Baltimore: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

The Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS) serves the largest number of low income and special needs students in the state of Maryland. It is struggling to create an effective educational environment for its children despite disastrous financial problems. The system's Master Plan is part of a city-state partnership aimed at reforming the troubled system by focusing on student assessment, program evaluation, institutional research, and shared planning and accountability. Master Plan II directs reform efforts through the 2007-2008 school year. These efforts are paying off with improvements in math and reading scores and reductions in class size.

The following is a summary of data regarding Baltimore's public schools as of fall 2003.

Total enrollment: 91,738

Number of facilities

elementary schools: 80

middle/combined schools: 57

high schools: 16

other: 6 alternative schools; 8 special centers; 3 pre-K schools; 2 non-technical schools

Student/teacher ratio: 14.6:1 (all grades, 2003)

Teacher salaries

average: $48,205

Funding per pupil: $8,315

About 124 private and parochial schools operate in the Baltimore area.

Public Schools Information: Baltimore City Public School System, 200 East North Avenue, Room 319, Baltimore, MD 21202; telephone (410)396-8577

Colleges and Universities

Of the approximately 30 colleges and universities located in the Baltimore metropolitan area, nearly half lie within the city limits. Towson State University, the oldest four-year college in Maryland and the largest in the Baltimore area, offers bachelor's degrees in 57 fields and master's degrees in 29. Considered one of Baltimore's outstanding assets, Johns Hopkins University boasts a world-renowned medical school and an affiliation with a prestigious music conservatory, the Peabody Institute. Loyola College offers a joint program in medical technology with Baltimore's Mercy Medical Center. The University of Baltimore, a state-supported institution, awards upper-division, graduate, and law degrees. One of five campus units of the University of Maryland, the University of Maryland at Baltimore offers professional programs in health and medical fields, social work, and law, as well as undergraduate degrees in a variety of fields. At Morgan State University students can earn advanced degrees in architecture, city and regional planning, and urban education. Coppin State University benefits from a cooperative program with local industries and offers both bachelor's and master's degree programs.

The Baltimore area's other large academic institutions include University of Maryland, Baltimore County, the U.S. Naval Academy, the Maryland Center for Career and Technology Education Studies, the Ner Israel Rabbinical College, College of Notre Dame of Maryland, the Maryland Institute College of Art, Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Harford Community College in Bel Air, Western Maryland College in Westminster, Howard Community College, and Carroll Community College.

Libraries and Research Centers

Baltimore's public library system, The Enoch Pratt Free Library, has 24 branches, a bookmobile, and a Central Library that also serves as the state Library Resource Center. Holdings consist of more than two million books, 4,000 current magazines, thousands of films and federal government documents, and more than 600,000 magazines, newspapers, and monographs on microform, videotapes, filmstrips, and other media. Special collections include African-American materials, the works of Baltimore authors H. L. Mencken and Edgar Allan Poe, the Howard Beck Memorial Philatelic Collection, and the Maryland Department, which holds extensive books, periodicals, and other documents on all aspects of life in the state of Maryland and its cities.

Research activities at centers affiliated with Johns Hopkins University focus on such subject areas as biophysics, Alzheimer's Disease, STDs, inherited diseases and other maladies, alternatives to animal testing, communications, and mass spectrometry. The University of Maryland at Baltimore also supports medical research work through its Center of Marine Biology. The Space Telescope Science Institute, the principal scientific element of the NASA Hubble Space Telescope Project, is based in Baltimore.

Public information: Enoch Pratt Free Library, 400 Cathedral St., Baltimore, MD 21201-4484; telephone (410)396-5430; fax (410)396-1441; email