I was born in a refugee camp in Nepal. I never imagined I would go to college because the camp only offered 1st to 10th grade.
For the last fifteen years we’ve helped launch programs, some that have floundered and many that have flourished. Given the urgency of the issues we address, we’re very willing to take on risk and, with our partners, try new approaches. We’re here to test what’s possible and create new pathways to opportunity and justice. Fifteen years is a blip in time for our undertaking. We’re in it for the long haul—because, sometimes, it’s not until years later that the change for which we advocate is proven as the right road taken.
Our study of attendance in City Schools’ early grades resulted in a surprising discovery. Head Start students began kindergarten with better attendance than peers from City Schools pre-kindergarten. Not only that, they maintained a higher level of attendance through the end of third grade! That’s four years after leaving the program.
Expanding learning time and opportunities for students is not about adding something extra to the school day. It’s not about creating a program or one more initiative for a principal to manage. It’s about helping schools develop new ways of doing business by working in partnership with communities to make the most of all the great assets we’ve built up…
What would happen if every single person accused of a crime in this country got a lawyer who his knew his name? Why he had been arrested? His version of events? His witnesses? His evidence? His case? What? That doesn’t happen?
An unthinking “lock ’em up” approach does not adequately serve either the youth involved in criminal cases or the larger society. Maryland decision makers should rethink the practice of prosecuting and sentencing youth as adults and appropriately deal with all criminal cases involving youth in the system created especially for them—the juvenile justice system.
Maryland’s preparation for the full implementation of health care reform on January 1, 2014 offers an exciting opportunity to make significant changes to our substance abuse treatment system. Open Society Institute-Baltimore and our grantees have spent many hours working to ensure that comprehensive substance abuse services are part of the essential health benefits in Maryland. This is an enormous step forward and will undoubtedly increase the number of individuals who are able to access substance abuse treatment next year.
If you’ve heard more in the past year than ever before about the role that grit and resiliency play in student achievement, that might be “a response to No Child Left Behind and this narrow focus on standardized testing,” Angela Duckworth suggests.