotiations are:
Marietta English, President of the Baltimore Teachers Union
Jason Botel, Executive Director of KIPP Baltimore

March 7, 2011 – Segment 2

With federal stimulus money gone and the recession still far from over, Maryland faces a $1.6 billion budget gap this year.  In Governor Martin O’Malley’s budget proposal for this year, one of the measures he suggests for closing that gap is $94 million in cuts to education.  Our guests today debate the necessity of the cuts, and discuss what they would mean for schools, municipalities, students, and teachers around the state.
Joining us are:
Matthew Gallagher, Chief of Staff for Governor Martin O’Malley
Bebe Verdery, Director of the Education Reform Project at the ACLU of Maryland

February 28, 2011 – Hour 2

Today the Marc Steiner Show takes on the silver screen!  Latoya Peterson, editor of, and Darryl Wharton-Rigby, writer/producer and former writer for Homicide, join us to discuss last night’s awards.

Before the talk on the Academy Awards, Nathan Phillips speaks to Marc Steiner about the new controversial budget passed in Wisconsin, which has cut $749 million in aid to public schools over a two-year period.

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 2, 2010 – Segment 2

Fahima Vorgetts, an Afghan-born humanitarian activist, is Director of the Afghan Women’s Fund.  Yesterday she returned from a trip to Afghanistan, where she works building schools for girls and running literacy programs for women, among many other endeavors.  She joined us today to discuss current conditions in Afghanistan.

September 1 – Segment 2

Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersburger has represented Maryland’s 2nd District in the United States Congress since 2003.  He joins us to discuss healthcare reform, the state of the economy, a new program which seeks to advance science and technology in Maryland public schools, and more.  Learn more about the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Education program here.

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. 

August 3, 2010 – Hour 1

We’re joined by Howell S. Baum, author of the new book Brown in Baltimore: School Desegregation and the Limits of Liberalism.  Why has segregation continued in Baltimore’s schools over fifty-five years after legal school segregation was outlawed?

Click here for the review of Brown in Baltimore by Michael Corbin in Urbanite Magazine.

For audio, click here.

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 17, 2010 – Segment 2

In this week’s edition of Your Money Matters, Robin McKinney, Director of the Maryland CASH Campaign, discusses teaching financial literacy in public schools.

Then, Stephen Martino, Director of the Maryland State Lottery, joins us to rebut allegations that the state spent too much money purchasing slot machines for a new casino.

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.

May 12, 2010 – Hour 2

We’re joined by Howell S. Baum, author of the new book Brown in Baltimore: School Desegregation and the Limits of Liberalism.  Why has segregation continued in Baltimore’s schools over fifty-five years after legal school segregation was outlawed?

Click here for the review of Brown in Baltimore by Michael Corbin in this month’s issue of Urbanite Magazine.

April 29, 2010 – Segment 1

First, another installment of Your Money Matters.  We talk to Sherry Bender from MECU about credit cards, and what you can do to manage credit card debt and use credit wisely.

Then, a discussion of bullying in schools.  The issue has gotten a lot of attention lately, especially following a sad case in Massachusetts where six teens were indicted following the suicide of a classmate who was harassed in school.  Over the weekend, the Baltimore Sun ran an article in which the mother of a third-grade student says that her daughter threatened suicide after being subjected to bullying.
We speak with Dr. Anne Townsend, Executive Director and Parent Coach of the Mariposa Child Success Programs in Maryland, and Grady Dale, clinical psychologist and Executive Director of Urban Psychological Services about the causes of bullying, what can be done to prevent it, and how it affects children. 


March 11, 2010 – Segment 2

For our second hour, Marc talks with Nancy Grasmick, Maryland State Superintendant of Schools. We get an update on the latest issues and ideas in Maryland education.

January 21, 2010 – Hour 2

For our second hour, we’re joined by Dr. Andres Alonso, CEO of Baltimore City Schools, to discuss the state of the school system, current issues and possible strategies in improving local education.

December 10, 2009 – Hour 2

We start the hour with a breif update on Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon: a new hearing on the gift card misappropriation case will take place on January 6th 2010 and her sentencing for the existing indictment is set for January 21th. Stay tuned for further details as they develop.

For the rest of the hour, we talk with Dr. Andres Alonso, CEO of Baltimore City Schools. We talk about Baltimore’s performance in the National Assessment of Educational Progress’s math test for urban school districts, our place in the rankings, and what it means for our schools.

November 16 2009-Hour 2

On the secound hour of todays show Marc and his three guests have an intresting conversation about Education, and whats going on in the school system today.His guests are Khalilah Harris Executive Director of the Baltimore Freedom Academy Foundation. Alison Perkins-Cohen the Executive Vice President of the Baltimore Curriculum Project, a nonprofit organization that operates 5 charter schools in baltimore.And also Matthew Hornbeck the principal at Hampstead Academy.

October 29, 2009 – Hour 1

In our first hour, we discuss the role of race in education and how we assist youth in building healthy identities and relationships when they are at their most vulnerable. How can we get children the tools they need for positive outcomes in such a deeply divided system?

David Hornbeck, former Philadelphia Superintendent of Schools and author of Choosing Excellence in Public Schools: Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way, joined us in the studio; Beverly Daniel Tatum, Spelman College President and author of Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: A Psychologist Explains the Development of Racial Identity, joined us by phone.

October 7, 2009 – Hour 2

Several students from Baltimore Freedom Academy reveal the deplorable condition of their school in a photo exhibit in the Rotunda on Capitol Hill. Joining Marc are Khalilah Harris, Executive Director of Baltimore Freedom Academy Foundation, and Frank Patinella of the ACLU. The ACLU views the condition of public schools as a civil rights issue and a key element to learning.


In the second segment, Gerry Palmer and business partner Antoine Bennett discuss their transition from the fringes of society to cutting-edge urban entrepreneurs. Gerry and Antoine own Gerry’s Goods Coffee Shop in Sandtown.

October 5, 2009 – Hour 1

Ardipithecus Ramidus is the oldest, most complete fossil that may shed more light on the origins and evolution of man. Ann Gibbons, Science Magazine contributing correspondent and author of The First Human: the Race to Discover Our Earliest Ancestors, brings Marc and Anthony up to date on how "Ardi" is impacting our understanding of apes and man.

Next, Marc and Anthony are joined by Karl Frisch, Senior Fellow at Media Matters to discuss the latest controversy introduced by the right wing involving Kevin Jennings, President Obama’s selection as Assistant Deputy Secretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools.

September 8, 2009 – Hour 2

Today’s program, part of our ongoing series of stories with Urbanite magazine, addressed the problem of truancy.  Marc spoke with Robert Balfanz, a researcher at the Johns Hopkins Center for Social Organization of Schools (CSOS).  He is also associate director of the Talent Development Middle and High School Project, which used CSOS research to start a school designed to help more students graduate from high school.  In 2008, the school graduated 84 percent of its first class. 

You can read Marc’s interview with Dr. Balfanz on the Urbanite website.



September 8, 2009 – Hour 1

In our first hour, Marc and Anthony McCarthy talk about the President’s speech to Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virgina. The speech, essentially echoing the back-to-school addresses of former presidents in encouraging students to stay involved and invested in their education, has met with tremendous controversy. Some schools refused to broadcast it; some parents kept their kids home from school to "protect" them from it.

What’s behind these extreme reactions? Genuine concern with a valid basis or rhetoric, racism, and political bias?

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.


May 4, 2009 – Hour 1

Art and music programs have been cut in schools across America in recent years as education has shifted to an emphasis on teaching the information that will be tested. However, recent studies suggest that the arts enhance learning outcomes and contribute to cognitive and social development in children. Later this month the Learning and the Brain Conference will discuss the place of creativity in education, and today Marc spoke with some of the experts who convened the gathering.

Our guests today were: 

Mariale Hardiman, who is the creator of the "Brain-Targeted Teaching Model." She is the chair of the interdisciplinary studies in education and assistant dean of the urban schools partnership at Johns Hopkins University.

Susan Magsamen, who is the creator of the Family Stories series, and is the author of the 10 Best of Everything Families: An Ultimate Guide for Travel.

Dr. Guy McKahnn, professor of neurology and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University.


March 30, 2009

On today’s show Marc was joined in the studio by Dr. Nancy Grasmick,
the Maryland State Superintendent of Schools.  They unpacked many of
the recent education news stories, including the recent Education
Weekly ratings that named Maryland number one among public school
systems in the U.S.  They also discussed the Maryland High School Assessments, which up to 8% of seniors in the state are in danger of not passing this year.  Community members called in to voice their concerns about teacher qualifications, arts education, and more. 

Dr. Nancy Grasmick
is Maryland’s first female state superintendent and
is the longest serving appointed state education chief in the country. 
Before serving as Superintendent, Dr. Grasmick was Maryland’s Special
Secretary for Children, Youth, and Families.  

Interested in learning more about Education Weekly’s rankings?  Read WEAA reporter Melody Simmons’ article on Maryland Commons and former president of the Maryland State Board of Education Robert C. Embry Jr.’s op-ed in the Baltimore Sun.

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.

September 10, 2008

Marc was joined by Dante Wilson, the founder of Reclaiming Our Children and Community Project in Baltimore, in a discussion panel including Larry Dix, a participant bringing the program to youth detention centers, and Daryl Richards, another participant working with elementary schools. Nancy Fagan, principal of Highlandtown Elementary School and Marsha Powell, principal of Stuart Hill Academic Academy Middle joined us by phone. The panel discussed Dante’s innovative and effective strategies for mentoring youth in our city’s schools, detention centers, and in his own community center in West Baltimore.

Also, we had an update about the fire that burned down the playground at Stadium Place in Waverly on Tuesday, and the plans to rebuild it.  For more info, or to help out, click here.

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:

July 09, 2008

The Marc Steiner Show for Wednesday, July 9th featured two discussions.

A roundtable conversation opened the show with a discussion that ranged from the problems with mainstream media, to the 2008 elections, to what’s going on in Baltimore City Schools. Marc was joined by:

60 years ago, eight white, black and Jewish tennis players integrated the tennis courts at Druid Hill Park. 24 people were arrested as a result. Marc takes a look at this historic event with:

  • Mitzi Swann, who was arrested that day.
  • Nellie Brisco Garner, who watched the event as a young teenager.
  • Douglas Bishop, who was a lifeguard at the "colored pool" in Druid Hill Park in the 1950’s.

For more information on Friday’s event to commemorate this historic tennis match, click here.

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