School Closings

In April and May 2015, we fought hard alongside George Mitchell and the Langston Hughes community against the closing of LHE. TDP has been working with Neighborhood United-Park Heights and Baltimore Algebra Project to keep Langston Hughes Elementary, a small neighborhood school in the Park Heights community from closing its doors as a neighborhood school. Langston Hughes was originally slated to close its doors, due to low enrollment, in 2017. BCPSD bumped up the closure to end of school year 2015. The 180 students were made to walk 1 mile across a busy main road and through a neighborhood they are not familiar with. TDP along with NU-PH and BAP advocated for community control of Langston Hughes.  We fought for this because we had been studying the issue of school privatization and several of our fellows were eager to do more political work.  We saw the closing as part of a larger movement to close schools in lower income neighborhoods while at the same time investing in charters. Though we were advocates, we were able to leave the responsibility for organizing to the Baltimore Algebra Project and Leaders for a Beautiful Struggle.  Our role focused on raising awareness about the issues through our first major forum called: "The Human Face of Policy" which featured school stories and videos produced by fellows and staff, with a feature video focused on the LHE battle.  We still have strong ties to the Park Heights education struggles.

Read "Losing Langston Hughes"

The video is about the fight to keep Langston Hughes Elementary School in Baltimore open.  The video was filmed and produced as a collaborative effort between teachers and staff in the Teachers’ Democracy Project and folks at New Lens.