MCPS Students Organize ‘March to Close the Achievement Gap’

Members of the Montgomery County Public School System’s Minority Scholars program will hit the streets on April 27 to raise awareness about the academic achievement gap among Black and Hispanic students in the classroom.rockville

The march is organized by a group of students from about 10 high schools in the County who have been working on the event since the beginning of the school year.

“Student leaders from the Minority Scholars Program have decided that the time is now to step up and truly address this most pressing issue,” said Michael Williams, one of the founders of MSP and a history teacher at Walter Johnson high school in Bethesda, Md.

Members of the MSP along with students, teachers, parents, community members and stakeholders from Montgomery County will start marching at 1 p.m. to “Close the Gap,” wearing black t-shirts and gathering at the Carver Educational Services Center at 850 Hungerford Drive and traveling along Rockville Pike to the District Courthouse.

Among invited guests are Dr. Joshua Starr, Superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, and various County Council members. The culminating rally will feature student leaders addressing the achievement gap at their schools and various student artistic performances.

“It is our student leaders that are putting in the work and coming up with the ideas for the march,” said Vilma Najera, an organizer of the march and a foreign language teacher at Clarksburg High School. “We as sponsors serve as liaisons for them to get their ideas done. This is truly a student driven initiative. I know MSP will not stop until the gap is gone and the data is no longer predictable,” Najera said.

Currently, there are MSPs in Walter Johnson High School, Clarksburg High School, Wootton  High School, BCC High School, Watkins Mill High School, Quince Orchard High School, Damascus High School, Whitman High School, Northwood High School, Wheaton High School, and Springbrook High School. The organization is working to establish a chapter in every Montgomery County high school.

The Minority Scholars Program was launched eight years ago as a student-driven initiative whose primary objective is to bring an end to the academic achievement gap among minority students in Montgomery County. The organization has chapters at 10 high schools and membership continues to expand to additional schools. 

Find more information about the event here.

Valerie Bonk

About Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media (MCM).


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