An East Baltimore public school increased its student literacy rate from 39% to 67% in two years by working with a university and an NGO to rebuild the campus, enforce small class sizes and revamp the curriculum. Under Johns Hopkins University’s management, the school adopted the Success For All learning model, which emphasises reading skills. The curriculum is used in 1,000 schools across 46 states.
Results & Impact
Henderson-Hopkins increased its student literacy rate from 39% in 2012 to 67% in 2014. The school, which has more than 500 students, limited class sizes to 23 students (the norm is around 30 to 40 students)
Johns Hopkins University, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the state of Maryland, City of Baltimore, Baltimore City Public School, Morgan State University, Rogers Marvel Architects
Johns Hopkins University runs the day-to-day operations of Henderson-Hopkins, and implemented its Success for All curriculum. Success For All emphasises reading and oral skills, with frequent testing to ensure students move from one level to another quickly. Alongside Johns Hopkins, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the state of Maryland and the City of Baltimore provided funding. The Baltimore City Public School employs faculty and staff. Morgan State University collaborates with John Hopkins on education research, and Rogers Marvel Architects built the school
East Baltimore, Maryland
Students, low-income people
Cost & Value
Henderson-Hopkins cost $54 million to build
Running since 2012
The biggest challenge for the board was reconciling different ideas about budgeting. Board members had different ideas about how money should be spent, which led to tension. The stakeholders resolved the problem by being transparent about financial resources and openly discussing goals and perspectives
The Success For All curriculum, developed by Johns Hopkins University, is used by 1,000 schools across 46 states
A public-private partnership nearly doubled an East Baltimore elementary school’s literacy rate by rebuilding the school, overhauling its curriculum and instituting small class sizes.
In the early 2000s, only 24% of adults living in East Baltimore could read above a third grade level. The city created East Baltimore Development Inc. (EBDI), a committee that promised to “re-energize and rebuild” the neighbourhood. EBDI worked with the community and developers to open a new school – which, after two years, failed due to poor academic performance and delinquent student behaviour.
In 2013, Baltimore, universities, non-profits and an architecture firm partnered to rebuild the school as Henderson-Hopkins, which adopted John Hopkins University’s Success For All model. Success For All provides teachers with a detailed playbook for educating students, including step-by-step guidance for lessons. The model is used in 1,000 schools across 46 states.
Success For All emphasises reading and oral skills, with frequent testing to ensure students move from one level to another quickly. As a result, Henderson-Hopkins increased its student literacy rate from 39% in 2012 to 67% in 2014.
The new 90,000-square-foot school sits on a seven-acre campus, and cost $54 million to build.
Henderson-Hopkins school serves more than 500 students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, and limits class sizes to 23 students. Baltimore’s average public school class size is between 30 and 40 students.
Students are encouraged to learn outdoors and take part in outside activities. The new school also focuses on integration with a greater East Baltimore by making shared public spaces available to the local community.
Johns Hopkins University saw the school as an opportunity to serve the city, and runs the day-to-day operation of the facility. Alongside Johns Hopkins, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the state of Maryland and the City of Baltimore provided funding. The Baltimore City Public School employs faculty and staff. Morgan State University collaborates with John Hopkins on education research, and Rogers Marvel Architects built the school.
All partners have a seat on the school’s Board of Directors, which was responsible for planning construction, initial operations of the school, and setting benchmarks.
The biggest challenge for the board was managing costs. Different members had different ideas of how much money should be spent, which led to tension between stakeholders. Board members resolved the problem by opening discussion about goals and perspectives, and being transparent about financial resources. Eventually, the stakeholders reached a mutually beneficial consensus on Henderson-Hopkins’ budget.
(Picture credit: Flickr/Maryland GovPics)