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City Schools garners grant to build on math outcomes for students

BALTIMORE – Baltimore City Public Schools will build on past successful continuous improvement efforts to strengthen math achievement for students through a two-year, $1.7 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

This grant builds on City Schools’ implementation of a similar approach to continuous improvement in middle and high school literacy through a previous Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant. The process led to improvements in fluency - reading speed and comprehension - in the middle grades, which is a crucial component for reading proficiency.

The grant was obtained with support from The Fund for Educational Excellence. This award supports City Schools’ efforts to provide staff with the most effective methods and skills necessary to continuously boost student achievement in math. Like their peers nationally, City Schools students have faced struggles in math post-pandemic, as demonstrated in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results for 2022.

The award will:

  • Develop a system to measure progress in improvement;
  • Improve the systems related to math instruction, assessment, and professional learning;
  • Help teacher teams quickly identify and refine teaching strategies that accelerate students’ math performance.

“The COVID pandemic had a dramatic impact on student performance in math nationally and here in Baltimore. This project will expand City Schools’ use of improvement science to boost math achievement by identifying what teacher-led practices work best for our students, and employing those methods across our district,” said Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises, Chief Executive Officer of City Schools.

This is the latest example of how The Fund for Educational Excellence contributes to academic achievement for City Schools students. During the tenure of Dr. Santelises, the Fund has raised and managed over $45 million in philanthropic support to advance initiatives. Examples vary from supporting and developing teacher leaders, providing new library spaces for schools, creating an equity-based principal pipeline and supporting literacy professional learning.

“We’re excited to partner with City Schools as they build upon their successes in empowering teachers to better serve their students," said Roger Schulman, president and CEO of the Fund for Educational Excellence.